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5 Warning Signs To Look For In The Video Interview

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Posted by Josh Tolan

March 7, 2014

OnAirAs new technology offers new solutions for staffing experts, the traditional interviewing best practices no longer apply.

Every new technological recruiting tool has its own rules for picking the best candidates from the crowd. For instance, in a talent community, you don’t want to dominate the conversation. In the social realm, it’s important to remember you should balance being promotional with sharing relevant information.

Video interviewing is no different. Currently, six out of 10 employers are utilizing video interviews to connect with great candidates and hire top-notch people. As the use of video interviewing grows, it becomes more important to know what to look for in order to find the best for your clients.

While video interviewing can be quite similar to an in-person sit down, there can be major differences. For instance, in one-way video interviews, candidates have the time to really think over and properly record their answers to your written questions. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to have higher expectations for one-way video answers than you would if a candidate was responding to you in real-time.  

Knowing the warning signs can be a big help when you need to rapidly assess candidates. Some video interviewing warning signs are the same as an in-person faux pas, while others are unique to the new medium. Whether you’re an old pro at using video interviewing to find the best candidates for your clients or you’re new to it, here are some warning signs the candidate on the other side of the webcam may be a bad fit:

Warning Sign #1: A Troubling Background

A background is important, whether it’s a candidate’s work background or the physical space behind them in their video interview. Unfortunately, many candidates don’t spend much time thinking about what you can see behind them as they answer your interview questions. If your candidate looks like they’re living in the middle of a Hoarders episode, this might not be a great sign for their conscientiousness.

Warning Sign #2: Too Much Noise

Your candidate might be a very popular person, but you don’t need to know about it in the video interview. This means the candidate should ensure all their devices that tweet, beep, ring, or buzz are turned to silent. By forgetting to silence devices in the video interview, your social butterfly candidate is showing a perilously bad attention to detail.

Warning Sign #3: “These Are My Professional Sweatpants”

How a candidate shows up to the interview can tell you a lot about their level of professionalism. A candidate who meets you in a business suit has dressed for the occasion, someone in a pair of flip-flops has not. You might think this aspect of the interview process isn’t as prominent in a video interview, but converse is actually true. Candidates can become more likely to make presentation mistakes when they’re not sitting across the desk from an employer.

You should question whether a candidate on camera wearing a suit over sweatpants is the right person for the job. Just like in an in-person meeting, your candidate’s attire can give you important insights into their professionalism.

Warning Sign #4: Cue Cards Crutches

As mentioned, a one-way video interview is very different from a live video interview or in-person meeting. In a one-way video interview, candidates have more time to chew over your question and prepare their answers. Unfortunately, some candidates over-prepare. Watch out for candidates who are clearly reading from a script or presenting canned answers. Your client needs someone with confidence, not someone with good memorization skills.

Warning Sign #5: An Eye Roll Is Worth A Thousand Words

Since nonverbal cues can make up to 93 percent of all communication, it’s clear you need to pay attention to body language. Just because a candidate isn’t in the room doesn’t mean evaluating nonverbal cues goes out the window. Look at candidates who maintain good eye contact, who appear confident instead of covered in flop sweat, and who speak clearly about their qualifications. These are the people with the right stuff for your client’s open positions.

With any new technology format comes new rules to learn. If you want to find the best and brightest people for your client’s open positions, it’s important you know what sets apart a great candidate from a potential dud in the video interview. This way, you can use video interviewing to connect with the right people and provide your clients with the top talent they need.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring solution that allows staffing professionals to collaborate with their clients around video interviews. Read Spark Hire’s staffing ebook and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics: Recruiting Trends, Hiring Tips

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