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Best Practices for Conducting Video Job Interviews

Best Practices for Conducting Video Job Interviews

Mar 26, 2021 | By Isaac O'Bannon | 0 Comments

Topics: Video, Interview, HR, Hiring, Featured

While it’s no secret that many business processes have changed post-pandemic, one of the most overlooked areas is the hiring process.  

Now, video has taken a much more prominent role in all aspects of firm management, and is becoming commonplace or even expected as a part of the job interview process.   

To help your firm get the most out of video job interviews, here are some best practices to keep in mind.   

Wear Appropriate Attire 

The interviewer and interviewee may be sitting in a home office, but it’s important that both sides of the video feed treat the interaction professionally. This starts with appropriate business attire, which may vary by firm. Is a suit and tie necessary? Perhaps if your firm deals with Wall Street clients, but for most, a business casual appearance is appropriate for the interviewer.  

Remove Distractions   

Whether the interviewer is working from home or the office, choose a location free from noise or visual distractions. A conference room is ideal, particularly if more than one person is conducting the interview. When this is not an option, still try to seek out some solitude. If at home, parents of young children may find this a challenge, of course, but most professionals have come to understand occasional youthful interlopers. Also keep in mind: Pets, doorbells, coworkers, etc.   

Respect Time   

Start and stop your interview as close to on schedule as possible. Just as you would hopefully not keep a potentially valuable client prospect waiting, treat the job candidate with the same respect, and understand they likely have commitments following the scheduled interview. Also, when coordinating the video interview, remember any time zone difference that may have an impact.   

Know the Candidate   

Just as you would with that client prospect, brush up on the job candidate’s background by going back over their resume and cover letter, then prepare questions in advance based on their specific experience and how it may impact your firm. In addition, you should also have standard questions related to the position, why they’ve applied at your firm, and how well they’ve tracked recent changes to tax or other practice areas.   

Know the Video App/Hardware   

If you’re using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or another video app, ensure that you’re familiar with running the meeting as the administrator. If other members of the firm are also involved in the interview and will be remotely participating, ensure that you can transition to different team members when necessary and can efficiently move through an interview conversation. Before the first few sessions, it would be a good idea to run a few test interviews with people on the staff. Also, ensure that the job candidate is provided with the link to the video system early and with a follow-up.  

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize   

It can be a natural habit to look at the other person’s face on your monitor, but at least when you are speaking, remember to look into the camera lens. While generally only a minor nuisance, it can be distracting to a conversation when someone appears to be looking away.    

Be Prepared for Unknowns   

Sometimes our technology fails, and video seems to do it frequently. Have a backup plan that everyone knows, such as a voice call, in case you or your interview candidate get disconnected.    

Conclusion   

While “normalcy” for business firms is an ever-moving target, video interviewing will continue to play an integral and increasing role in a firm’s hiring processes. While we might enjoy laughing at funny video bloopers like these, we don’t want to appear on them!    

Combined with more reliance and acceptance on remote workflow practices, video interviewing also has the added benefit of vastly increasing the available talent pool from which your firm can hire, and speeding the hiring process at the same time. 

The Author

Isaac O'Bannon

Isaac M. O’Bannon is the managing editor of CPA Practice Advisor and has been advising accounting and technology firms for 20 years.

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