There are still organisations who are continuing to recruit in spite of the Coronavirus crisis. The lockdown rules mean these organisations are having to turn to video interviewing in order to continue their recruitment process as candidates now have to stay at home. This presents a new experience for many candidates and interviewers alike and it is important to be aware of some of the challenges that may come with turning to video technology.

Robust and objective interviewing is founded on creating as much consistency as possible. If we don’t have a consistent process for each different candidate, then we can’t possibly make the best decision on which person is best suited to the role.

The use of video technology makes it even more important to think about what aspects of the interview process we can control in order to achieve that consistency.

1.     Video technology

Choosing the right video technology is important to providing the best experience for both interviewer and candidate. Not all video technology platforms are equal and you need to be aware of challenges, such as privacy concerns, that come with using video technology, particularly when trying to apply software primarily intended for video meetings (such as Zoom). It is worth considering if you want to interview live or use video interview platforms that enable candidates to record their responses to questions without you being present at the same time (a.k.a. asynchronous video interviews). This approach can enable you to make efficiencies where you are interviewing high volumes of candidates.

TIP – Take time to evaluate different video technology platforms and consider the need for different approaches for different roles or stages in the recruitment process

2.     Interview questions

Asking the right questions at interview is critical to being able to establish if your candidate is right for the role. It is also an area where we can see a great deal of inconsistency between candidates. If we don’t plan out the questions that we ask each candidate, then we will not be providing each person with a fair opportunity for them to demonstrate their ability to do the job. The questions we ask also need to be based on the strengths or capabilities needed to do the job. Well-considered questions are the best way to ensure that your interview is fair and effective at predicting whether the candidate will perform well.

TIP – Prepare a structured set of questions based around the strengths or capabilities needed to do the job

3.     Assessing objectively

It is equally important to think in advance about what a good response looks like. Setting out the behaviours we need candidates to be able to demonstrate within their responses enables us to be more consistent in how we assess their answers. A structured rating form enables us to make fair comparisons between individuals. This is even more critical where more than one interviewer is involved in our assessment. If we do not set out these criteria in advance, each interviewer will apply their own subjective judgement as to what good looks like. This substantially increases the likelihood that unconscious biases influence the outcome of the interview process.

TIP – Devising a structured rating form in advance of the interview will help prevent retrofitting of what good looks like to accommodate your subjective impressions of different candidates

4.     Training interviewers

Many people under-estimate how difficult it is to deliver a great recruitment interview. The quality of your interview process is hugely dependent on how well it is implemented by your interviewers. Ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills needed to conduct an effective interview will help to ensure your interview process is consistent and objective. This includes training them in overcoming unconscious bias to deliver a fair process that discriminates solely on the candidate’s ability to do the job. When applying video technology, it is important to ensure that they are trained in the software being used so that this doesn’t impact on the effectiveness of the interview.

TIP – Don’t assume that people can conduct an effective interview without interview skills training and include briefings on how to use any video technology you deploy

5.     Supporting candidates

It is important to remember how stressful interviews are for candidates and that this stress may be heightened by using video technology. Think about the information you provide to candidates ahead of the interview process that may help to reduce this anxiety. You are interested in which candidate can do the job well and not which candidate copes best with an interview. Helping your candidates prepare well will enable them to show you their true strengths and capabilities. You should also be ready to offer reasonable adjustments for candidates who request them to help ensure your process as fair for everyone who applies regardless of any disability.

TIP – Think about what you would like to know in advance of attending an interview for your dream job and ensure that the information you provide to candidates matches up.

6.     Additional assessments

Alongside interviewing candidates, it may be worth considering other ways in which you can develop your online assessment process. Objective assessments such as situational judgement tests can help you with short-listing candidates ahead of interview and it may be possible to deploy these assessments on the same platform that you use for video interviewing. In later stages of the recruitment process, psychometrics and online assessment centres may be helpful tools to compliment the interview when making the final decision on which candidate to hire. It is worth thinking more strategically about your overall end-to-end assessment solution as this may encourage you to make different decisions about the video technology platform that you look to deploy.

TIP – Take the opportunity to review your overall assessment strategy and consider how you can move the different elements of your end-to-end assessment solution online.

 If you would like further guidance on developing your online assessment process please contact support@opsolutions.co.uk for a free consultation on your current process or visit htt for more information.