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How to conduct successful candidate job interviews via live video

Job interviews can be a nerve racking experience for both the interviewee and the interviewer, particularly when the interview isn't taking place face-to-face. Often, it’s the interviewee that is regarded as the person under pressure. However, the interviewer has an important role to play in ensuring that they get the best out of the candidate, whilst also selling the benefits of their organisation to their prospective employees.

Provide all relevant video details in advance

In this day and age, there are many different ways for you to be able to conduct interviews without having to be face-to-face with a candidate. Hosting interviews via Skype is particularly common and lots of hiring managers are now even using FaceTime as a popular option.

Prior to the interview, be sure to send candidates full details of how their video interview will commence; including the date, time, login details and URLs if necessary.

Make sure you’ve read the CV before you speak with the candidate

Knowing as much as you can about the candidate, their skills and experience prior to the interview will help to create a successful and meaningful interview. Try to set aside at least 20 – 30 minutes to review their CV and make a note of relevant questions that you’d like to ask them. 

Understand the job role

In order for you to be able to ask the right questions during the interview, you really need to understand the job vacancy that you’re recruiting for so that you can target the right questions and shape them to get the best out of the candidate and their experience. 

Make the candidate feel comfortable

To have a fluid conversation, it’s important to make the candidate comfortable - which is even more important when conducting an interview via video. A good way to do this is to start the interview with an informal approach. Maybe ask a question about something away from the interview itself. Some might find it ‘small talk’ but it’s amazing how a few simple questions such as  ‘How are you today?’ can make somebody feel less nervous.


‘You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason.’ – Epictetus. The power of listening can not be underestimated, make sure you give the candidate enough time to respond to your question and to share their experience to demonstrate competency. If you talk over them, or don’t let them finish an answer, it can be off putting to the candidate. 

Anticipate technical issues

If you experience a continued technical glitch during the interview like a weak connection or interference, politely mention it and reconnect to avoid the candidate missing any crucial information. Remember to test your equipment well in advance as well as immediately before the interview begins.

Sell the benefits of working for your organisation

As much as the job interview is an opportunity for the candidate to sell their skills and experience to the interviewer, it’s also your opportunity to elevate your brand and organisation to them. The chances are that the candidate may be interviewing for a number of roles so if you like them and want to offer them the role, then try to show the positives about working with you, your team and your organisation.

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