How to conduct an interview on Zoom
Even before the events of this year, video interviews were a really valuable and effective tool within the recruitment process. Commonly used as the first stage in screening a candidate, they were helpful in getting a feel for the person and how they’d fit into the company, but without having to go to the expense and effort of bringing them into the office straight away.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have had no choice but to carry out their entire recruitment process over video, in order to follow Coronavirus safety measures. Although this may have presented some hurdles at first, we’ve seen many benefits come out of the situation and many employers using the new circumstances to get more creative with their interviews.
Here at Heat, one of our favourite video call softwares is Zoom. It’s free to set up an account, and easy and intuitive to use, even for those not familiar or comfortable with video conferencing platforms. We’ve put together this guide to give you some tips on how to interview someone on Zoom, to help both you and the candidate get the most out of the process.
Conducting an interview through Zoom might be a new experience for both you and the candidate, so it’s essential you prepare in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The most important thing to remember when interviewing someone on Zoom is to just treat it as a normal interview, as if the candidate is sitting across the desk from you. None of the usual standards or practices should be ignored – if anything, extra care should be taken to ensure the video interview goes smoothly.
Just like you would with a physical interview, find a quiet, well-lit location where you won’t be interrupted. Let your colleagues know that you’ll be holding a video interview so they know not to disturb you.
Take a few minutes to make sure the space you’ve chosen is practical – there’s no glare on the screen, no traffic noises from outside etc. Remember that the candidate will be assessing you and your business too, so give a good impression by ensuring your immediate surroundings are clean and tidy.
When on Zoom, it can be easy to forget that you’re on camera and get distracted by your phone or other things in the room. The candidate you’re interviewing is likely to be feeling nervous, so make sure you give them your full attention and really listen to what they’re saying.
Maintain eye contact when speaking and listening, and try not to shift about in your chair too much. If you’ve brought along their CV or any other useful documents, try not to look down at them too much.
Conducting an interview over Zoom creates a barrier between you and the candidate that can sometimes lead to some awkwardness. To let you both get comfortable, spend a few minutes at the beginning making small talk instead of diving straight into the questions.
You could also give some background on yourself and your role within the company to give the candidate some time to relax and settle into the interview. Since they won’t be getting a feel for your office and its atmosphere, you could also talk about your company culture and what your employees love about it.