According to a survey conducted by Gartner, during the pandemic, 86 per cent of HR leaders employed virtual technology, including video interviews, to recruit candidates. However, a recent HirePro survey found that 41 per cent of students do not own business laptops to use in case they are selected via campus recruitment and their employer requires them to work remotely.
Often, both interviewers and candidates may be unable to access desktop computers or laptops. Mobile phones are small, convenient, affordable and ubiquitous devices that can be used to conduct video interviews — both synchronous or live and asynchronous or pre-recorded. Though smartphones and mobile tablets offer substantial functionality, they are different from in-person face-to-face interviews and video interviews conducted on desktop computers or laptops.
Conducting mobile video interviews need not be hassle-ridden for recruiters and hiring managers. Here are some useful tips to make it a streamlined and smooth experience.
- Confirm the scheduled time
When done right, mobile video interviews can be as effective as in-person interviews. Confirm the date and time of the interview well in advance and reschedule, if required. As you would for onsite interviews, communicate your expectations beforehand so that the candidates are well-prepared and comfortable during the interview. You wouldn’t want to spend precious time before the interview in a tussle with technology or frantically giving last-minute directions to candidates.
Be aware that candidates may not be familiar with your mobile video interview software. Provide them with clear instructions on what they will need to join the interview, such as the mobile video interview software or application being used, username and password, required Internet speed and a quiet space. This information should be provided to them at least three business days ahead of the interview. Additionally, request the interviewee to show up a few minutes early to test his/her equipment and ensure that everything is in order.
- Choose the right mobile video interview software
Generic or standalone video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams make it difficult to track candidates. Choose the right mobile video interview tool to meet your recruitment needs. For example, a tool that integrates with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will allow you to save every mobile video interview so it can be easily accessed, tracked and reviewed by any of your team members.
HirePro’s all-in-one interview platform integrates with your ATS, allowing you to schedule, conduct and record mobile video interviews, and collect feedback digitally, at Internet bandwidths as low as 128kbps. With features such as AI-powered identity verification and fraud-detection technology, HirePro’s interview platform enables you to conduct mobile video interviews in both live interactive and asynchronous formats. Explore HirePro to know how you can make interviews hassle-free and frictionless to assess and onboard top-notch talent for your organisation.
- Structure the mobile video interview
Mobile phones have small screens. They may not give the interview the gravitas of an onsite one. Structuring the interview as meticulously as you would an in-person one, will elevate the interview experience. Put a formal plan together, with inputs from your hiring team. The plan could include — providing the candidates with a detailed instructional guide on the mobile video interview process, asking them to submit any additional work samples or requesting them to send a completed pre-employment test. Have a backup plan in place, considering the possibility of the Internet connection at either end becoming patchy or failing completely.
The temptation to keep a mobile video interview casual to the point of not being able to gather any useful insight on the candidate may be high. Hence, it is essential to prepare a set of questions just as you would for an in-person interview. There may be unforeseen interruptions during mobile video interviews. Interview scorecards can be used to remain unbiased in your evaluations. Make sure you assess candidates based on the merit of their responses.
- Prepare your mobile device and test your equipment
How frustrating would it be to receive back-to-back calls from your colleague when you are deeply engrossed in questioning a candidate? Worse, if your phone runs out of battery just as you are about to make an important point. Prepping your mobile phone prior to the interview and testing all the equipment in advance can save you a lot of trouble and embarrassment, and help prevent any interview hiccups. Log on early to ensure that everything is in working condition.
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged on the day of the interview. Close any necessary tabs that may slow down your phone. Inform potential callers about your unavailability, put your phone on do not disturb mode or silent mode, and mute notifications so you can give undivided attention to the candidates.
Wipe your phone camera lens to remove any smudges. Adjust your camera settings such that your image isn’t too bright or too dark. Sit facing a light source for a glare-free and shadow-free clear image.
Use microphone-enabled headphones instead of in-built phone speakers. Position the microphone closer to your mouth to get better sound quality and reduce background noise and echo. Do a microphone test to assess voice clarity and ascertain the absence of any static.
Decide whether you will be using your mobile data, Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. For an uninterrupted session, choose ethernet cables, which are generally faster than Wi-fi and mobile data. Conduct a speed test to check whether the bandwidth of your Internet connection meets the requirements of the mobile video interview software.
Mobile Video Interview Software
Install your mobile video interview software and create your profile well ahead of the interview date. Then, familiarise yourself to get comfortable with the software before conducting the interview. Learn how to set up video and audio functions, mute yourself, share your screen and use chat during the interview. Test the software by holding trial interviews with team members. Learn how to troubleshoot common issues that may crop up.
- Choose the best location and make arrangements for hands-free mobile video interviewing
A dimly lit location with your neighbour’s dog barking in the background doesn’t make for professional mobile video interviewing. Though the mobile phone screen is small, your environment will be visible and audible to the candidates. Choose a mobile video interview spot that is quiet, well-lit and distraction-free. Check to see that there is a strong signal or Wi-Fi connection. Use a professional virtual background in case your physical one is cluttered and distracting. Remove any background noise and close the door to your interview spot to make the session as noise-free as possible.
Imagine holding your phone for over an hour continuously while conducting multiple mobile video interviews. In reality, after a few minutes into the first one, your hand will begin to feel numb. Besides, holding the phone at a strange angle and moving or shaking it during the course of the interview can make it harder for the candidate to focus. A mobile video interview, like an in-person interview, can last anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Use a tripod, clamp, suction mount or a stack of books to adjust the distance, stabilise your phone and keep the camera steady. Set the angle of your phone to be in level with your face or tilted slightly downward, towards your face. Test the hands-free set-up using the selfie mode.
- Appear professional and personable, and listen actively
Wearing your most comfortable T-shirt and slouching on a couch is sure to take away the seriousness of the mobile video interview. Dress professionally and be friendly and respectful throughout the interview to give the candidates a sense of your organisation’s culture. Sit up straight, smile and make eye contact. Non-verbal cues are an important part of communication. Be sure to exhibit approachable body language to make the candidates feel at ease.
There is a possibility of trailing off while listening to a candidate talking in meandering loops about something off-topic. Tuning out for any reason does not augur well for the outcome of the interview. Be an active listener throughout the mobile video interview. Follow-up with questions and steer the conversation in the right direction, when necessary, to make it more fruitful
- Establish a feedback process and take notes
Even though you can save recordings of mobile video interviews and some platforms provide transcripts of the meetings, recalling important points and nuances, months later, can be difficult. Take quick notes on relevant information such as a candidate’s most impressive work experience, unique personality traits or salary expectations. Your notes will help you evaluate whether he/she is the right fit for your organisation. Besides, you can share the notes with relevant stakeholders. Inform the candidates that you will be taking notes during the interview. They will then not get distracted when you break eye contact to look at your notepad.
Imagine one of the candidates interviewed by you not hearing you throughout the mobile video interview but nodding in agreement in order to be polite. Without an effective feedback process, it will be tough to gauge the interview experience of the candidate. Get feedback from candidates after the interview, in the form of a simple survey. Ask about their overall interview experience, whether the software worked well for them and whether they have any suggestions for improving the process. Use this information to enhance the mobile video interview experience for future interviews.
Hiring managers and recruiters are proactively adding mobile video interviews to their recruitment kitty, with the aim of making interviews highly accessible and convenient for candidates. It won’t be long before smartphones and mobile tablets overtake laptops and desktop computers to become the devices of choice for cost-effective and efficient video interviews.