In the first week of lockdown we sent hints to candidates on how to prepare for and behave in video interviews.
At the end of the second week we sent more detailed recommendations about how to conduct video interviews, with 2, 3 or more participants.
After 3-4 weeks of lockdown I have become quite humble with regard to video interviews and presentations. And I have discovered a lot of interesting learning points as a muted and non-active participant of these video presentations. The observation starts with technicalities, but my purpose is a different one…
You might have the very best Videoconferencing-software, but it does not help if your client is using a different one. Both the candidate and the consultant have to adapt to the client’s one. Use the app version of the tool, rather than the web access to the video-call, otherwise you may see and hear different things than the other participants.
Whenever the clients allows it, ask to be present as moderator/facilitator at the start or at least as a silent and invisible participant. All my client interviewers asked me for feedback on their own performance during the interview: Am I asking comprehensive questions? Did I forget anything? How can I keep eye-contact with the interviewee while making notes?
This forces me to stay attentive on the interview and follow not only questions and replies, but as well reactions and body-language of all involved participants. I started to write down comments and unanswered questions to myself or, if needed, into the „comments“ of the video, giving the participants the possibility to react. In the course of the interview, they seem to forget my presence, but are calling me „in“ at the end of the interview for the conclusion.
Here are my key learning points from the experience:
- Clients appreciate our presence. Even those who usually like to interview on their own
- If I am patient and attentive, I perceive the outcome of the interview before it ends. I just need to put it into the right words with the client, which is appreciated. If the candidate was not the right fit, it gives me the opportunity to adjust immediately.
- Usually, we meet a candidate when we are interviewing him/her and sometimes when we participate in a presentation. Taking part in 3 or more interview rounds, we can observe very different interactions of the candidate with several people: I do read my written evaluations of candidates with a more critical eye since being involved in these video-interviews
- Candidates do note my virtual presence as well. Very seldom I am being called „the agency“ in front of the client. They are eager to get feedback on their performance on the interview as well
- Both clients and candidates learn a lot during interviews: they are usually doing better with every interview, which has to be taken into account while facilitating the evaluation and choice of the candidate, but also while managing the candidates’ motivation during the process
As a matter of fact, it is very time consuming. Without Covid-19, it would just not happen.
And: in all our ongoing projects, there was at least one face-to-face meeting before the recruitment decision.
But these days, I recommend you to try it and you will learn a lot about how advanced you are yourself in the „art and science“ of Executive search.