Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

5 Ways To Avoid A Digital Interview Disaster

Finding peace and quiet in preparation for a digital interview is sometimes easier said than done. Professor Robert Kelly can attest to this fact. He was mid-interview, live on the BBC, when his two children burst through the office door.

Though the unexpected appearance was adorable, it certainly wasn’t what Professor Kelly had in mind when delivering his thoughts on a serious topic involving South Korean politics.

While he recovered well, he’ll likely make the necessary preparations to prevent another pint-sized interruption in his next interview.

If your job seekers have a digital interview coming up, here are some tips you can offer to help them avoid a similar situation:

Keep everyone informed

Whether they live with a spouse and kids or housemates, have your candidates inform everyone who shares their space that they’ll be recording a digital interview for a job opening.

This will help deter distractions in the form of loud TVs, noisy phone calls, and other sounds that can detract from strong responses. These distractions make the individual seem unprofessional during their digital interview.

Head to a quiet space

Before your candidate begins their digital interview, instruct them to consider which room in their home would give them the best chance at solitude.

Is their office next to the room where their housemate keeps her drum set? If so, perhaps it’s best to choose an alternative location.

What are the chances that if they get situated in the kitchen, their children will storm in looking for a snack? If this is the case, encourage them to head to a space with a door so they can avoid unexpected interruptions.

Alternatively, invite your candidates to your office to perform their digital interview. This ensures a space free of distraction. It also allows you to guide them during one-way digital interviews.

Lock doors before an interview

As we saw with Professor Kelly’s interview, a closed door doesn’t necessarily guarantee a digital interview free of interruptions — particularly when little ones are involved.

When candidates select their interview location, have them check for working locks. A locked door will help protect against mid-thought interruptions. This is especially important if they’ll be taking part in a live digital interview.

Perform a practice interview

Before they sit down to record their interview, your candidate should take the time to do a practice session. This gets them comfortable with the interview environment and format before the big day.  

Perhaps the window in their office allows too much light in, making it difficult to see their face. Or maybe the air conditioning unit creates too much of a commotion. If they know this in advance, they can move to a more appropriate location and deliver a digital interview with superior audio and video quality.

Better yet, practice with your candidate to help coach them and guide their responses to interview questions in preparation for the actual digital interview.

Be prepared to improvise

No matter how much pre-interview preparation you and your candidate do, something unexpected might pop up. The phone may start ringing. Their internet connection might go down. A neighbor may decide it’s the perfect time to mow his lawn.

While these situations are frustrating, groom the candidate to improvise and move on. Have them correct the issue. They can make a joke if it’s appropriate for the situation. If they’re pre-recording their responses, they can start the recording again.

If anything, this unscheduled interruption shows employers how quickly the candidate can think on their feet and adapt.

Sure, Professor Kelly’s mid-interview interruption made him an internet sensation. But that’s not the ideal setup for a digital interview. Candidates need a quiet room with good audio and video quality. This allows them to showcase their professionalism and potential to your clients.

By communicating this need to others, testing out the conditions in advance, and knowing how to improvise when necessary, your candidates can deliver a digital interview that’s sure to impress.

Get more tips to help your candidates shine in a digital interview! Check out our staffing resources!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.