Candidates aren’t looking for just “any old” candidate experience. The majority are searching for companies that initiate personal connections right from the start of the hiring process.
In fact, 61 percent of job seekers say meeting authentic and genuine people during the interview process is important to developing a feeling of positive connection or camaraderie, according to a survey by Indeed.
Unfortunately, nearly one-third of respondents in the same survey admitted their most recent experiences with interviewing were negative.
In a world driven by the long arm of technology, making human connections is more important than ever. The good news is, tech is becoming increasingly personal.
Here’s how these experts use live video interviews to create a next-level connection to better engage candidates:
1. Prove you’re invested by finding common ground
One of my most memorable live video interviews was with a young lady who was interviewing for a web developer position. I checked out her social media, including Facebook and Instagram. Most of her posts were video-based. In those posts, she incorporated aspects of both her personal life and showcased the progress of various work projects.
During the live interview, I pointed to a specific project of hers I saw on Instagram and told her how impressed I was. She was surprised I had taken the time to check out her work. From then on I could see her relax, talk candidly, and answer my questions so naturally, a stark difference from how tense she looked at the start of the interview.
The ability to form a common ground and show the candidate that I am human and they could talk to me freely is what made this interview successful.
2. Reveal information only employees know
We recently hired a remote writer for Chanty. During the final round of the hiring process, we included a video interview. We discussed what our company does and I revealed information only our employees know.
Then, we talked about how this person can fit into our company and their specific duties. We wanted this candidate to understand what it’s like to work, communicate with, and have fun at our company.
This type of personal connection is only established when you’re genuine and yourself with candidates — they can sense it when you’re not.
3. Establish a real sense of who candidates are
We recently hired a CFO. In my live video interview with him, I asked how his previous team members would describe him. He answered in great detail about how he was a supportive manager. Then, at the end, he said, in the dryest possible tone, “and I think they would say I’m funny.”
I started laughing on the spot. The delivery of that line would not have succeeded on a phone call because I couldn’t have seen his smile when I started laughing. However, in a video interview, it landed perfectly and definitely created a personal connection. I didn’t worry for even a second that our interaction was being misunderstood by either party. It also gave me an authentic look at his people-management style.
Adrienne Cooper, Chief People Officer and HR Director at FitSmallBusiness.com
4. Build familiarity by opening up first
Guide candidates to a familiar place at the start of the conversation. I like to start by saying, “I like to start our conversation with a brief introduction of myself, how I came to work here, and why I am the person you are speaking to at this stage in the interview. Then I’d like to hear a little bit more about you, your interest in this role and our company.”
Be careful not to get too personal, though. For example, commenting on clothes, hair, the decor of the place they are in, and asking their location is inappropriate.
5. Connect without disrupting schedules
I quickly realized video interviews opened us up to a whole new pool of candidates. Many people can’t afford to travel across the country for a job interview.
We have a current team member, for example, who was traveling around the country during his interviews with us. He worked for a major retailer and was traveling to remote locations, like Maine and Oregon.
Over six weeks, we conducted three separate video interviews. During each video interview, he found a cafe or restaurant with strong internet so we didn’t experience lagging issues. My team and I were so impressed with the effort he put in that, when he showed up for his final in-person interview, we hired him almost on the spot.