Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Is the Video Interview Like a First Date?

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding, and your stomach is doing back flips. Quick question: is this a first date or a first interview? The truth is, your candidate might be just as nervous to talk to you in the video interview as they would be meeting their potential soulmate.

In the month of February, thanks to Valentine’s Day, it feels like love is all around us. Mostly this is because every store is putting out a display of hearts, chocolates, and cupids pointing their arrows in your direction. Finding a job seeker you love, however, is not exactly as easy as buying a bouquet of flowers for that special someone.

When it comes to using video interview technology to connect with the top tier job seekers you need, here are some pointers you can learn from a good first date:

Be Prompt
A first date is going to set the tone of your future relationship, just like a video interview will set the tone of your work relationship. You want to show the other person you hold them in high esteem and have plenty of respect for their time.

You might be busy putting out a million fires around your office, but the scheduled interview time is the moment to put all that aside to connect with the job seeker. Just like you wouldn’t show up to a first date an hour late and expect to impress your soulmate, don’t make your job seeker memorize the magazines in the waiting room.

Practice Active Listening
Here’s a scenario to consider: You’ve gotten all dressed to the nines for a big date. But instead of listening to what you’re saying, your date is on the phone answering emails and texting. Now answer: Is this person getting a second date? Most likely the answer is no and you might have just missed out on your soulmate.

Take this dating lesson to heart when it comes to connecting with a top-tier job seeker in the video interview. While the candidate is speaking is not the time to respond to an email or just finish up a little bit of work. Just because you’re connecting in a video interview instead of an in-person sit down doesn’t mean the job seeker won’t notice when they don’t have your full attention.

By practicing active listening, you’re also more likely to figure out whether the candidate is right for the position or the company culture. After all, the video interview is the space where you’re supposed to figure out if this person could easily fit into your company and perform important job functions.

Similarly, a first date is the venue to determine whether or not you can see yourself with the person in the future. For both, active listening is essential to see if the person across from you is right for the job.

Know What You’re Looking For
Do you favor the strong, silent type or are you looking for someone with a great sense of humor? When it comes time to evaluate your date, it’s important you know what criteria you’re looking for in your ideal mate. Not every date will tell you everything you need to know, but you should know the broad outlines of what you’re looking for.

Just as important as active listening, it’s essential to know what skills and qualifications are needed to excel in the job. Does the job need someone who is self-directed or are you looking for a people person? Do you need someone who can code or someone who can write?

Depending on the job, the qualifications of what makes a good or bad hire will change dramatically. Not everyone can be your soulmate and not everyone will be right for the job.
Know what you’re looking for before you set out on a hiring journey — or a date.

When it comes to dating and hiring, the two have more in common than you might think. If you practice active listening, respect the other person’s time, and know what you’re looking for you’ll be more likely to find the person just right for you…or your open position.

How is finding your soulmate like finding your perfect hire? Share in the comments!

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Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).