Video Interview Skills for Finance Managers – What You Need to Know

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Video interviewing started to impact the talent market over five years ago as the need for speed of recruitment and multiple stakeholder input increased. 

Then in March 2020, recruiting and interviewing started to change at a whole new level as video interviewing became a necessity rather than a nice thing to do. 

I was reading a post on Harvard Business Review last week that confirmed we are never the same after a crisis as before it hit. This is what it is to be human: we evolve. 

This is precisely what has happened in the recruitment process. Today both finance candidates and their hiring managers are using video to deliver the process, and it works incredibly well. 

You would think that endless Zoom meetings would have honed the interview skills of most managers; unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 

So, what are the key differences you need to know? 

 

Video Versus in Person Interviewing 

If you are in the process of introducing video interviews into the hiring process for your finance team, you might be wondering how this could impact your recruitment decisions.   

But what are the tangible differences? 

The truth is that using video interviews should not put you either at an advantage or a disadvantage when hiring – both have their benefits and their drawbacks. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages of video interviewing. 

 

Video Interview – Advantages  

  • You can screen more candidates without the need for in-person interviews, which cost time and money. 
  • Physically seeing a candidate and experiencing their body language is a better experience than a telephone interview. 
  • Increased flexibility of time – your working day and week is less disrupted, as is the candidate’s availability. 

Interviewing via video may not be a skill that you are familiar with – but with a better understanding of how video interviewing can be a success, you can start to reap the rewards.  

Video interviews are like in-person interviews regarding the style and what you will be asking. 

Let’s look closer at how to communicate effectively via video.  

For live video interviews (you can, of course, ask for pre-recorded videos from candidates, too), the critical difference is making sure you are fully prepared and that you have provided the candidate with everything they need to communicate well. 

This means checking that the candidate is familiar with and has all the necessary equipment and software they will need for the interview. You can provide candidates with a ‘How to’ email detailing what they will need and what to prepare for. 

This document includes how to access the platform, examples of work you would like to see, who the interview panel is, and how long you expect the interview to last.  

Getting all the technicalities taken care of beforehand means you can use the interview time to focus on getting to know the candidate.  

You can prepare a short script going over what the interview will entail and a few icebreaker questions to get the interview started to ‘smooth’ the conversation. Mention to the candidate if you will be making notes throughout so that they don’t view your head dipping as a negative sign that could derail them.  

 

Communicating on Video 

One criticism people have with video communication is that it is difficult to strike a genuine connection, but you can use a few techniques to help combat this.  

A primary difference that can be challenging is maintaining eye contact, primarily if you use an external camera. When you are speaking, investigate the camera directly, and when a candidate is replying, you can look at your screen and their responses and body language. 

When it comes to audio, use an external microphone and speak directly into whatever audio input you have. 

We communicate with our hands and bodies as much as we do with the things we say, and these signals can be lost on video. 

Because of this, it is a good idea to try to remember to emphasise your hand gestures and body movements slightly more than you would in a regular interview. The key is to not go over the top but to emphasise what you are saying so that it connects with the candidate. 

Without physical and interpersonal cues, candidates can sometimes speak for longer than they usually would in a video interview, and you will be wary of cutting them off mid-flow. 

Remember, even with the fastest internet connections, there will be a slight sound delay between you and your candidates. Let them finish what they are saying and pause for a second or so to make sure before you start to speak. 

Nodding is a great way to maintain your engagement level without the risk of interrupting. Nod while the candidate is speaking at points where you want to show you are listening without interrupting their flow.  

And remember – a genuine smile goes a long way to communicating friendliness and approachability, critical attributes which will put your candidate at ease and help enhance the conversation. 

 

Bringing The Interview to a Close 

Whether an interview is physical or virtual, it is imperative to maintain interview etiquette in the way you professionally bring the interview to a close. Depending on your role and the number of panellists, decide who will clarify that everyone has asked the questions they want. 

In the last part of the interview, invite questions from the candidate. If you are on a tight schedule, remember to steer and contain the conversation – video interviews can have a habit of drifting off topic towards the end.   

Close the interview by outlining what the candidate can expect to happen next and a timeframe, if possible. Stop the recording or end the meeting and remember to download the file if you are saving it to review later.  

Employers and recruiters must remember that the recent move to video interviewing represents a global shift toward digitisation. We live an increasing amount of our lives online, not to mention multinational corporations who have been recruiting remotely across continents for decades. 

Recruitment processes have changed as the world has moved online; video interviewing is a skill you will need to master in our new socially distanced world.  

Here at Rebus Recruitment, we can help you and your organisation manage the whole recruiting process. To discuss this further call us on 01282 930930. 

 

Thanks,  

Rachel  

 

About Rebus Financial Recruitment    

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from various organisations, including SMEs to large PLCs.    

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930. 

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