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Video meetings and interviews – Tips and Tricks!

There’s no doubt that a video interview has become an acceptable step in the hiring process. It has proven positive results, as well as delivering tangible time and cost savings for all involved. So whilst we’re anticipating a return to Real Life interviews, candidates are advised to master the virtual interviews – they’re here to stay.

For candidates preparing for TZ (Teams/Zoom) interviewing, we’re sharing some insiders’ tips to ensure the unfamiliar becomes familiar and less unnerving.

Here’s a pocket guide to online interviews and meetings.

The key is preparation.

AS ALWAYS: Do your research on the company, gather information on its history, culture, key employees and recent performance. Prepare 2-3 questions you can ask at the end of the interview. Is it about to embark on major growth and expansion? What is their policy regarding flexible working arrangements? This will demonstrate your interest in the job and that you have done your due diligence.

Before the interview identify the activities and accomplishments in your background that would demonstrate you are the most qualified candidate for the position.

SET UP: Establish a space where you are facing an open window or light. Ideally, that means your computer screen sits between you and the source of light. In this way your face will be well lit and you won’t be a dark shape against a strong backdrop of light.

Make sure your are seated, or standing in such a way that your face is well centred on the screen and your screen isn’t pointing up to the ceiling, but rather projects a line of sight parallel with the floor.

As with all meetings maintaining eye contact is essential to ensure you are engaging with your audience and especially if this a job interview. Nothing is more distracting than to be constantly looking down at your notes. One solution is to place post it notes around the perimeter of your screen or immediately behind it. These should be key points not a script; if you have done your homework these act as prompts.

DRESS: Dress appropriately for the role as if you were going to a physical interview and check the background behind you.

LISTEN: Listen carefully to the questions, you want to be able to address questions succinctly and clearly; if it is not clear, ask for clarification to ensure you are providing the information required. Nothing is more off putting than a rambling answer. If it takes you more than two minutes, you have probably gone off script!

THE MUTE BUTTON: Don’t panic, we all do it, but make sure you ask people to repeat themselves if you didn’t hear them, or be comfortable to repeat yourself if you forgot to unmute or you have a poor connection.

FOLLOW UP: On completing the interview email your thanks and ongoing interest in the position; this will most likely ensure you stand out from other candidates.

Finally and most importantly, breathe!

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Posted in Slade Executive

Just because we have always done it this way does not mean…

Consider this: it’s estimated that US companies with 100 employees spend an average downtime of 17 hours per week clarifying communication, costing approx. USD$528,443 [1]. Communication is vital in all functions of a business, but even more so in HR, OHS and training. The latest trend in team communications seems so obvious: a mobile video platform for internal communications.

If you’re an HR, OHS, training or hiring manager, you’re probably exceedingly familiar with the time consuming repetitive tasks involved in the administration of staff inductions, training, safety and wellbeing, as well as building organisational culture.

And when you think that the written or spoken word is only half as effective as personal presentations, why hasn’t anyone else thought about a short sharp video to relay key organisational message?

Video is an easy way for employees to not only communicate verbally, but capture language and messages through body language, voice tone, gestures and facial expressions. Video helps employees comprehend and retain information for longer while simultaneously video boosts engagement. an innovative leader in this new space, outlined three obvious applications for mobile video platforms in the HR space.

  1. New Hire Packs and Induction
    Imagine this, you’ve created a short video explaining to your new employee where to park their car, how much parking costs, where to collect their security key, where the fire escapes are, and who the wardens are. You attach the legal employment documentation forms, add a first-day feedback questionnaire and SMS and email it directly to them the prior day to start with the name of their line manager and start time. An automated process for all new team members creates a personal touch that is engaging, welcoming and increases the brand’s professionalism and image. Another benefit is you save time, paper and money by streamlining this repetitive task.
  2. Training and Development
    How hard is it to schedule a training session that accommodates busy schedules, multiple time zones and shiftwork rosters? Training and development managers may not realise that online video training modules can be distributed via SMS or email. This ensures the whole team have access to the training regardless of their physical location and can catch up and learn at a time that suits them, putting less strain on their productivity. Another positive is that online training videos provide a consistent message reducing the variation in the information taught. Video and direct distribution methods are also an effective way to instil messages to the wider team throughout the year that may have been relayed during an executive offsite or weekend training and development seminar.
  3. Video Job Ads
    Used appropriately, video can be an effective recruitment tool. As an advertising medium, it engages multiple senses and can be positively influential. Well produced video ads report higher applicant response rates. Internal data from US-based CareerBuilder reveals employers “receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings” [2]. Video interviewing has been used successfully for many years, particularly to facilitate face-to-face style meetings with candidates in remote locations.

In recent years Slade Group has successfully used short form video to present a candidate’s pitch, which many of our clients appreciate for initial candidate screening.

Tell us about your world @work and innovative new video communications.



[1] 360 degrees

[2] Peak Posting Performance: Best practices for writing a better job posting, Career Builder

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Posted in Slade Executive, The world @work