Video interviews are now a standard part of many employers graduate recruitment process with Tazio leading the way. So what are the best practices and top tips you should adopt to get the most from your video interview?

Tazio has nearly seven years experience creating and managing graduate video interviews for many of the best-known employers in the UK. Here's our blueprint for creating an excellent graduate video interview.

This article answers important questions like:

  • At what stage should you include a video interview?
  • What sort of questions should you ask candidates?
  • How do you make your interview engaging for candidates?
  • What can you expect to achieve by using a video interview?
  • How best to review candidate's interviews?

#1 - Before you start

Let's look at the question of what stage you should include your video interview. Personally, I'm a great believer in using video interviews early in the recruitment process. You may, however, think of video interviews as a replacement for telephone interviews.

For graduate recruitment campaigns, I think earlier is better, here's why. Let's be honest, on paper the majority of graduates look very similar - 3 A's or B's at A level, 2:1 degree and limited work experience. So what sets one candidate apart from the next?

This is where video interviews add real value. You're able to see and hear candidates tell you what motivates them, what they know about your graduate program and organisation. With a video interview, you will spot those candidates with the right motivation and enthusiasm to succeed in your graduate program.

Now you have a list of candidates you know are keen and appear to be a good culture fit. You'll probably find candidates, which had you looked solely at their CVs, you'd have passed on.

What type of questions you ask candidates will vary depending on the kind of role and your sector. However, in general, video interviews are best used to test soft skills, motivation and culture fit.

You're not testing their technical knowledge or team working ability; you're better doing that with psychometric or situational judgement tests.

Pro Tip: Ask candidates about their aspirations, what motivates them, what appeals to them about the role and your company. This will tell you if they are a good fit with your organisation.

#2 - Creating your interview

So you've worked out the big picture stuff, let us have a look at what you need to know about creating your video interview.

Firstly it's important you don't ask candidates too many video questions, around 5-6 is ideal. Ask too many questions, and you're likely to put candidates off, and they're more liable to drop out of the interview. Don't forget, unlike a live interview; candidates can just stop at any time.

Also, if you're asking lots of questions it's going to take you that much longer to review each candidate's interview.

One of the best ways to keep candidates engaged is to include videos of your people. Most video interview platforms allow you to include a video introduction and ask your questions using video clips.

The good news is you don't need a Hollywood budget to create an acceptable video introduction. These days any smartphone or tablet will record good quality video.

To make sure candidates understand what you're asking, make sure your questions are specific and detailed to avoid any ambiguity.

For example:

  • Tell us about your time at university? In your response you should discuss:
  • What appealed to you most about the course and university you chose?
  • What you've found hardest during your time at university?
  • What you enjoy most about university life?

Finally, to reduce the chance of candidates finding out your questions in advance from social media or websites like Glassdoor, randomise your questions.

Pro Tip: To make your interview more personal and engaging, get last year's graduates to record the video introduction and ask candidates questions. This helps candidates imagine themselves in the role.

#3 - Inviting candidates

To encourage candidates to complete your interview quickly, and give them a good impression of your brand, there are a couple of easy steps.

This may be the first time a candidate has been asked to do a video interview, so be sure to explain what it's all about. Where possible, I recommend you personalise email invites with the candidate's name.

Congratulate them on getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process. Explain why you want them to do a video interview and reassure them how easy the process is. All this helps to improve your completion rate.

Top Tip:  Attach a branded PDF candidate guide providing advice on how and when to complete your video interview.

Contact us if you'd like a free copy of our 'Guide to completing a video interview' template.

#4 - Reviewing interviews

Candidates have completed their interviews, now it's time to review them.

It's possible the people reviewing the video interviews were not involved with creating the questions. Furthermore, reviewing a candidate's answers is subjective.

To make sure your reviewers understand what you're looking for in the candidate's answers, add reviewer notes or create a scoring matrix.

Having some form of scoring guide helps ensure a consistent assessment of each candidate.

#5 - Give candidates feedback

One of the most common complaints from candidates is a lack of feedback during the recruitment process or following an interview.

In a perfect world, you'd email each candidate with personalised feedback. However, this isn't always practical. The next best thing is to create a series of email templates with relevant feedback for different types of candidate interviews.

For example, for those candidates with poor communications skills, you could suggest they get coaching to help them improve.

Giving candidates timely feedback is a great way to improve the candidate experience and create a positive impression of your brand.

Summary

Done well, video interviews are an extremely useful tool in the graduate recruiters tool box. By following our blueprint and pro tips, you'll create an excellent graduate video interview every time.

  • Nail down the details before you create your interview
  • Have candidates complete interviews early in your recruitment process
  • Use questions to test soft skills, motivation and culture fit
  • Ask around 5 to 6 video questions only
  • Make sure your questions are clear, detailed and easy to understand
  • Randomise questions - to avoid candidates preparing in advance
  • Include a recorded a video introduction
  • Have last year's grads ask the questions with recorded video clips
  • Send a personalised email to invite candidates
  • Include a candidate guide to completing a video interview
  • Add reviewer notes or create a scoring matrix to ensure consistency
  • Provide candidates with relevant and timely feedback
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