The number of companies undertaking video interviews for prospective hires increased by 67% in the last four weeks, as firms swapped face-to-face interviews for remote digital solutions.

The findings come from staffing business Walters People, who specialise in fast-paced, transactional hires across London, Milton Keynes, The Midlands, and the North West.

  • 67% increase in video job interviews
  • 150% increase in no. of candidates wanting to ‘digitalise’ CV with video
  • 40% increase in employers using online testing platform
  • No. of job offers made remotely triples – to 33%
    Director of Walters People London, Janine Blacksley comments:

“In our area of fast-paced recruitment, video interviews have been growing in popularity generally. But in the last four weeks, the surge in demand for our specialist remote-interview tools was unprecedented.

“Companies who were keen not to lose top talent by dragging out the recruitment process were quick to turn to digital solutions, and what’s more we saw more hires made remotely than we ever have done.”

Of the interviews conducted via the Walters People ‘live meeting rooms’ tool, a third of these went on to make an offer to the candidate, having not yet met them face-to-face – more than triple the average rate of offers made via remote interviews (10%).

Janine Blacksley, adds: “In an age where so much information can be at our fingertips, allowing for just as good decisions or judgements to take place, it is positive to see that more job offers being made in a convenient manner to both the employer and employee.

“Gone are the days of the 3-stage interview process, on-site psychometric tests, and assessment centres. In anticipation of this, Walters People has been investing heavily in its technology and innovation to allow its end-to-end service to be completely remote and digitalised.”

Increase in end-to-end remote hiring from Walters People: (data compared to 4 weeks prior)

  • Digital Shortlist: Despite a -15% drop in face-to-face client meetings, Walters People were able to respond to electronic briefs from employers. By utilising its industry leading analyst team, candidate shortlists for contract roles have continued to be delivered within 24hrs, and shortlists for permanent roles with 48hrs.
  • Video CV: There has been a +150% increase in the number of candidates willing to ‘digitalise’ their CV and send-through an initial video describing their experience and skills. On average, candidates who submit a video along with their CV are 40% more likely to be shortlisted for an interview by a prospective employer.
  • Testing Platform: There has been a +40% increase from companies wishing to swap their on-site assessment centres for the Walters People online testing platform - which produces an easy-to-read report instantly of a candidate’s capabilities.
  • Live Meeting Rooms: There has been a +67% increase in companies asking Walters People to facilitate a remote ‘live interview’ between their hiring team and the candidate. A full transcript is provided after each interview by Walters People in order to enable informed decision-making.
  • Digital registration: A completely digital registration process has prevented the need for candidates to make multiple trips to the recruitment office or future employer. In fact, the digital registration process is said to save a combined 10+hours of the employer, employee and recruiters time.  

Janine Blacksley gives his top tips on how to master your video interview:

  1. Dress for success - Dressing in the same way as you would a face-to-face interview will put you in the right frame of mind for your interview, plus it will negate any embarrassment if you need to move mid-interview. Dark colours are typically best, and avoid stark white as well as overly busy patterns. High gloss lips and glittery jewellery can also be distracting.
  2. Remain engaged with your interviewer - Looking into the camera, rather than your image on the screen will help you look as engaged as possible, giving the impression that you are looking into the interviewer’s eyes. While you’ll want to keep your posture straight, leaning forward toward the camera slightly can increase eye contact and allow the interviewer better read your facial expressions.
  3. Consider the setting for your interview - Make sure your interview space is distraction free and mirrors a business setting, keeping to a blank or neutral background. Before you start, test the angle of your lighting to avoid being shrouded in shadow and to make sure it’s flattering on your skin tone.
  4. Be careful reading from notes - Notes can be particularly handy in a Skype interview, but if you use them, you’ll need to make sure your reference to them is extremely subtle. Reading notes or sounding too rehearsed will disrupt the natural flow of conversation, making you look under-prepared.
  5. Anticipate technical issues - If you experience a technical glitch like a weak connection or interference, always ask the interviewer to repeat the question. If the problem continues, politely mention it and reconnect to avoid missing any crucial information. Monitoring the speed and tone of your speech will also prepare you for any delays in communication, while making acknowledgement sounds like ‘hmm’ or ‘yes’ will reassure the interviewer that you can hear them. Remember to test your equipment well in advance as well as immediately before the interview begins.
  6. Finish on the right note - As with any face-to-face interview, you’ll need to find the opportunity to summarise your main points as well as to thank the interviewer for his or her time, while making sure you confirm any next steps.

Other things to consider:

  • Your username – think about what kind of first impression this will create. Does it position you as a professional?
  • Body language – centring yourself a medium distance away from the camera, keeping the upper halves of your arms showing as well as allowing for some free space above your head will allow the interviewer to best read your body language.
  • Interruptions – inform those around you of the interview so you are not disturbed.
  • Documents – have a printed version of your CV handy as well as any other necessary documentation. Keeping your email account open is also a good idea in case you need to share any documents with your interviewer.
  • Headphones – can be typically more reliable than speakers and are far less likely to create feedback. If you use them, make sure they are subtle in appearance so as to not distract the interviewer.

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