How we conduct business these past 11 months, and perhaps how we behave going forward radically changed. This includes the in-person interview. The current COVID-19 pandemic has everyone in lock down or modified work schedules: working from home, limiting or canceling non-essential business travel, conferences postponed or canceled.


This may be a temporary moratorium on gatherings, but it is likely that this will shift all business travel habits indefinitely. Especially if we can find ways to work around it, and still get the same or similar results. We are not ready for transporter technology, but we do have fairly robust video conferencing capabilities. Nothing beats a face to face interview, it is where you can pick up subtle cues about the person. In-person interviews also allow you to get a “feel” for what the person is like to be with. For now, it looks like we will all need to become proficient with video interviews – at least to help narrow down the field of contenders.


Here are a few tips on how to make the interview successful:
  • Make sure your video and audio work – test it out at least a day in advance.  You need to be sure that the video and audio quality is up to your standards, and that you can both send and receive good quality communications.
  • Review your background – what will the other person see besides you?  Uncovered windows often produce glare, and no one wants to see the junk pile you have in your office.Maybe you need to purchase a green screen and modify your background.
  • Elevate your laptop or computer – Desk level is rarely going to show your best angle, test out different heights
  • Attire – Avoid wearing black or white – both make you appear washed out on video communications
  • Beware of delays – just like mobile phones, there can be a delay in audio and visual transmission, and it can affect your reaction time and responses.  Listen for a pause, before speaking, and convey that you are listening.
  • Prepare – Just like an in-person interview, you want to prepare your questions and know what your goals are for the meeting.
  • Understand the Awkward moments – if you feel awkward, or an uncomfortable moment arises, say something and address it. Now is the time to show your “humanness” and it will make people more relaxed, and authentic. You are trying to figure out who this person truly is, and you need them to be as relaxed as possible. 
  • Relax and be yourself – You are looking for people who will fit into your organization, and who want to work with you – it is always best to be relaxed and authentic.
I often conduct video interviews for candidates I do not have a personal relationship with and that are located out of my current geography, as I have no plans to travel in the near term.  For all lead candidate’s this practice is always reinforced with an in-person interview, after all, it is very important for me to know who I am presenting to my clients.


I am curious to hear from you about the pros and cons of video interviews and how you are changing your business practices in our COVID-19 world.  Also feel free to call me if you have any other ideas to share, I would love to hear from you.