Nine tips for conducting video interviews


6 Minute read

While Deployed will take a lot of the effort out of looking for the perfect hire, there will be a point at which you will need to step directly into the hiring process. This is the time where you will conduct an interview with the top candidates we have selected for you.

While this could be a phone interview, a much more effective way will be to conduct the interview via a video calling service, with Skype being the most popular choice.

There is plenty of advice out there for job-seekers who want to ace their video interview. As the interviewer, it is assumed you have the easiest job – all you need is the candidate’s CV, a list of questions, and a webcam, right? However, there are some differences and things to keep in mind when conducting a video interview, especially one with someone overseas. So here are nine tips to help you manage the process and get the best results.

1. Be patient with technical errors
They say to err is human, but to really muck things up you need a computer. This is multiplied in an interview situation, where the candidate is nervous and you are busy and need to have the interview done in a limited time. If the candidate is interviewing from their own home in the Philippines, be aware their internet connection can be very patchy. We can help by bringing the candidate into our office to do the interview from there. But if there are problems with the connection, you may like to use them to your advantage by seeing how the candidate copes under pressure.

2. Be prepared to go audio-only or to rearrange
A follow-up to the previous tip, make sure that you have the flexibility to transfer the interview to audio-only through your video calling software, or even to switch to a telephone call. While you do miss having the chance to evaluate the candidate’s body language, it is worth it to get the interview done. If you can’t do that, or you think technical glitches have used up too much time for you to conduct a worthwhile interview, don’t hesitate to rearrange for a later time so you have the ability to properly assess the candidate.

3. If you are using a personal account, be aware of your account name
It is quite basic, but also very easy to overlook – if you are using your personal Skype account, make sure your account name is professional. While the risqué in-joke you use with your friends or the cute nickname your partner gave you will certainly make an impression – it is probably not the one you want to make on a potential employee. At the same time, look at the candidate’s account name – they should also take into account that this is a professional interview and be using something appropriate. If they are not, you can rightly have reservations about the candidate’s preparation and level of professionalism.

4. Use the interview as a way of showing your company’s culture
It is classic for an interviewee to overdress for an interview – they want to make sure to give their best impression. But that does not mean you have to dress up as well. If your business is more laid-back than conservative, make sure you communicate this in the interview. Even though they will be outsourced, if you hire the candidate they will be part of your company culture. The interview may be their only chance to see what that culture is like, so ensure that you not only talk about your company culture, you show it as well.

5. Double-check the time
Time zones can trip up even the most conscientious interviewer. Make sure you know the time the interview is taking place, both in your country and in the Philippines, and be careful to factor in daylight savings in the summer.

6. Get your surroundings right
An interview is a chance for a candidate to get an idea about you and your company as well as the other way around. Make sure you present yourself in a good light – literally. Enough lighting and a neutral background is the best way to ensure you can be seen properly. Use a good-quality microphone to minimise echoes and obscured words. If you decide to do the interview in your office, which can be a good way of showing your culture, make sure that background noise isn’t going to be picked up. On the subject of noise – be sure to switch your computer and phone notifications to silent. You don’t need beeps, buzzes, and dings punctuating your questions or the candidate’s answers.

7. Make eye contact
It is not impossible to make eye contact during a video interview; it is just a matter of where you look. Looking at the picture of the candidate on the screen (or your own picture) will show up on the other screen as you looking slightly away. Instead look into your webcam while you’re asking questions – this results in you looking straight out from the other screen. You can check out the candidate when they’re answering.

8. Be aware of cultural differences when you are interviewing
What is appropriate behaviour in an interview or when dealing with someone who could be your boss is culturally influenced. Many Filipinos are softly-spoken and taught to be deferential when speaking to professional superiors. What can be interpreted as lack of confidence is actually the candidate being respectful. In the same vein, Filipinos are often very conflict averse, so they will tend to agree with your statements, even if you are looking for someone who can challenge you. You may need to alter your questions to be able to adequately gauge the candidate’s qualities.

9. Try recording the interview
There are a number of plugins to Skype which will record your call, and other video calling software has the same capacity. By recording the interview you can review it with your colleagues afterwards, and it can save you from focusing half your attention on taking notes. If you’re unsure of how to set your video calling software up to record, your Deployed advisor will be able to help.

Interviewing candidates is an important part of the outsourcing process. It is where you are able to exercise control over who works for your company, offshore and locally. By using the advice in this article, you give your outsourcing project the best chance of bringing the perfect candidate on board, with less frustration to you.

Outsourcing with Deployed is easy – you don’t have to spend huge amounts of time recruiting. If you’re interested in getting started, contact us at

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