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Technology is moving forward every day. It wasn’t long ago that smartphones were a new phenomenon, and now candidates are reorganizing their resumes and even interviewing from these devices. Due to the constant march of innovation, hiring managers and recruiters are embracing new ways to find and source candidates. One of these ways is through the use of online video interviewing. Video interviews can allow companies to save time and money, by cutting down on the process and cutting out travel.

A concern with video interviews, however, is the perceived lack of a personal connection between the candidate and the interviewer. In a recent article published here on Interviewing.com, the author spoke of the Kardashian effect on recruiting. The Kardashian effect, named after the reality show stars, refers to when viewers of the show begin to judge their lives based on the heightened reality they see on their screens.

In the interview process, this means candidates who feel depersonalized or discouraged during the interview process will see it as a symptom of the larger organization.

Even with 8.2 percent unemployment, the war for talent is still raging. Your company can’t afford to lose out on talented hires because they feel disengaged in a video interview. Thankfully, there are some simple and effective ways to keep candidates feeling valued as human beings while still embracing new technology.

Here’s how to stay personal even while on the other side of the computer:

Maintain eye contact

In a video interview, maintaining eye contact is vitally important. Think of eye contact as the handshake of video interviews. Just like hiring managers often use handshakes to assess candidates’ confidence, eye contact can be used to assess interest.

If your candidate is looking everywhere but at you, this is not going to register positively. This works double for hiring managers interviewing candidates.

There are probably a million things you need to be doing at this moment, but you have an interview and the candidate deserves attention. Close your email, put away your smartphone, and concentrate on what your candidate is saying.

Nothing will leave a worst impression in a video interview than wandering eyes. If you don’t pay attention, another company is likely to swoop in and steal your talent.

Don’t Forget Small Talk

It’s easy in a video interview to get right down to business. This, however, would be a mistake. The small talk that usually precedes an in-person interview is vital for getting to know more about the candidate in a relaxed atmosphere. This can sometimes tell you more about a candidate’s personality than the formal interview setting allows.

It’s important to assess personality to ensure corporate fit. In a similar way, candidates rely on this small talk to form connections with you and the company. If you chat a bit during your interview on topics unrelated to the job, it will go a long way towards putting your candidate at ease. More importantly, you’ll have built a personal connection with your candidate.

Remember that candidates are not only assessing the company on tangibles like benefits and pay, but also on important intangibles like work environment and company culture. Make sure you’re polite, friendly, and engaging in your small talk and your candidate will come out of the interview with a good impression and a connection to the company.

Watch Nonverbal Cues

Just like eye contact, nonverbal cues are extremely important in both in-person and video interviews. After all, nonverbal communication makes up 55 percent of a first impression.

To maintain a personal connection, even across large distances, it’s important your nonverbal language is matching up with your speech. Be sure to be friendly and open in your nonverbal communication, as well as your spoken communication.

An open smile at the beginning of an interview can go a long way towards leaving a positive impression on a talented candidate. Nodding while a candidate is speaking can show you are paying close attention to what is being said.

Make sure your nonverbal cues are reinforcing your interest in what the candidate is saying and this talent will walk away from the interview with a positive impression of your company.

Just because you’re using a new technology platform doesn’t mean candidate experience can be ignored. Using these simple tips will go a long way towards maintaining the personal connection with your candidate, even if you can’t shake their hand at the end of the interview.

If you connect with your talent and give them your undivided attention it doesn’t matter if they’re on the other side of the desk or the other side of the country!

What are some ways you maintain a personal connection using video interviews? Share in the comments!

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