With the rise in the usage of digital tools in recruitment, more and more companies are replacing the traditional face-to-face job interview with a video interview – especially in the early stages of the recruitment process. Since the early days of Skype, an increasing number of video-calling platforms have come on the market and more businesses are integrating these solutions into their operations, not just for general business purposes, but for recruitment.
The evolution of the job interview
A survey of 200 recruiters by Software Advice found that Skype is a firm favourite with recruiters, with 61% using it as opposed to a traditional job interview. Only 18% using a dedicated video interviewing platform, 16% use video conferencing and 6% using Google Hangouts.
Clearly, video interviewing has given recruiters new and faster, ways to screen candidates. More often than not, the video interview is being used to replace the informal telephone conversation at the very beginning of the recruitment process. But what are the pros and cons of conducting a video interview as opposed to a traditional face-to-face job interview?
Live and asynchronous video interview vs face-to-face job interview
When it comes to recruitment, there are two ways in which the video interview is being used: live video interviewing and asynchronous video interviewing. The live video interview is exactly how it sounds – a standard interview carried out over a video platform. The asynchronous video interview is usually carried out as a precursor to a standard interview. This is someone pre-records a short interview explaining why they are the best candidate for the job, or answer a prepared set of job interview questions in front of the camera, typically as an initial response to a job advertisement.
There are certainly benefits to be had by incorporating video interviewing into your recruitment strategy. A video interview is a quick and cost-effective way to screen candidates before moving to face-to-face interview for the final stage of the recruitment process. They’re good for the candidate experience too, as there is no travel involved and can be carried out at the convenience of both parties. Furthermore, video interview questions really don’t need to take a different format from standard job interview questions. Interviewers simply need to be comfortable using the technology.
At a time when there are more tools available to candidates to help them create the perfect CV, a preliminary video interview can reveal more than a cover letter when it comes to skills, experience and the personality of a candidate. Experienced recruiters will look for body language that gives away tell-tale signs about confidence and other personality traits.
Of course, there are downsides too. A bad internet connection or background noise can interrupt a video call. Some candidates may be using the platform for the first time and not fully understand how it works; others feel uncomfortable presenting over video and this can put them at a disadvantage. And while video interviews can appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy generation, it could put off older applicants.
Like so many new digital recruitment tools, much will depend on the role and the needs of your organisation. The video interview will certainly be useful tool if you’ve a lot of quality applications to filter through, as it can help cut time and costs when pruning applicants. And, of course, it’s an excellent way to interview candidates in remote locations or overseas giving you access to a larger talent pool.
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