Which Interview Style Should You Use? Video vs. In-PersonNovember 18, 2014 - By: WorkSmart
More and more employers are implementing video into the hiring process. Some require potential candidates to upload a video with their application and answer questions, while others are replacing phone calls and in-person meetings with Skype interviews. However, despite the increasing popularity of video interviews, in-person interviews are still an extremely valuable tool. Both have their benefits and drawbacks and can be easily used together during the hiring process. Here are some of the differences between video and in-person interviews and some advice on how to lead each successfully.
Interview Using Video
Video interviews are most commonly used during the application and screening process. Some companies require applicants to record themselves answering predetermined questions, which can help recruiters find candidates who may have a less impressive resume but would be a great fit with the company. More commonly though, employers are replacing phone calls with video interviews during the screening process. Video conversations better personalize this stage of recruiting, as the interviewer is able to see body language, facial expressions and get an overall feel of their personality. This helps narrow the candidate pool, reducing the cost associated with conducting in-person interviews. Video interviews are also helpful when candidates are from out-of-state or are unable to travel at the time.
Three tips to keep in mind during your video interview:
- Similar to the advice an interviewee would take, dress how you normally would for an in-person interview and ensure that the room you’re in will be distraction-free. The candidate will be taking cues from you as you’re evaluating them.
- Try not to focus too much on the interviewee’s video quality, background and lighting, as many candidates may be new to video interviewing. Remember to be lenient on candidates for less-than-ideal eye contact. People naturally tend to look at themselves on the screen instead of the camera.
- To liven up the “talking-head” nature of video interviews, have candidates walk through a process related to the job or demonstrate a skill using visual aids.
While video interviews offer a lot of benefits, we believe that interviewers should still meet candidates face to face, if possible, to truly discover if they are the right fit. Not only do you get a better feel for body language and confidence, but you also get to see how the candidate functions in an office setting. Many companies bring candidates in for the entire day, giving them on a tour of the office, putting them through multiple interviews and taking them to lunch. This allows for multiple opinions on the candidate to be formed by various colleagues and provides a sneak preview of how they would fit into the culture of the company.
Three things to consider when conducting in-person interviews:
- You should always have more than one person interview a candidate, as an interviewer will often make false judgments of an interviewee based on unknown biases. Whether you have one interview with several interviewers or multiple one-on-one interviews, it is important to have different points of view on a candidate.
- Be sure to take good notes. Video interviews can be recorded (with the candidate’s permission) for future reference, but in-person interviews are your one shot to gather all the information you need.
- During an interview candidates are typically at their very best. But what are they really like? Ask around the office to see if any other employees interacted with the candidate. Maybe they were rude to the receptionist, or maybe they struck up an interesting conversation with your coworker. This information can be especially vital when choosing between two top candidates.
We recommend using both types of interviews—video for screening candidates early on and in-person for the final round and the big decision. Keep in mind that in-person interviews are better determining which candidate is the best fit for the job.