How to: Video Interviewing

5-minute read

Between 2010 and 2012, the use of video interviewing rose by about a third and, since then, it has continued to become a more prevalent feature of employment processes. Here, we explore why this has happened, weighing up the pros and cons of this modern method.

Why video interview?

Put bluntly, it’s cheaper, more time efficient for everyone involved. For candidates and employers, it affords both parties the flexibility to organise interviews at their convenience – at home or at times that are better-suited to work schedules. More than that, it drastically reduces the cost of interviews: travelling costs, expenses, and the paid hours lost from interviewers that would otherwise be spent in their primary roles.

Does it work?

Truth be told, it isn’t the same. The stories from both sides highlight the fact that that it is a different experience.

For example, interviews might be pre-recorded or done over a real-time platform like Skype or FaceTime. The conversation takes on a hybrid format that straddles real-life and on-line experience and, for many, this is a tricky situation to negotiate, as the candidate needs to decide which alternative setting is most appropriate. Environment can be a huge influence in how a person presents themselves. Get it wrong and the candidate may come across as too relaxed, conjuring up responses that are uncharacteristic of their professional persona.

For the company, too, in-person interviews play a vital role in candidate-experience, whereby the interviewee is afforded the opportunity to see the office and get a feel for work culture. Video interviews remove this entirely. As a result, some companies choose to use video interviews only for certain job roles, or as a preliminary stage before meeting the candidate-in person. For example, on a survey conducted with hiring managers who use video interviewing, results showed that it was used most frequently when recruiting at mid-management level (37%). Following that was entry-level (25%), then director or VP level (24%), remote workers/global recruiting (22%), and finally internship level (18%).

In a globalised world, and as technology becomes a bigger part of everyday life, it is likely that companies will make use of these new tools and techniques in order to save time and money. However, as experts who meet people on a daily basis, we know more than most the value in meeting people in-person. Given that, it is crucial that companies consider the role of a video interview in their employment processes.

I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.