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Caught on camera: the benefits of video interviews

With the world as it is, it’s much more likely that at least one stage of the next job interview you conduct or attend will be by video. It makes sense. It saves a lot of time and money for recruiters, and perhaps more importantly, because it becomes feasible to interview applicants beyond your region, it can really strengthen the talent pool.

For applicants

For those of us who are used to a face-to-face meeting and a firm handshake, the thought of a video idea can be jarring on top of the usual nerves, but please don’t panic – it can really work in your favour!

The greatest benefit is the most immediate – right now you needn’t panic about being misheard or your expressions not reading well due to mask-wearing. From home the interviewer can see the entirety of your lovely face, so there’ll be little ambiguity in your meaning and you’ll likely communicate better. Some candidates also tend to feel more confident with the ‘safety barrier’ of the computer screen between them and the panel and may interview better than face-to-face.

More practically, you’ll save time and possibly money by not having to travel to an interview. This has never been such a crucial element with so many redundancies happening across the country. Interviewing from your own home can be an enormous relief for jobseekers living with limited means.  A video interview also means that should you have to self-isolate, you needn’t reschedule your appointment – great! 

For recruiters

Video interviews make the hiring process more effective. You can provide a much more efficient service  to your company and work with applicants directly and all over the world! Increasingly, it’s absolutely crucial to make the best of the tools available to us, and even when COVID-19 loosens its grip on our planet, it’s likely that these changes are here to stay. If you employ traditional search and match methods whilst also offering the option of conducting video interviews, you’re much better placed to source stellar candidates. 

If you feel that you get a lot out of face-to-face interviews, you needn’t dispense with them altogether. There’s still so much to be said for getting to know someone in person, gauging both verbal and nonverbal responses, which a video interview can’t provide and its convenience isn’t necessarily a fitting substitute. However, an introductory call or mop-up questions in addition to a traditional interview can really enhance your selection process.

Here are some tips to making the most of video interviewing as part of the recruitment process:

If you want to give applicants space and time to allow for more thorough answers, consider having a “one-way system” for interviews. You do this by sending interviewees a list of questions or a task to prepare for. The applicant then records their response and sends it to the recruiter for review at a later date.

Rather than juggle a cramped diary, you’ll then be able to watch the video when it’s most convenient and play it back to cover anything you missed. Whilst this seems a little strange and won’t work for all roles, many applicants also like this way of interviewing because they’re able to showcase themselves at their best; no fumbling answers or tech crises – candidates can present their best side and then you needn’t discount an accomplished individual who perhaps just suffers from nerves. 

The more popular way to host video interviews is to use one of the many video conferencing technologies available, for example Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams that allow recruiters to conduct real time interviews with applicants whenever and wherever.

If multiple panel members are required to be present but can’t be in the same place at the same time, video interviews are really convenient and allow for screen-sharing should your applicant need to present on a topic.  Because video interviews are so easy to conduct, it may give your company the scope to interview candidates who may not, on paper, have made it to an in-person interview. Everyone can win!

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