A global pandemic, social distancing legislation and various lockdowns necessitated the need for employers to focus their efforts on virtual interview methods if they were looking to add to their teams in 2020. Now restrictions have been eased and life is slowly returning to normal, will this mean that video interviews are no more?
Video Interviews – Pros
- Greater flexibility for both the hiring manager and candidate
As candidates don’t need to take the time commuting to your offices and will likely be able to find a quiet corner with a good internet connection, it opens up availability in their schedule and oftentimes reduces the awkward diary back and forth to find a 30 mins window when both parties are free!
- Opportunity to interview a wider candidate pool
Given that video interviews can save time in a hiring manager’s schedule, it can give you the opportunity to interview some candidates that look promising, but you may not otherwise have been able to dedicate time to meeting with.
As recruiters, sometimes we come across candidates who we just know would be an amazing fit for our clients but may not tick every single box. These “wild card” candidates aren’t always shortlisted for interview stage, purely as the hiring manager doesn’t have the time to interview vast numbers of candidates. However, some of the most successful placements we’ve made have been with candidates who may not traditionally fit the bill – so being able to get these candidates in front of the hiring manager to have an initial screening call can make all the difference.
Video Interviews – Cons
- Don’t quite get the same “buy-in” as in person
As much as video interviews are the closest thing to in-person interviews, it’s still harder to judge body language and build a rapport through a screen. Whilst we’ve all grown more comfortable with video calls over the last 18 months, there is still a slight disconnect which you don’t get in person.
- Technical problems!
We’ve all experienced issues with video calls; delays, not being able to hear the other person, the picture freezing or the call dropping out entirely – and it reaches a whole new level of stress when it happens during a job interview! Need I say more?
In Person Interviews – Pros
- Easier to assess culture fit
Humans by our very nature find it much easier to read body language when we’re in the same room as someone else and you can build a stronger rapport face to face. Whilst we’ve definitely adapted to video calls as a normal part of life since March 2020, nothing beats in person meetings.
- Gives candidates the opportunity to meet with more team members and see your working environment
Culture fit is one of the biggest driving factors for candidates at the moment, so giving them the opportunity to tour the offices, picture where they would be working for part of their week and meet with the team will all help to secure buy-in from them, which can be the deciding factor when a candidate is weighing up a job offer.
In Person Interviews – Cons
- Time and Expense
If you would usually hold multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews, this can be extremely time consuming for the business and you’re also more likely to encounter scheduling issues with your shortlisted candidates. Especially if you are including multiple members of your team during each round, you’re more likely to struggling co-ordinating schedules and likely do not want several team members spending significant chunks of their day away from their desks.
Whilst we are now able to hold face to face interviews again, both methods have their advantages and drawbacks. Most hiring managers are adopting a hybrid approach to get the best of both worlds, by utilizing video interviews for first or initial stages, then bringing candidates in for a more thorough face-to-face assessment once they’ve whittled down the initial shortlist.
Senior Recruitment Resourcer