Video interview: benefits and opportunities to manage online recruiting
If until a few months ago it was just a second chance to consider in case of lack of time or if the candidate was too far to reach the company, at the time of the Covid-19 (or Coronavirus), it became almost essential.
Let’s talk about the video-interview that allows HR, in times of health emergency but also in less critical situations, to carry out recruitment activities without meeting people in person, but using tools and ad hoc platforms.
Those who have been working in the HR world for a long time know this mode well. They use it during the so-called pre-selection phase, when, instead of contacting the candidate by phone, prefer to focus on interaction through video. A convenient solution for both the HR, who maybe has to meet many people during the same day and that in this way can manage the time better, both for the candidate, who not only feels more comfortable because he connects from his home, but also avoids to move if he is located several kilometers away from the headquarters of the company.
In any case, the video interview is not the ideal solution only during pre-selection, but also in the most advanced phases of personnel research and selection. And it is also becoming more and more of a recruiting trend.
In this article, we try to understand what do we mean with “video-interview”, how to manage it best, what are the differences compared to live meetings and the advantages and disadvantages.
What is meant by video-interview
Whether it is an interview using video mode is a pretty obvious thing. It is not, perhaps, to know that it can happen in very different ways and with very other times. And it is also using various tools.
Starting from the latter, with regard to companies, some rely on Skype, some on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet, and others who are dependent on an ATS like In-recruiting that integrates perfectly video-interviews thanks to Meetin, the new platform for live video interview to manage selection. Meetin is integrated within the ATS and takes advantage of centralized management: it allows you to create one-to-one sessions, plan and customize meeting, invite candidates and colleagues, make the video-interview interactive using interaction and communication tools and managing the collected data on candidates and everything is related to recruitment within a single platform.
In addition to the tools, another essential thing to consider is timing. Erroneously it is thought that the video-interview must foresee the presence of recruiter and candidate in real-time. This applies to video-interviews that take place in synchronous mode, that is when HR sets an appointment with the candidate and performs everything as if it were a real interview with questions and answers.
In addition to the tools, another important thing to consider is the timing. Erroneously it is thought that the video-interview must foresee the presence of recruiter and candidate in real time. This applies to video-interviews that take place in synchronous mode, that is when HR sets an appointment with the candidate and performs everything as if it were a real interview with questions and answers.
The video-interview in deferred mode
There are video-interview on delay, which we can also define in asynchronous mode, that is HR and candidate have different timing, and who proposed for a specific job position, is perhaps invited to respond with a video to a questionnaire previously filled out. He can do so at the most pleasant time and using the means that he prefers: computers, tablets, mobiles. It can be expected that this questionnaire has been sent by email and that the candidate will answer the questions via video or schedule an automated video interview, in which the candidate answers questions that are asked by the platform.
The video-interview should not replace the face-to-face interview but be considered as a tool that allows HR to focus on the candidates who meet the most requested requirements and then to contact the people deemed most suitable and devote them the time they deserve.
In this respect, video-interviews are used in particular by large companies that receive applications continuously, and this is why, in this way, they try to manage the bulk of data and make the right choice. Since, as we know, recruiting is increasingly crucial to business success as well as an essential marketing tool.
Online interview vs face-to-face interview
Before seeing what the advantages of a video-interview are, it is right to highlight the differences between this tool and face-to-face meetings. Opting for the video-interview does not exclude the possibility of making a live meeting, just as having already met a candidate does not mean that it is not possible to schedule a video-interview if it is considered necessary.
The two means have such different characteristics that they can also complement one another.
A face-to-face interview certainly needs less preparation than an online interview may require. And this is because, during a live interview, any unforeseen events can be handled with more ease as well as you can best manage uncertainties and fears of the candidate and avoid the embarrassment for which the video does not help.
Besides, you can avail yourself of the fact that people that you meet live are in the same space and have the same field of vision, and this can help in case you want to ask a question that you had not scheduled. For example, by taking advantage of something that is on your desk, a newspaper article you were reading, a special recognition achieved by the company or other elements that could help you to tell better the job for which the selection process was initiated.
Otherwise, in a video interview, especially if it takes place in synchronous mode, everything that a recruiter wants to show or share with the candidate must be already prepared: you cannot waste time to find that particular presentation, that specific file, that PowerPoint: everything must be at hand
A live interview also allows you to notice details that the video one, in a way, “flattens”: a flash in the eyes, uncertainty, the writing of the candidate’s hands under the table, the playing with the foot or the crossing of the legs continuously: in short, everything that betrays nervousness or emotion. As well as you can see the person in the whole and not only part of his clothing: in a video-interview, we see only the upper body of the candidate, so we have a partial vision. Just as we cannot seize other details that may be significant as the colour of the bag, accessories and much more. That does not affect or instead should not affect the evaluation of the candidate, but that helps us to understand better how much match there is between what he says he is and what he is. Having said this, the benefits of video-interview are different, and there is more than one reason to choose it for your recruiting process.
Ten advantages of the video interview
he benefits of a video-interview are many; we have identified 10 of them. Let’s look at them in the list and then analyze them point by point.
- Saves time and accelerates the selection process
- Helps to choose the best candidates
- Allows to interview those who live abroad or long-distance
- Allows you to better monitor performances and collect data more “easily.”
- Makes the interviews more “consistent” between them
- Makes the company more attractive to passive candidates
- Allows to see the familiarity that the candidate has with technology
- Shows that the company is cutting edge
- Puts the candidates more at ease
- Avoids the candidate to arrive late or to stress
1. Saves time and accelerates the selection process
With video-meetings, you avoid wasting time because you can Stay on time. What does it mean? That if you are planning a 30-minute real-time video-interview, you are hardly going to put more than that. And this happens for two reasons: the platform will allow you to monitor how much time has elapsed since you connected as well as you will notice that going over half an hour during a video chat is defeating. Of course, the interview can even last longer, but with video, after a while, you feel a kind of fatigue due to the lack of physical contact; the fact that for all the time you are mostly in the same position and that you are in front of a monitor. Due to all these things, you tend to make the most of the time you have and not go further. This, of course, accelerates the selection process and allows you to spend less time in pleasantries and to go immediately to important and crucial questions.
2. Helps to choose the best candidates
Linked to the above, reducing time-to-hire also means limiting the costs associated with the selection process but also choosing the best and genuinely interested candidates. It often happens, to take a lot of time to fix a live interview and to “chase” the candidates. With the video-interview, therefore, a skimming is already made among the potentially interested parties and therefore more suited to the role one is trying to fill.
3. Allows to interview those who live abroad or long-distance
The video-interview turns out to be a fundamental tool when the candidate lives at a distance from the headquarters of the company, and he should take more than an hour to reach it, not to mention those who live abroad. Instead of discarding people with an exciting curriculum because they are unable to reach the headquarters, thanks to the video-interview you can organize the first meeting to understand the skills of that person and in the meantime go on with the selection process.
4. Allows you to better monitor performances and collect data more “easily”
In case of automated or on delay video interviews, HR can compare the different answers that the various candidates have given to the same questions and see what they have in common. They can also monitor the performance, better analyzing every answer compared to pre-established parameters as well as they can analyze other aspects such as different arguments, the way of speaking, body language, excessive brevity or prolixity, where they chose to record their interview, clothing, framing etc…
This allows us to have different elements comparable to each other and to direct the choice more.
5. Makes the interviews more “consistent” between them
What does that mean? Basically that thanks to the video-interview, you can try to standardize the questions that are asked and to follow a specific direction. In particular, this is possible with the video-interview in deferred in which, thanks to the one-way interview with preset and automated questions, the candidates do not suffer differentiation between them.
Everyone has the same candidate experience, and everyone is involved in the same way. This is not only important for the candidate, but it also helps the recruiter to make the most conscious and objective decision possible.
6. Makes the company more attractive to passive candidates
Think of all those times in which, thanks to various recruiting tools, you found and contacted passive candidates who in your opinion were perfect for a vacancy. As well as to all the times when these people, satisfied with their work and with a very full day, did not consider your offer to schedule an interview because they were too busy, because they left the office late or they were across town. It is true that these are valid reasons, but they disappear thanks to the video-interview.
If an employee who is employed full time can hardly carve out those 2 hours (between travel, duration of the interview, return to the office) to have a chat with you, it is easier that he would find 15-20 minutes on lunch break or even in the evening to face a video-interview both in real time and in deferred. This mode allows you to really recruit online and to attract candidates who would hardly agree to be “interviewed”. Of course this also applies to active candidates who are perhaps looking around: they thus have more opportunity to take part in interviews even during non-work hours.
7. Allows to see the familiarity that the candidate has with technology
There is another aspect that you should not overlook: the online interview or e-recruiting also allows you to test the familiarity that a candidate has with technology. Using a platform, even if it is simplified, can be difficult for those who don’t know about tools, are reluctant towards technologies or do not want to get involved or learn.
You may not even know a platform, but you immediately understand whether a candidate has a predisposition or not to the novelty, and this is an aspect that, nowadays, becomes important, regardless of the position for which the candidate is proposing himself. If a candidate fails to find the webcam, to manage the audio, if he takes too long to type in chat, well, these are details that, in our opinion, must be considered.
8. Demonstrates that the company is cutting edge
On the other hand, a company that uses new technologies, that easily manages a remote interview, and that makes use of platforms that work is a company cutting edge. This applies not only in theory to attract candidates but also in practice, during the process of personnel research and selection. Accordingly, those who decide to apply, know that they will have to deal with a company that invests, innovates and it is not afraid to face new challenges and to find the most suitable tools to “overcome them”.
9. Puts the candidates more at ease
A not negligible aspect is the “human” part of technology. To be able to give the possibility to the candidates to connect from whatever place they want, to choose – especially in the interview in deferred – the moment in which to answer the questions, the environment and everything else puts them at ease. And this does overcome that tension that usually accompanies the interview. Besides, a video-interview allows them to “rehearse”, that is first to test the best shot, the most suitable light, the set, all things that make every person feel even more in “his shoes” of how much he could be in a room of a company where he enters for the first time.
10. Avoids the candidate to arrive late or to stress
Instead of driving through the city and turning an hour for a parking lot, take a crowded train or subway, the candidate can get to the interview without any stress. You can decide to register it when you think it is most appropriate. If it is in real-time, you can also arrive peaceful, without having to think about what mentioned above and without losing focus or time in things that matter less or can make you nervous. Nor there is the fear of arriving late or not finding the office. In short, the video-interview guarantees a situation of relaxation anything but negligible.
And let’s face it, this also applies to HR who can manage any family problems from home without giving up their work commitments.
In short, a system that meets everyone’s needs!
Giornalista e SEOcopywriter
Siciliana trapiantata a Milano, città che ama molto come la sua terra. Giornalista, SEO copywriter, formatrice e amante del live tweeting, scrive per varie testate e blog aziendali di lavoro, risorse umane e tanto altro.
Ha scritto nel 2020 il suo primo libro “Scrivere per informare” insieme a Riccardo Esposito, edito da Flacowski e nel 2021 altri due: “L’impresa come media” e “Content marketing per eventi“.
Ama il mare, la bici, la pizza, i libri, le chiacchiere all’aperto.