More and more companies have begun using video conferencing to conduct the early stages of an interview. What had begun as a trend, has become an industry standard, but is this really an effective use of a company’s resources?
Let’s explore some of the Pros and cons of video interviews from a business perspective.
Pros of Video Interviews
The need for two people to be in the same room is eliminated. Hiring managers and candidates both enjoy greater flexibility, meetings no longer have to be confined to the office, and both parties can meet from the comfort of their own home or work post.
Handling interviews remotely can cut traveling, scheduling, and interviewing costs. Money saved can be re-allocated to improving productivity in other sectors of the organization, or towards expansion. Similar to phone interviews, video conferencing can be one of the most cost-effective ways to meet candidates.
Time is money. Instead of budgeting time to get to and from the physical location, all that is necessary is a block of time in front of a computer. Most importantly, video conferencing reduces the time it takes to fill an open position, as you are able to meet more candidates in a shorter period of time.
Distance is no longer be an issue for first or second round interviews. You can connect with candidates all over the globe with a touch of a button, allowing you to reach out and discover the hidden potential in unexplored terrains. Unlike live interviews, you don't have to miss out on discovering the final piece to your puzzle because the applicant lives too far away. With access to the internet, every candidate now has an equal opportunity to interview.
One of the prime features embedded in a virtual interview is the ability to re-watch or playback the meeting. After a live interview, you are left to rely on memory and notes you took during or after the meeting. Video conferencing allows you to take a second look at the interview to analyze body language or discover cues that might have slipped by. You can dig deeper into the candidate's responses, and you can get more team members involved in the decision process.
Cons of Video Interviews
For all of its advantages, technology can sometimes be unreliable. There’s always the possibility of hardware/software problems. A connection is a two-way street, so the chances of interference are doubled, and the wait time can be unpredictable. Lag and delay can both cause interruptions. Hardware problems such as microphone/webcam failures can make communication problematic. With video conferencing you’re buying into the possibility that complications can disrupt an entire interview, setting back your workday.
No Face-to-Face Interactions
There’s no better way to get a feel for someone than shaking their hand and sitting across from them. Video can flatten out an interaction, allowing cues you might have picked up in person, to go unseen. When deciding to bring someone into your department, you want to be assured that there is chemistry and a connection, something you can only fully experience in person.
Feel for Space
During a live meeting, candidates are able to get a feel for the environment of the office. Video conferencing cuts out the possibility for spontaneous introductions to different team members, while also eliminating the candidate’s opportunity to get a sense of what the office is like. A potential hire's first visit to the office is also one way of seeing if they are a good cultural fit for your organization.
With the benefits of cutting costs and time, it makes sense to switch to video conferencing for the early stages of the process. However, don't forget the power of an in-person meeting before making the final decision.