Advances in technology and social media mean that HR departments are now able to reach a wider range of potential candidates than ever before. Skype interviews and meetings have been creeping in for international appointments for some time but there now seems to be an increasing trend for them to be used even when geography is less of an issue.
Here's why we think it's going to become more and more popular.
One of the most obvious benefits of video interviewing is the convenience it brings to both parties. If a potential senior candidate has been located from somewhere geographically distant from the company – then money and time can be saved without having to incur the expenses of getting them to an office.
If the appointment is urgent it might make save you valuable days in the process. Often it's hard to get dairies to tie up. Sometimes because the interviewer has a packed schedule and often because the candidate just can't spare several hours to track across town.
So if the interviewer is not in the office and the candidate has only an hour to spare, surely you have more chance of fixing them both up with a slot that's convenient if they don't have to be in the same place at the same time.
More comfortable candidates
These days most of us have access to a camera through a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Many of us are experienced with Skype or Facetime for social reasons so speaking to a camera isn't as unfamiliar an experience as it once was.
Another advantage of being interviewed within the comfort of your own home is that it can help ease some of the psychological pressure from a more traditional interview. This is a benefit to the candidate and it also benefits the interviewers as they are getting a glimpse of what they're really like when the nerves are reduced. Some people look great on paper but just don't interview well. You might get a better performance out of them via video.
Surveys have revealed that some candidates even enjoy the experience. Some say it can enhance their opinion of a company, creating a positive association of a potential employer that appears innovative and forward thinking.
Video interviewing allows for greater consistency between interviews. This could mean the use of a script or pre-determined format for more uniform, objective decision-making from the HR team.
Some companies are even starting to use pre-recorded interview questions for time saving and consistency. They email you the questions. You record yourself responding and email back your video. It really evens out the playing field if everyone has had the exact same experience.
Capturing the moment
Unlike a telephone interview, video obviously allows the benefit of a more visual experience. Not only can this add a more personal touch, it can allow recruiters to get a better impression of the personality of the interviewee.
An added advantage includes the ability to re-watch interviews. This can be particularly beneficial if you have interviewed a lot of candidates and need a reminder of who said what, want to compare how one interviewee to another or share the video collectively with the appropriate decision-makers. It is never very time and cost effective to get all team members in to meet an interviewee and can be unsettling for the candidate. Surely it's far better for them all to watch the video playback later and then get together later to discuss first impressions etc.
That's not to say that video interviewing is right for everyone. Some people are just shy and might be more intimidated by the technology. Also, some more confident interviewees might treat the experience too casually. Others might see the technology itself – as a distraction and it can make for a rather disjointed discussion, especially if you experience hitches such as delays with audio or poor picture quality.
Still, there's no escaping that the video interview is likely to become increasingly prevalent. So our best advice to interviewers and interviewees is to practise. As we said, we all have video on our phones, tablets and laptops. Next time you are told video is going to be involved in an interview, take advantage of the technology at your fingertips and start practising. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become and the end result will be better for all concerned.