Video Interviews- 5 Reasons Why They'll Be The End Of Telephone Interviews


As video interviews become more commonplace they are beginning to solidify their space in the hiring process. Previously used more towards the later stages of the process, video interviews are increasingly being used to replace the telephone screening stage . Along with providing a greater depth of information, here's 5 reasons why we'll see 'automated video interviewing' applications in particular begin to replace telephone interviews:

  1. No scheduling- this means no back and forth emails between candidate and employer. If you're recruiting internationally, you don't have to stay up until the early hours to see a sleepy picture of someone on the other side of the world.
  2. Consistent responses- it's been scientifically proven in 7 papers over the past 30 years* that asking every candidate the same questions and not being biased by follow-ups, provides a much more accurate predictor of aptitude.
  3. Candidate comparison- even the most resilient of phone interviewers will admit they begin to get fatigued after 7 or 8 interviews and this can bias the way they evaluate candidates. Having candidates record their responses, means you don't have to ask the same questions over and over again and you can evaluate the candidates side-by-side.
  4. Time saving- not having to perform the interviews manually saves a lot of time, rather than 30 minutes, you can evaluate a candidate in 10. You can skip to the responses to your killer questions and see whether the candidates trip up.
  5. Sharing with colleagues- recorded responses allow you to get the opinions of colleagues without them having to be there, this can give you a much more rounded opinion of a candidate while avoiding the difficulty of getting everyone in the same room.

With most people now having a reliable internet connection and access to a webcam, the convenience and relative low cost of video interviewing make sense on both sides. With the introduction of front-facing cameras on most smart-phones and the everyone becoming more accustomed to communicating through webcam platforms like Skype, it's only a matter of time before more organisations beginning using video interviews for candidate screening.

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Tags: interviews, video

Comment by Scott Bruman on November 23, 2010 at 3:58pm
Hi Kes, I agree that video interviews are an absolutely great option for interviewing remote candidates, but the notion that they will completely replace phone interviews, or that the methodology will be to record interivew answers is not the way I see this developing. Managers we work with are concerned about candidates preparing answers ahead of time while not really having the depth of expertise needed. They may look like a great candidate on a recorded interview session - but that might easily only meant that they rehearsed and googled their knowledge until they were comfortable. Recording answers gives too much opportunity for a candidate to look like a great match on video while not having the level of skill necessary to succeed on the job. It will only take getting burned once like this for any manager to see this limitation. Nothing can replace live interaction on an interview and the opportunity to pose follow ups based on a candidates answer to any given question. That said, I see the real homerun for video interviewing is it allows managers to get this interaction while opening up and reaching a MUCH larger potential talent pool. Candidates and/or their agencies not willing to risk the cost of onsite interview travel, but that are willing to move for an opportunity offer received, will now be in the mix.
Comment by Lynda Pietroforte on November 23, 2010 at 4:25pm
I see more pros than cons. Looking forward to what the future may bring!
Comment by Marvin Smith on November 23, 2010 at 4:44pm
In principle, I agree with the premise that video interviews (and I am including the webcam version of a live interview) should be taking taking the place of telephone interviews. However, I just have not seen the video approach gain any traction. It would be great to see a survey on why/why not we have not seen the adoption level with this medium.
Comment by Scott Bruman on November 23, 2010 at 5:14pm
@MarvSmith, the quality of video during realtime live interaction is the primary reason adoption has lagged until now. As that experience continues to improve adoption of video conference interviewing should easily begin to soar – bet on it. Our account managers are using it VERY effectively right now with our Fortune 500 clients. I stand by my assertion that recorded video interviews will never replace live interaction as an effective means to interview candidates for hire. The fact remains that "recorded interviews" allow for a candidate to prepare their answers for a seemingly successful interview while potentially not actually possessing the expertise required to succeed on the actual job. Further, recorded interviews provide no opportunity for a manager to pose follow up questions, based on initial answers given, that are a natural part of any interview process. There is no way around these limitations, and never will be. But, in an age where required technical skills continue to be more difficult to find at the level and frequency clients need, video interviews do a spectacular job of opening up the potential pool of candidates to include anyone, anywhere, without requiring them to bear the significant cost of long distance travelling to an interview when its by no means a given that they'll receive an offer.
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on November 23, 2010 at 6:24pm
SmartSearch ATS embraced video interviewing as the way of the future; we integrated with GreenJobInterview because the cost savings to our customers are phenomenal & the candidate experience is improved (who wants to fly out for a first interview these days?).

While we don't think face-to-face live videos will replace a final in person interview and on-site visit, this technology gives employers a very powerful way to conduct first interviews with more candidates for less cost.

Check this out www.greenjobinterview.com/walmartvideo

However, I do believe there is still a place for phone prescreening & phone interviews. For one thing, there are some candidates that don't have video technology capability -- and some types of jobs that really don't require it. So don't pronounce the telephone dead just yet.
Comment by Scott Bruman on November 23, 2010 at 6:31pm
@Sylvia, nice! We've had similar success. I agree that video interivews won't entirely replace F2F interviews but our experience has made it clear that it CAN, depending on the hiring manager. We had great success getting several hires in the last few months based on video conference "face-to-face" interviews that essentially replaced the onsite step (but still followe a telephone screen as the first step). On your point about candidates, it may need a little coaching but most have video cams on their computers/laptops these days and those that don't can be directed to go to their local Kinkos (or equivalent depending on where you are) - where they can use those machines with webcams. Then they simply need to access a WebEx meeting session that the employer or agency has set up. There is a small curve getting this process in place, but once its set up and made a habit it becomes a VERY powerful tool in the arsenal. This wave will only get bigger, best to jump into the surf now everyone!
Comment by Kes Thygesen on November 23, 2010 at 7:31pm
Interesting comments guys- @Scott Bruman- with regards to your methodology point, our approach to video interviewing doesn't show the candidates the questions in advance, gives 10 seconds to think and only allows them to record the responses once (unless the employer allows). We're very much trying to recreate the on-the-spot-answer interview dynamic without the candidate and employer having to be online at the same time- we believe a lot of the value of a response lies in its spontaneity.
@MarvSmith - we've seen much more traction in the UK over the past 6 months with good internet access being available everywhere quite cheaply; similarly webcams can be bought for $10 and come as standard with most new computers. I'll be interested to see how front facing cameras on smart phones change communication behaviours.
@Sylvia- maybe not tomorrow, though in 5 years you might think twice about picking up the phone to interview someone!
Comment by Scott Bruman on November 23, 2010 at 7:42pm
Hi Kes, if you're talking about a company using this process internally then I will cede that recorded interviews have the potential to provide the benefits you outline... But, as long as there are agencies engaged by end-clients to provide candidate sourcing services my point remains for that particular scenario. End client hiring managers will always be skeptical of recorded interviews, and rightly so. In the end, no matter how you slice and dice it the bigger point is clear that video conferencing technology is growing up and will become a valuable and more prominent tool to be leveraged in the course of the hiring cycle.
Comment by Jason Monastra on November 24, 2010 at 4:05am
I have to agree Marv, there appears to be little enterprise acceptance of the practice as this being the next evolution of the hiring process. Let us look at the largest areas where video conferencing has taken root - the boardroom and live feed management meetings, specifically designed for corporate intiatives that effect companies as a whole. The advantages and cost savings proved too much to be ignored and now are widely used across the Fortune 1000 and smaller companies with an international footprint.


Individual managers, HR and candidates are still very fluid groups that do not operate with the same agenda. That being said, the setting up of a video interview would prove as much, if not more, of a time consuming process than a phone interview. Pick up the phone and dial. If the discussion is pre-taped interviews, then the cons far outweigh the benefits. The ability to manipulate the process is far too easy and would not allow for a fair evaluation of the potential talent pool.

Though effective in theory and in specific situations, I do not see this replacing the phone interview untll setting up a live feed discussion is as easy as dialing the phone.
Comment by Kes Thygesen on November 24, 2010 at 7:54am
@Jason - I think there's a bit of confusion as to the sort of video interviewing this article is discussing, I'm talking specifically about 'automated' video interviewing. Not meaning to plug what we're doing, though this stop motion video explains the 'automated' video interviewing approach- it's difficult for candidates to manipulate and can allow one person to screen 50 candidates in a day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8WqTJ89Es8

The main pro here is not the fact that it uses video, it is not having to schedule and perform interviews while screening candidates in a very objective and consistent way. We are currently getting traction where volume of candidates is an issue, any ideas would be welcomed.

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