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Video Interviews for Recruitment

Résumés will be displaced by constantly evolving representations of individual experiences, skills and aptitudes that exist purely in the digital realm. Innovative tools that use social media, big data and other technologies to give tremendous insight into individual job seekers will [be] the primary screening method."


digital profiles can provide far more insight into a candidate than a traditional résumé can, and many recruiters have realized that.

"Twenty years ago, the résumé was a piece of paper. Now, it's a collection of all [candidate] data that can be found online, like participation in online communities, conferences and meet-ups. Recruiters can assess whether a person will fit, and learn if he or she has the right skills for a job."

For out-of-area candidates and first-round interviews, the phone call is quickly being replaced by the more-high-tech video interview, too.

"More and more employers are leveraging webcam and video interviews to streamline the hiring process .We are already seeing a steep uptick in one-way videos where applicants record their interviews for later on-demand viewing. Live, two-way webcam interviews will also experience tremendous growth over the next three to five years.

Some people feel perfectly comfortable with the idea of interviewing via video (including many of you who grew up with Skype and YouTube) and others dread the very idea (camera-shy folks, I’m talking to you).

We all know how important visuals are to forming a first impression . After all, attractive people reportedly get more job interviews and earn more money. However, even attractive and well-dressed candidates can mess up their video interviews if they’re not careful.

Luckily, a little bit of knowledge about the equipment and the process can go a long way. Obviously, you’ll still need to be qualified for the job and answer the questions well.

However, these video interviewing tips and tricks will remove a controllable element from the decision-making process — preventing an interviewer from unconsciously discounting you based on how you appear on camera.

And honestly, don’t worry if you don’t like how you currently look on camera.


Why are Video Interviews Used?


Companies see many benefits in using video technology to vet candidates. With a video interview, you have most of the benefits of seeing a candidate in person, but without the hassle/expense of actually meeting them (especially if someone would have to fly or drive to a different city).

It’s quick, it’s neat, and depending on the the technology used, allows the company some element of standardization of the interview process and candidate selection.

You need to prep for a video interview just as seriously as would for an in-person one.


Save valuable time and money.

Screening job candidates can take a huge chunk of your time and hiring budget. Video interviews make the process much less of chore by enabling you to connect with candidates face-to-face -- without having to fly them in. When it comes to screening candidates, save time and avoid scheduling headaches with one-way video interviews.

Considering 60 percent of hiring decisions were made within the first 15 minutes of an interview, why bother with lengthy phone interviews? With one-way video interviews, candidates can record their answers to your questions on their own time, and you can view them on yours. It’s a win-win.

Gain better insight early on.

Anyone can sound good in a phone interview. Video interviews, however, allow you to pick up on visual cues that can impact your decision. See much more of the candidate earlier in the hiring process, from their facial expressions and body language to their personality and professionalism. Never be surprised in an in-person interview again!

Collaborate with colleagues.

When it comes time to screen candidates or bring them in for an in-person interview, not everyone needed can always be present. And interview notes and recollections aren’t an accurate representation of a job candidate. With video interviews, interview recordings can be shared with colleagues. On top of that, they can comment and rate candidates so you all come to a better hiring decision. After all, two heads are than one.


Types of Video Interviewing


1. Live Video/Skype Interviews

The live video interviews can take one of two forms.

The simplest approach is that the company could use something like a Skype, Google Hangout or any one of the million video-conferencing tools online.

These are pretty straightforward since, in most cases, the interviewer will either send you a link or call your user-id  or your screenname.

Alternatively, the company could use a system that does live interviews, but also acts as an internal candidate tracking/screening tool (something like HireVueSparkHire, Viasto and dozens of other companies).

From the candidate’s perspective, a live video experience via one of these platforms is generally not much different from interviewing via Skype or Google Hangout. On the employer’s side, there are bells and whistles that allow them to share, track, rate responses, etc.


2. Pre-recorded/Asynchronous Video Questions

In these cases, you’re given a link to a page where you can record answers to pre-selected/pre-recorded interview questions. You’re usually given a set amount of time for each answer, and you may get 1 or 2 tries before submitting.

These questions could be part of the application process or be a screening step after your resume has allowed you to rise above the crowd. Tools used for these asynchronous video questions include WepowSonru and others.

Are there any drawbacks to video Interviews?

Some candidates and recruiters might still prefer in-person interviews over video conferencing. Job applicants might be unable to acquit themselves well on video, even though they were brought up on technology. This method may place a technological barrier between the interviewer and the candidate, as a possible lack of eye contact may occur.

Also, a technological disadvantage could arise as not all applicants are technology-savvy or own modern laptops featuring reliable webcams. Nonetheless, the average consumer nowadays is proficient in terms of using new software.

Adjusting to the requirements of video software is a concern for the candidate, as they may think of the experience as being an uncomfortable and unnecessary effort. By the same token, the conversation can suffer from poor audio or video quality and thus become time-consuming for the recruiter and for the interviewee. Web conferencing can eliminate this inconvenience altogether. It does not require the applicant to install new software on their personal computer, and the connection is performed both safely and efficiently.

Hiring a candidate takes time and effort and is quite a challenging experience. On average, it takes approximately 45 days to hire a new employee, which is why video collaboration tools can lend a helping hand to an HR manager in need.

More and more candidates submit both résumé and short presentation video when they apply for a job. It allows them to stand out of the crowd and get noticed earlier. They can also better show their soft skills that may be harder to present in your résumé or with a photograph. Very often it takes the form of a short personal video pitch.

Pro: A video CV is a relatively easy and original way to show more of you then can be put in a résumé only. You are the director, so do as many retakes until you are 100% happy!

Con: If you are a bit camera shy or may be applying with a very traditional company, you may choose to go the old-fashioned way. Just send in your resume.

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Houria Grana
CEO AIR Global Executive Coach


Houria GRANA is a Master Coach and Senior Executive with 30 years of experience in the areas of coaching, leadership development, recruitment, organizational development and change management. She has counselled in career transition working with thousands of people. She is a specialist in behavioural change and assessment.


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