What is a Digital Interview? Conduct One Successfully with Our Guide!

by Victoria Mckee

As we continue with remote work, we start seeing the hiring and recruitment processes changing rapidly. Now, digital interviews are the new norm, and while not a new concept, it’s something that not every company has completely come to terms with. Some people might be wondering, “what is a digital interview and how can we conduct one successfully?”

Read on as we delve deeper into the digital interview and how to conduct one properly!


What is a Digital Interview?

Digital interviews are interviews conducted remotely via online video conference systems, chat, or audio platforms. This is also known as an online interview, defined by the kind of platform or technology utilized to conduct it.

There are different ways to conduct a digital interview, such as:

  • Live video – This is the most common type of digital interview, taking place using popular platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. It’s not dissimilar to face-to-face interviews but has the added benefit of giving companies opportunities to interview remote candidates from other parts of the world or those who can’t make it for in-person interviews.
  • Pre-recorded video – Candidates will have a few minutes to read the company’s interview questions, then record their answers to send to the recruiters, who will view the videos at an appropriate time. This is also known as the one-way video interview, these are usually an initial screening for employers and can be done with skills assessments.
  • Video resumes – Another screening method employers use over traditional interviews. Recruiters will create a set of guidelines on what the video must include, requesting candidates to submit an introduction. This will allow recruiters to learn about a candidate’s communication skills, body language, and confidence.
  • Skills assessment – This is an online coding interview or simulation of job-related skills, which helps recruiters get a better picture of the candidate’s talent over traditional interviews.
  • Live chat – Chat-based recruitment is becoming more popular with more of the younger generation entering the workforce. Recruiters are now looking into using tools like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat to streamline their pre-screening and early-stage interviews.
  • Chatbot – With AI recruitment tools available, automated chatbots can conduct the initial candidate screening process, giving candidates options to upload their voice or video responses.

While video interviews dominate among the other options, other types of digital interviews work just as well, depending on what’s most efficient for the recruiters and organization. It’s all about how to use the tools strategically.


The Benefits of Digital Interviews

When you conduct digital interviews, you can save a lot of time and money. It’s one of the many reasons why companies are now looking Into shifting their hiring process online or at least some of the steps.

Here are the benefits digital interviews offer:


Interview at Scale

Video and recorded interviews allow recruiters to screen more candidates efficiently. You can find tools to define a set of questions on a certain platform, which will automatically ask and receive answers for your convenience.

You can then send the link to numerous candidates, reaching a huge network of potential talents. From there, you’ll receive a list of ranked candidates with appropriate skills and experiences.

AI recruitment tools can rank over tens and hundreds of recorded candidate interviews within an hour. Compare that to the traditional interview, which can take up to an hour-long per candidate!


Shortens Hiring Processes

Digital interviews would ease the burden of scheduling them. Let’s say you’ve got 20 candidates to interview face-to-face, imaging all the hassle, having to go back and forth trying to schedule interviews at a time working for everyone! This juggling act would extend the hiring process, which is why the average time-to-hire is a whopping 36 days.

That’s why recorded interviews can make the hiring process faster and more efficient for both recruiter and candidate. Candidates may answer questions at the most convenient time while recruiters can review responses at a time suiting their schedule.

You can even opt for real-time video or audio calls, which still save you a lot of time in terms of traveling.


Screen In

digital interview

While traditional interviews are seen as one of the more important processes, you’ll be surprised that they must only be a small part of the hiring process! You can use digital interviewing tools to balance that particular step through screening in candidates instead of eliminating them based on what you see on their resumes.

Rather than screening people based on their background, you can use interview tools to rank candidates based on their skills… Once validated, of course!

Moreover, digital interviews can improve your performance tracking. Through recorded video interviews, you can check the top-performing employees, evaluating their interviews and what they all have in common. When you analyze the body language, answers to certain questions, and similar skills, you can select more quality candidates next time.


Improve Consistency

During face-to-face interviews, it would be much easier to get side-tracked. Even when you’re trying to stay consistent with the questions you have, you may forget to cover certain points or have no time to do so. As a result, every candidate would experience a slightly different interview experience, making it tough to compare prospects on your end.

Through automated interviews, you can interview every candidate in parallel, solving the issue. Furthermore, you can retain consistency by preparing predetermined questions. Doing so evens the playing field for all applicants and hiring managers, so there’s a higher chance of making better-informed decisions.


Improve Diversity

Think of digital interviews as virtual job auditions. You can conduct job simulations with hundreds of candidates at the same time and with the same conditions.

Because of that, every applicant will have an equal chance to showcase their talents and skills, no matter what their resumes say. Furthermore, this will broaden the applicant pool, as you get to choose from remote candidates who can’t make it to in-person meetings.


Gauge Technological Experience

No matter the position one applies for, digital interviews will give recruiters more understanding of all candidates’ commands over technology. Regardless of the job position, you’ll want someone knowledgeable about technology.

Digital interviews will help you judge a candidate’s understanding and familiarity with the technology off the bat. You can also observe the way candidates conduct themselves during the interview, which shows more about their preparedness and attention to detail.


Common Mistakes in Digital Interviews

Unfortunately, many companies presume that conducting digital interviews automatically means merely converting their existing process to a virtual method.

This is a mistake hiring teams must be wary about! Traditional hiring processes are filled with bias, even if we try to eliminate it. Simply converting traditional interviews to a video call won’t eradicate the issue. Instead, relying on technology for interviews simply means that inherent bias is still there, it’s just done virtually.

Furthermore, while you save time in scheduling when adopting video recording methods, they will still need to be reviewed. That means watching hours of candidate videos, which may not be a scalable solution in the long run.

So, before you think of adopting a digital interview method, you must prepare for what possible issues you can encounter and how to prepare and eradicate them. It’s not just about opting for video calls but creating better strategies that work for your company.


How to Conduct a Digital Interview Successfully

We mentioned creating a better strategy when implementing digital interviews, so how do you do that? Here are some of the top tips to follow:


Where should you use digital interviews?

Many recruiters find that the most challenging part of using digital interview platforms is identifying when and how to use the tool in the hiring process. You can replace phones and resumes with digital interviews, or use them before in-person interviews. Alternatively, you can replace the last in-person interview, with any or all the steps conducted remotely with the appropriate online interviewing software.


Select the proper tools

Another challenge to digital interviews is ensuring that you use easy-to-understand and widely accessible technology for remote candidates. Don’t go for tools that involve extra equipment or that have a complex download process. Instead, opt for online interview tools that can work over WiFi and can be accessed through mobile or desktop.

Also, don’t worry about the candidate experience when using an online tool. Just make sure you use a platform or tool customizable to the employer brand. When using a flexible tool, you’ll create the ideal online experience reflecting the employee experience.

Choosing the right software might be intimidating among the many different ones available, but here are some tips to follow:

  • Consider your company’s goals
  • Think of the skills successful applicants should possess
  • List the features your ideal software must have
  • Compare the costs of each software


Design the appropriate interview questions

Now, this is one of the most important steps in the online interview. You might have every other factor set well, but if you don’t prepare your questions, then the interview won’t be as valuable for both parties. Whether you’re conducting a pre-screening, first-round, or final interview, the questions must reveal relevant and valuable information about your candidates.

Through appropriate interview questions, you’ll have higher chances of making better decisions in who to hire. Ask other employees and supervisors in the organization what they need from the new hire and in that particular job position. Furthermore, ask how they would assess candidates and the skills valuable to the specific position. Their answers can help you form proper questions and know what answers you’re looking for.

You can also refer to your job descriptions to create relevant questions about the specific role. Besides skill testing, we recommend asking about the candidate’s past work experience, strengths, challenges, and professional development goals. To get more of a gist about your candidate’s personality, including questions about their ideal work environment, preferred management style, as well as their ups and downs from their previous work.


Be aware of the timing

Digital Interview

The great thing about digital interviews is how you can reach a wider candidate pool from around the world. However, that also means you will interview candidates from different time zones.

You must note the time zone as you schedule the interview so everyone is on the same page. Also, consider adjusting to the candidate’s time zone, such as interviewing during early morning or late night, your time.

When candidates will go through a pre-recorded or one-way digital interview, give them time to go through all the questions so they can answer thoroughly. If you have an always-online chatbot, there should be a procedure so they can respond to all the questions and confirm receipt to any applications during off-hours.


Keep things professional

It’s crucial to treat digital interviews with the same level of respect as traditional interviews. While some people may assume it will be more casual since candidates aren’t in the office, if anything, digital interviews must be even more intense! Treat these interviews with the same professionalism as you would with in-person interviews.


How Candidate Experience Improves with Digital Interviews

Many companies worry about how digital interviews feel too impersonal, thus ruining the candidate experience. Yes, the candidate experience is an important factor to consider during the hiring process, impacting employee retention and the employer brand. The candidate’s first impression would be formed early on, affecting the decision-making process in the long run.

When you manage digital interviews properly, you’ll find candidates saying that digital interviews are more enjoyable than in-person ones. After all, as long as you have the right digital interview tools, you can move the hiring process quicker, while job auditions can keep candidates more engaged early on in the process.

Here are ways digital interviews can help improve candidate experience:


Reduce Stressors

In-person interviews are nerve-wracking for numerous applicants, with stressed interviewees less capable of showing their capabilities. Sometimes, candidates wouldn’t be able to respond as eloquently as they could, which reduces the chances of them landing the right job.

Through assessments based on real job situations and recorded video interviews, you can reduce the stress candidates experience. They have an opportunity to redo certain questions so they have the chance to frame themselves in the best light possible.

Furthermore, digital interviews would reduce the added stress from the experience, such as traffic during the travel, finding the reception desk, where to park… All of which would cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.


Improve Opportunities

One-way video interviews can create opportunities for job seekers when discovering a new open job position. A lot of talented individuals aren’t actively seeking different jobs but they might be interested in new opportunities. However, things are weighing them down, such as having to drive to an interview scheduled during work hours.

Digital interviews can give passive job seekers more access to career advancements and opportunities. It will be easier to conduct interviews after-hours, which alleviates the stress of a career change under their current employers.

Furthermore, digital interviews result in global availability. Candidates can apply and interview for jobs worldwide, removing geographic limitations and stigma. And with the technological advancements, we have today, more companies offer remote working solutions, opening opportunities for other talents around the world. 


Stay Consistent

To help maintain positive candidate experiences during digital interviews, you must stay consistent and make sure the employer brand is represented the same way across all touchpoints. This would make or break your customer loyalty and marketing efforts!

You can utilize AI-powered digital interview solutions that can hire at scale and communicate with applicants who have completed their skills assessments. These solutions will inform candidates of the next steps.

You can also utilize various HR tech platforms and tools for consistent communication with candidates throughout the process. Ensure that every tool you choose and use is customized to have the same company logo, branding, and description seen from the company’s social media channels, career webpage, LinkedIn page, among others. Moreover, make sure you can customize experiences, reflecting them to the company’s voice!


Wrapping It Up

A whopping 63% of HR managers now use or have used video interviews throughout the hiring process, one of the many examples of how to reach remote candidates. With the many benefits digital interviews offer, it’s high time you get in on this HR trend that won’t die down soon!

Hopefully, this article answered your question, “what is a digital interview?” If you would like to begin your journey towards digital hiring, contact us now and learn about the solutions we can provide for you.

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