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How Video Interviewing Helps Create a More Structured Interview

by Sandra Jenkins

With more than 24 months of pandemic experience, how we do things have certainly changed. Buying groceries, ordering food, shopping for clothes, and even paying the bills have all shifted to online means.

While the rest of the world transitions back to physical interactions, there are some things we have learned to do online that produce results that are much better than when we do it face-to-face.

In recruitment, one of these is video interviewing.

What is video interviewing?

Video interviewing is a kind of job interview that is conducted online. This allows recruiters to have the flexibility to curate a selection process and gather appropriate assessments for more efficient and effective hiring.

While it does not replace face-to-face interviews, video interviews also allow the recruiter to come up with a well-rounded profile of the applicants. These interviews are also especially useful in cases where the candidate cannot come to the office physically.

To further understand, video interviews are classified as either one-way or two-way.

One way vs two-way interviews

There are typically two types of interviews: one-way and two-way.

One-way video interviews

As the name implies, one-way interviews are video records of candidates answering the questions given by the hiring manager. Hiring managers provide the questions to the candidates whether in text or video format and the applicants can record their answers whenever it is convenient for them, so long as they submit the videos for the hiring manager’s review on time.

Because the answering does not happen live, one-way interviews are also sometimes called on-demand video interviews. Additionally, because the candidates are given adequate time to think their answers through, the recruiter can get a clearer image of the candidate both visually and intellectually as opposed to other methods like phone screenings.

Two-way video interviews

Two-way interviews are the virtual version of face-to-face interviews. In a more professional platform, the candidate and the interviewer can talk to each other from wherever they are in real-time.

Two-way video interviews follow the same format as physical interviews except that the candidate and interviewer are face-to-face with their laptop instead of with each other.

This is why this is the more common type of video interview between the two. Even when the COVID-19 outbreak initially happened and most organizations canceled physical interviews, the shift in recruitment interviews was mostly toward the two-way interviews.

While video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and MS Teams can be used for video interviews, there are specialized platforms with functionalities more specific to recruitment and specially designed to streamline the hiring process.

The Pros Of Video Interviewing

1. Cost reduction

Practical things first. Conducting interviews requires capital expenditures. There are costs involved in preparing for the interview, from the papers and pens needed by the panel to the name tags distributed, from preparing the venue to the snacks handed out to the panel and applicants.

With video interviews, all materials are prepared in digital copies which require little to negligible costs. While the platform host, who in this case would be the recruiter, might need premium access to the software used, this expenditure thins out the more frequently it is used. This is unlike the expenses in physical interviews that compound the more interviews there are.

2. Easier scheduling

Scheduling is always a headache. Matching the calendar of more than two people can be both expensive and time-consuming with the back and forth of checking for a common availability for all participants.

With two-way video interviews, you only need to look for a 30-minute to 1-hour common gap in the participants’ calendars to be able to fit in the interview. Because the interview panel and the candidate only need to log in at the scheduled time regardless of where they are, you do not have to worry about factoring in their travel time and briefing time. 

One-way interviews are even better because there is no schedule to consider. You can just give the candidate the questions and the deadline for submission and the candidates are at leisure to work on the video record.

Because the candidates are free to prepare the video at their convenience, you will be able to judge them based on the answers they have when they are in their most relaxed state and when they are given ample time to comfortably think over the problems they are given.

Unlike face-to-face interviews, the candidates do not have to explicitly take time off in video interviews for interviews in a hiring process where they can only move further in if they are able to make the right first impressions. Video interviews can still provide the insights recruiters are looking for without unnecessarily troubling the candidates to reschedule prior commitments and travel to your office.

3. Greater reach

Potential applicants who originally decided against applying because they can work around already made commitments or for some reason be unable to travel to your office would now be able to apply and go through a video interview. Because video interviews are done remotely, they will be able to participate in this round of interviews and will be less likely to pass up the opportunity. 

4. Less Pressure

Having a screen in between the candidate and the panel lessens the anxiety and pressure the candidates may be feeling. With the screen as a buffer, it will be easier for them to talk themselves up into being less nervous.

Most importantly, outside of the interview itself, there are fewer things for the candidates to be nervous about. They do not have to worry about how to travel to your office when they should leave so that they arrive for the interview on time, where they can park their car or even who else from the company they will meet and have to make a good first impression for before and after the interview.

5. Skills assessment

With video interviews, you can indirectly assess your candidates’ technical skills. In this era of global digitalization, an employee that can easily adapt to new technologies is a great asset to the company.

As more and more things and processes become automated and digitized, an employee that can help the company utilize these technological advances in its operations can significantly contribute to the company’s growth.

Additionally, with video interviews, you can also assess the candidates’ communication skills. The video interviews are great ways to determine how effectively a candidate can deliver their thoughts and opinions through words and body language despite limitations. A statement adequately delivered through the screen is a statement that can be impactfully delivered face-to-face.

6. Positive experience

As mentioned many times previously, video interviews can be easily done when it is most convenient for the applicants. This provides the applicants an impression that the company, as a potential employer, has its employees’ best interests at heart, regardless of whether they get hired or not. 

Additionally, by taking advantage of the technical requirements of video interviews, you can also create an impression that your organization is a bit avant-garde. This can be appealing to those who are more inclined towards or more familiar with new technologies, especially to the millennials and Generation Z who grew up being technologically forward.

7. Collaborative insight

You can also improve the collaboration within your recruitment department with video interviews as these give the entire team the chance to look over all candidates. You can make better decisions with the different insights and judgments of the team. 

With physical interviews, only the panel members have the chance to observe the candidates while the rest of the team can only depend on the notes they made. With video interviews, members of the team that were unable to attend the interview can review and comment on the interviews at their own convenience.

With physical interviews, there is no way to review the interview itself and the team can only read through notes and the answered questionnaires if they would like to compare candidates. With video interviews, the team can easily rewatch the video recordings to make the essential comments.

8.  More efficient process

In the time it takes you to gather the necessary information, review the data you have, and hire new employees, the best candidates might already have said yes to another job offer. When the hiring process only includes simple, convenient steps like a video interview to initially screen applicants, you will be able to quickly hire the best among the candidates and stay ahead of your competition.

An efficient hiring process does not only save time and reduce costs, it also keeps candidates from quitting. When candidates feel that parts of the hiring process do not seem to be value-adding and only takes more time than is expected or necessary, candidates get discouraged and give up on the recruitment process. An inefficient hiring process indirectly sends a message to your candidates that you do not have enough respect for your employees’ time.

Cons of video interviewing

1. Requires a stable internet connection

While the internet is now more accessible than it was a few years back, not everyone with an internet connection is serviced with a stable one. Because video interviewing is an online activity, it can be quite problematic if you lack a stable internet connection. Depending on your location and internet service provider, your connection can be either very stable or very problematic. 

2. Requires the right tools

You cannot fight in a war without a weapon. In much the same way, your virtual interview may go awfully wrong if you are not equipped with the right tools.

You have to make sure the platform you are using is plenty user-friendly and does not need your application to be tech-savvy so that despite possible gaps in technological skills, you can easily proceed with the video interview. Additionally, always make sure to prepare alternatives in case you can’t make the current platform work.

Best Practices in Video Interviewing

1. Be transparent with candidates

While video interviews have now become more common, there are still more companies that keep on the traditional methods. Also, how your company conducts video interviews might be different from how other companies do it. As such, it is important to be transparent with your candidates.

Before the interview, you should take the time to explain to your candidates how the interview will be done. The interviewee should know how you will use the video to assess their application, where, to whom, and why you will share the video interview. Because the interview will be done or shared online, you should address any data privacy concerns your candidate has.

2. Put the candidate experience first

As personnel in human resources, you have to put your candidates first. Aside from their convenience, the interview should be interesting and engaging for them to make it memorable.

Introducing your company mission and vision, and how the position they are applying for contributes to the organization’s brand and growth. Ask relevant questions that connect your interviewee to the company to create familiarity and comfortability.

3. Use different formats for different purposes

One-way video interviews are best for pre-screening while two-way video interviews can be used to introduce the candidate to their future team should they be accepted. Just like live interviews, asynchronous interviews, and phone interviews serve different purposes, different formats for video interviews can be useful for different hiring purposes.

4. Structure your video interviews well

Your video interviews should be consistent and effective. Keep them short and straight to the point. Whether live or recorded, you should have a standard script, with a bit of flexibility to personalize for each candidate, that introduces the organization and the role of the position applied for and asks how the candidate is the best for both.

5. Check for integration with your ATS

As most recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage the hiring process, you should check if video interviews can be integrated or used alongside your ATS. This will help you review your candidate’s video interviews along with their profile and save you the trouble of saving, uploading, and linking the video interviews to your candidates’ profiles.

If the ATS you are using has a video interviewing module, you can also check if evaluation forms and recording functions are also available to help you streamline your hiring process more.

6. Have interview scorecards ready

Job interviews are similar to pageants in that you are choosing who is the best candidate. Scorecards are a great way to streamline and standardize what exactly you are looking for from your candidates. When interviewees are evaluated according to the same criteria, there is less room for hiring bias.

7. Choose the right video interview software

The video interview software you will use should depend on how you will conduct your virtual interview. Depending on your interviewee method, you should have functionalities you want your software to have. For example, video conferencing software can be used for live video interviews.

You should also check which software can integrate with the ATS you are using so that it will be easier for you to monitor. You should also be mindful of software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze interviews for you due to ethical implications.

Conclusion

Working from home will now be the norm for a lot of organizations in non-traditional industries and video interviewing will be a great way to determine how your candidates work in a digital environment. 

Even with traditional organizations, if you are able to use the right software and benchmark your video interviews with the best practices, you will be able to utilize video interviews to optimize your recruitment process and have your accounting team happy with the costs you save and your candidates satisfied with their application experience.

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