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HR: Interviews by Remote Control
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Interviews by Remote Control

Written by Helen Taylor / Copy Edited by Annie Ly

BT 201609 130 01 HR remote interviewThe officious growth of technology has brought forth an unprecedented increase in the efficiency of HR work. More and more job interviews are now conducted online as most HR professionals show a preference for conducting the first interview by distance when choosing amongst pools of candidates. Despite the plethora of benefits that they offer, face-to-face interviews are becoming more and more outdated as video conferencing seems to be the new norm in human resources. The intention of professionals in doing this is to separate those who are serious about the job from those who are not even qualified to apply. A significant number of applicants tend to be unqualified for jobs and yet they apply.

Both types of interviews come with pros and cons, therefore it would be unfair to think that one is better than the other. Still, there are differences worthy of being mentioned and taken into account when designing a successful interview process.

Video-Interviews versus Face-to-Face

12 video chat teleconference 200551014 001Although video interviews are on the rise with advances in technology and the natural way in which technology fits into our daily lives, there are of course drawbacks which cause recruiters to stick to the traditional method of face-to-face interviews.

A study by Degroote School of Business at McMaster University of Ontario suggested that applicants who were interviewed through video conferencing were less likely to get the job as compared to those who underwent face-to-face interviews. However, the same research showed that candidates were more likely to turn down a job offer due to the lack of personable rapport or trust which can be more easily established with potential employers in face-to-face interviews. If the hiring process is to be made easier and more convenient for the recruiter through video interviews, the pros are seemingly made null if the candidate does not want the job in the end.

It is also clear that there are certain technological barriers such as the inability to establish proper eye contact through a screen, poor video or sound quality and software issues, which can impede the hiring process. This leads the employers to opt for the traditional approach despite clear advantages of video interviews which are leading more and more employers to embrace technology when it comes to recruitment.

Benefits of Video-Interviews

13 video.jpgThe benefits of video-interviewing are numerous, especially to hiring managers and job candidates. They include:
- Transcending geographical barriers - Employers can easily reach out to an international pool of candidates to find the best person for the job.
- Reduces travel expenses associated with flying candidates in for interviews
- Being recorded so that candidate interviews can be re-reviewed and shared with colleagues. Likewise, it is easier to compare one interviewee to another.
- Improving candidate experience - Candidates no longer have to rush away from work to attend interviews.
- Saving the hiring manager's time - They no longer have to meet with candidates they might otherwise eliminate within 5 minutes of meeting them.

Although face-to-face interviews are unlikely to disappear from the hiring process any time soon, the time and cost benefits of video interviews are clear. Technology will continue to advance and become more integrated within our working lives so finding those that are digitally savvy and comfortable using technology will be important to many job sectors to ensure that we all keep up with times.

BT 201609 130 03 HR storyboard ri landscapeTips for Conducting a Successful Video Interview

For those not familiar with video conferencing or interviewing, use a free trial to familiarize yourself with the process and find out how it can work best for you. This allows you to try many different platforms until you find the best one for you and your company. There are many platforms out there, Skype being one of the most renowned and easily accessible. But recruiters may consider others such as the all Swiss army knife of social media in China, WeChat, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Adobe Connect or Citrix GoToMeeting. Once you have found the platform which works for you and your company, ensure the following to conduct a successful video-interview:
- Take your time - Video interviews afford you the benefit of saving time but rushing through an interview could cause you to focus on getting the interview done rather than focusing on the person you are interviewing. Having time to listen, asking probing questions and observing body language between taking notes requires more time but these are important to do when you are not in the physical proximity of the candidate. The interview is not about notes and nor is it the questions. It is about the person and why they make the choices that they make. This takes time to decipher.
- Get rid of interruptions - Theses can be a distraction for the interviewer and the candidate. Make sure the phone is not ringing, outside noises are quieted and you are not trying to multitask while asking the questions. This is time for you both to decide if you are making a right or wrong decision in the consideration of your company's future and the candidate's career.
- Be contactable - In case of any technical hitches, make it clear to the candidate how to make contact with you or how to re-establish the connection. Ensuring both sides are comfortable and knowledgeable about how the software works is crucial to carrying out an efficient video interview.
- Don't focus on quality - It is unfair to judge a candidate on the quality of their Internet connection or the pixels in their webcam. Many candidates are likely to be new to the concept of video interviewing so remember to take a fair approach on those who do not look natural on screen or tend to miss eye contact.

All of the above tips ensure that both candidate and interviewer are comfortable with the process which will in turn ensure maximum engagement to counteract the lack of physical proximity. Live video interviewing is poised to become a norm in the screening and recruitment process. Employers may not quite be ready to embrace it as a new trend but technology used hand in hand in conjunction with traditional practices will certainly shape the future of work.


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