Are video interviews here to stay?

Are pre-recorded video interviews here to stay?

It seems that pre-recorded candidate interviews are fast becoming part of the recruitment landscape. How do they work and what are the pros and cons?

CVs are screened in the normal way and candidates who make the grade are sent a link to log in and complete a series of pre-recorded questions. Candidates usually get some thinking time before they answer each question but don’t tend to have the option to keep recording an answer before they select one that they are happy with. The resulting videos can then be screened by the hiring manager at their convenience. The general wisdom is that these interviews are a substitute for the first part of the process and will ultimately be followed up by traditional in-person interviews/testing for those that are successful.

This technology has the potential to work well for both the hiring manager and the candidate.

Firstly the time consuming and rarely straightforward task of scheduling interviews is avoided. Candidates can complete the interviews in their own time without having to take time off work which can be especially beneficial for the elusive passive candidate. Time is also saved when reviewing the responses – with managers relating that they can review multiple videos in the time it would take to do one face to face interview. Time wise, it’s a win win. What’s more, videos can be shared with other members of the team who are involved in the process – it can facilitate a more collaborative process even when diaries are near impossible to coordinate.

The majority of resumes tend to fall quickly and neatly onto the “yes”/”no” piles but asynchronous video interviewing gives the “maybes” a chance to demonstrate what they can do beyond the limitations of their CV without overly eating into the hiring manager’s schedule. It gives them the chance to screen candidates who might have slipped through the net on the basis of their resume but who may have useful capabilities that would only be demonstrated during an interview, video or otherwise.

The candidate can be confident that they are competing fairly with others who are subject to exactly the same questions and time allowed to answer them. The “halo/horn” effect – allowing one weak/strong point to direct the course of the interview should be lessened, making the process more objective.

Of course technology has its limitations but with increasing numbers of candidates having access to a webcam these days and standard video interviewing becoming common place there is no reason to think that asynchronous interviews are going to be a step too far for most. As long as this technology is used as a precursor to face to face discussions and not in isolation it should prove to be a useful tool for recruiters and become standard fare for candidates.

threesixty selection – Management & Executive Recruitment Practice. Specialist Search & Selection in Finance, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Manufacturing & Sales.

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