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Navigating a job interview from behind a computer screen is becoming increasingly common for today’s candidates. In a recent survey, 18 percent of respondents said they had participated in at least one video interview during the past year.

The video format is increasingly popular among employers. It is being utilized in either a one-way or two-way format to narrow down the candidate field from entry- to C-level positions. Ten percent of companies surveyed used video interviewing in 2010. This figure jumped to 42 percent just one year later.

One-Way Interviews

The one-way video format often is preferred by employers for their initial rounds of interviews. This format requires candidates to respond to a pre-set list of questions that either pop up as text or are presented as spoken words.

  • Candidates click a link and are guided through a series of screens, typically starting with a practice session. Each screen includes a question with about three minutes allotted for a response. The candidate answers via a webcam which the employer provides if necessary.
  • With some systems, the candidate gets only one shot at a response. Others allow them to play back their first answer and re-do it if they prefer.

Two-Way Interviews

Two-way video interviews happen in real time over Skype or a similar service. Despite the presence of an interviewer, it can be difficult to feel fully connected because eye contact can be tricky. Nevertheless, two-way interviews can yield certain unexpected information which turns out to be a plus.

  • You can tell whether a candidate is truly prepared as you observe how they respond to questions. In an actual scenario, a candidate for a high-ranking PR position was eliminated as they were observed reading their prepared response.
  • It works both ways. Managers need to remember they are on camera as well. One interviewer let this slip their mind and muted the conversation to check email and take phone calls. Whichever side of the conversation you’re on, you need to be alert, professional and on your game throughout the process.

Why Use Video Interviewing

Most experts agree that video interviewing is here to stay and will continue to evolve with technology and future HR industry practices. Its advantages include:

  • Boundary-free recruiting: Video interviewing enables you to reach out to top talent globally and to effectively manage the recruitment process from fewer locations.
  • A solid candidate experience: Candidates surveyed said they appreciated the time flexibility offered by video interviewing. They agreed that the process was fair and consistent and was an effective way for employers to get to know them.
  • Cost savings: Travel costs are reduced by as much as 67 percent. Employers have reported saving up to 35 percent on screening and 50 percent on interviewing expenses.
  • Enhanced branding: Your company can build branded video interviewing portals and use opening and closing clips to promote your employment value proposition.
  • More satisfied hiring managers: Hiring managers can record short introductory clips, as well as questions, and spend time only with the best candidates. They can review video interview feedback at any time, from any location.
  • Effective assessment of candidates’ communication skills: The degree of comfort a candidate has with a video interview speaks volumes about their communication proficiency using today’s technology. This is a key criterion for success as organizations do more and more work online.

Building a digital process incites your hiring team to give more thought to interview questions and which candidate attributes they value the most. Individual decisions are made with reference to the whole, which enhances diversity, quality of hire and the likelihood of a strong cultural match.

Read our related posts or contact the specialized recruiting team at BrainWorks to learn more about video interviewing and other tools to enhance your recruitment process.


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