Video Interviewing

Learn When Video Interviews Work Best

Tom Stroud By Tom Stroud on 21.03.2018
Candidate doing a video interview

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "What roles do video interviews work best for?"

To answer this question, I'll share with you our experience from the last eight years of which roles video interviews work well for, and which they don't. I'll also shatter a few myths about video interviewing, and share our top tips to ensure your video interviews are a success. So let's get started.

Graduate recruitment
Graduate roles are without a doubt the best example of where video interviews work remarkably well. The majority of large graduate employers now use video interviews as part of their graduate recruitment process.

With hundreds, even thousands of candidates applying for many graduate programs, video interviews are a fantastic way to screen high volumes of candidates efficiently.


Top Tip: To make your video interview more engaging, get last year's graduates to record the questions. This helps candidates get a better feel for the role, your culture and makes it easier for them to imagine themselves in the job.


Sales Roles
For any role that involves dealing and selling to the public or customers, video interviews are an excellent way to assess a candidate's communication skills, character and energy. If they can't talk confidently, with enthusiasm and passion during your video interview, should you be meeting them in person?

Contact centre roles
Similar to sales roles, contact centre roles often require candidates to demonstrate communication skills, empathy and resilience. Furthermore, due to the high turnover of employees in this sector, being able to screen candidates quickly and efficiently to reduce time to hire and the associated costs, make video interviews a great solution.

Management roles
Equally, for management roles, being able to demonstrate strong presentation skills is essential to performing well. Reviewing a candidate's CV or LinkedIn profile only gives you a limited view of their suitability. A short video interview, four or five questions, is a quick and cost-effective way to compare candidates and identify those the necessary language and communication skills.

Jobs not suitable for video interviews

Generally, for most types of role video interviews are an efficient way to screen and shortlist candidates. However, there are a few roles that are not well suited to video interviewing.

Last year we worked with a customer operating in the care sector. They wanted to use video interviews as a way to screen candidates and assess their empathy, compassion and work ethic. Initially, we thought video interviews would be ideal for this. However, we soon found that their typical candidates had inadequate levels of IT literacy, or just didn't have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer. As a result, far fewer candidates than usual completed the interview.

Other areas where video interviewing has been less successful include;

  • Entry-level unskilled jobs
  • Casual or part-time retail sales jobs
  • Occupations that don't require good interpersonal skills

Asking candidates to do a video interview, can put off many of the less committed, resulting in fewer completed applications.

Myth Busters

Mature candidates won't want to do a video interview.
From our experience, the vast majority of older candidates are just as happy to do them as younger people.

Today, personal video conferencing apps such as Skype and FaceTime are so widely used for communication, that we all take it for granted and have become comfortable with being on camera.

Using video interviews will increase discrimination.
Some people still think because you can see and hear candidates on video it will increase discrimination. However, sadly the truth is if someone is going to discriminate based on age, race, gender or whatever else, they will still do it, only later in the recruitment process at the face to face interview.

In fact, because numerous reviewers can watch and assess each candidate's video interview, it makes it easier to detect any human bias, whether deliberate or subconscious.

Main takeaways

Video interviews are suitable for the majority of roles. Make sure you don't ask more than five or six questions, or you will find a higher proportion of candidates will drop out.

Be more detailed in your questions. Tell the candidate precisely what you're looking for from them. Because they can't ask you to clarify what you're asking, your questions need to be more specific.

Ask open questions which give candidates an opportunity to tell you about themselves, demonstrate their communications skills and personality. One of my favourites is; Tell us what appeals most to you about this job?

Ideally, use a video introduction and ask your questions with recorded videos to improve candidate engagement. Candidates regularly report that being asked question by a person makes the interview process more friendly and pleasant.

If you'd like to find out more about when to use video interviews, get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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