Our world is going increasingly virtual, affecting everything from work to entertainment. Job interviews, traditionally face-to-face events, are now frequently done using video technology to speed up the hiring process. There is no clear “winner”, however, when comparing the pros and cons of the virtual interview. With video, success is very dependent upon how it is executed. Here’s a look at the comparison:
Video Interview Pros
- They are about as good as an in-person interview.
- Interviews can be held anywhere there is a computer, saving time and money but also allowing for convenient out-of-state interviews.
- The length of the hiring process can be shortened.
- Multiple interviews can be scheduled with a candidate with little prep time.
- It is simpler to sit down in front of your computer, than to drive to an office.
- On Demand Interviews: Pre-recorded interview questions allow hiring managers to easily compare answers amongst the candidates.
Video Interview Cons
- It can be awkward.
- You may miss non-verbal clues.
- They might feel impersonal.
- The audio and video technology itself could be distracting.
- A candidate cannot get a feel for the work environment.
- On Demand Interviews: Since the hiring manager is not present, there is no opportunity for natural back and forth conversation or follow-up questioning.
The most important thing to remember about video interviews is that you should prepare exactly the same way as you would prepare for a face-to-face meeting with an office staffer. Dress your best and be on time. Don’t make the mistake of wearing only the top half of your suit with jeans on the bottom. You never know when you might have to stand up! Be sure to keep your focus on the screen and make “eye contact” with the webcam.
Not all video interviews take place on your own computer. If they do, be sure to check your broadband connection, audio, video and call software in advance. Your interview might also be done at some other designated location. If so, you might have a microphone set up. Mics can be intimidating, so practice if you can. No matter where the interview takes place, it’s a good idea to turn on the in-screen video of yourself so you can see how you look. It probably wouldn’t go well if the interviewer was looking at your shoulder the whole time!
Not only are interviews being done online, but some critical services are being performed that way as well. As a specialist in medical staffing, I am sure we are going to continue to see an increase in telemedicine. According to U.S. News and World Report, 17 percent of the U.S. workforce telecommutes, up 80 percent from 2005. And, collaborative desktop sharing is quickly becoming a valuable method of training. So, if you aren’t up to speed with technology, now would be a good time to get acclimated!