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How interviewing is changing
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How interviewing is changing

Posted on 01 July 2020

To download our latest booklet 'Why your employer brand matters' click here.​

Holding an interview is vital to find the right fit for your team and organisation, but it can be quite time-consuming. Recently organisations have been forced to change to video interviews and now that the restrictions are easing, should we be jumping straight back into face to face interviews?

Face to face vs video interviews

Face to face interviews have many pros and cons. Although we can’t get the deep insights we used to get from that “perfect” handshake, there is still plenty that can be learnt in person. After resorting to video interviewing many organisations have found that it has been a fine substitute, and actually has some benefits that outshine face to face interviews.


  • Allow for more in-depth data collection and comprehensive understanding

  • Body language and facial expressions are more clearly identified and understood

  • The interviewer can probe for explanations of responses

  • Stimulus material and visual aids can be used to support the interview

  • Interview length can be considerably longer since the participant has a greater commitment to participate

  • Saves time and money

  • Expands your company’s reach/candidate pool

  • More effective and convenient


  • Interviews are more time-consuming to recruit and conduct

  • As a result of timing and travel, Face to face interviews can be expensive

  • Interviews can deliver biased responses

  • Most carefully vet the respondent’s ability before investing time in the recruitment process and interview process

  • Loss of fairness to prejudice

  • Stress using technology

  • No direct interaction

While video interviews may save you time and money, it may be strategic to use a combination of the two. Using a video interview for initial screening, you can obtain an understanding of a person without being time-costly for many teams who are time-poor. You can then choose to move forward to a face to face interview, giving you the opportunity to delve deeper and find out if they are the perfect fit for your team, and any other questions you have, giving you the best of both worlds.

73% of people say you can't beat a face to face meeting

27% of people prefer video calls

​Video call etiquette

There is an etiquette when conducting a video interview. Just as you would expect certain behaviours in a face to face interview, there are basic expectations for both candidates and employees in a video interview also.

All parties should be aware of what appears in the background of their camera. Having a video call at home is an open window into your personal life, you want to ensure that you are making a good impression as a representative of your organisation.

It’s important to also complete your technical checks prior to the interview, there’s nothing worse than having to fix a technical issue on the fly. Candidates may also judge your company poorly if the interview is not conducted smoothly. Taking the time to test run your mic, sound, and camera you show your care and consideration for the candidates' time.

And lastly, we should all be a little empathetic to each other’s circumstances. Things may go wrong, you may hear a child in the background, a cat clawing at the door. Accepting that while they may have picked the quietest spot in the house, life isn’t perfect and sometimes interruptions are unavoidable.

Online interview with laptop
Face to face interview
Online interview with computer
Someone talking on their phone

Tips on conducting a video Interview

  • Use a normal screen and not your mobile so you can see the reactions of the interviewee in more detail and will be able to sympathise better.

  • Make sure your full face is in the view, place the camera in a horizontal line to your eyes or above eyeline, to get a more flattering angle.

  • Look to the point where the camera is located or to the middle of your screen; When you are looking away try to move your head not just your eyes as this may look strange on camera.

  • On a video call there is no need to react when not necessary, “hmm” and “yes” are less sympathetic online than they are in real life.

  • Explain and reassure the candidate. Let them know how your company or client is reacting to Covid-19, mention all the precautions and policies that are in place. Be transparent as possible to build trust with the candidate.

  • Acknowledge that face to face interviews are different, so you will need to adjust your interviewing style accordingly. If you candidate gives their permission you may even be able to record the interview (abiding by privacy laws), which will prevent you from needing to take notes, and give you the opportunity to re-watch the interview, picking up on subtle clues you may have missed the first time around.

  • Take an interest in how the candidate is reacting to the current climate. This will give you an insightful view into the candidate’s overall attitude, culture capacity, and even humour.

To download our latest booklet 'Why your employer brand matters' click here.

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