We’ve all been through face-to-face interviews and are used to car/train journeys, trying to find somewhere to park in busy city centres. Then checking your hair and suit before walking into reception and announcing your arrival, as several other hopefuls look on, and repeating the experience at the second stage, if you are lucky!

Well, times are changing. More and more companies, recruiters and agencies are tapping into video interviews for at least screening and first stage interviews.  This method of recruitment is becoming very popular for cost and efficiency reasons. Interviews/tasks are recorded in advance through companies such as webrecruit, LaunchPad and InterviewStream, who use their web-based software to conduct the actual interview.

With recorded interviews, the interviewer sets the questions that form the webcam interview and invite applicants through an ad or email. The candidate can take the interview at any point up to your deadline. The bonus of a recorded video interview is that it is stored for the hiring manager to review at their convenience. For those who use jobs boards, in most cases, you can add a video link to the job posting so initial interviews can be recorded.

For recruiters, video interviewing software helps you quickly and effectively shortlist candidates, however, there is no substitute for finally meeting candidates in person. Video gives you great insight into the personality behind the qualifications but the spontaneity and gut feeling you get from a one-on-one meeting is necessary, at least once.

Alternatively, employers conduct video interviews directly using the hiring manager and/or members of the recruiting team using Skype, so there is real-time interaction and experience can be probed in more depth.

On the candidate part, they can practice ahead of the interviews as sample questions are provided. They also need to ensure they are presentable, clutter is cleared if the interview is recorded from home, and they remain undisturbed by humans and pets alike! First impressions do count and if this is used as part of a wider-screening process, it may be the only opportunity to create a good impression.

There are pros and cons of using such methods, and as with all data, care must be taken to explain how the information will be used and how long it will be stored. Finally, ensure that you follow all the legal checks before you offer a job to protect yourself.

Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about the contents of this article!

A creative and commercial writer, with experience as a business mentor for start-ups/SMEs, as a HR consultant and as a published author of many books and articles.

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