Recruiting, Technology

Pros and Cons of Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews have been used for years but became much more prevalent during the pandemic. They can be done either as a recording, whereby the employer sends questions to the candidate, who records himself or herself answering the questions, or as a live interview via video technology, in which videoconferencing technology is used so the interviewer and interviewee can speak to and see one another remotely.

Source: Vadym Pastukh, shutterstock

Let’s look at some pros and cons of utilizing virtual interviews during the recruiting process.

Virtual Interviews: Pros

Here are some potential benefits for employers using virtual interviews:

  • Virtual interviews are usually easier to schedule, which means you can get candidates through the recruiting process quicker.
  • No commuting will be needed for the interviewee.
  • Candidates may feel safer (regarding virus exposure) because they’re not required to be in public.
  • The process is ideal for remote roles because the employer can cast a wider geographical net.
  • Employers can have interviewers from different parts of the organization who may be in different locations attend at the same time.
  • Virtual interviews usually involve less of a cost for interviewees because they don’t have to drive or get transportation to the interview.
  • They may also be less costly for the employer because there’s less of a time disruption.
  • Interviews can easily be recorded and viewed by others in the organization, meaning employers can get others’ opinions even if they were unable to attend.
  • In recorded one-way interviews, there is less bias introduced into the process because every candidate is given the same question list.
  • This process may be easier for candidates who are currently employed because they don’t have to take time off from their current job.
  • This type of interview can quickly show a candidate’s level of technological comfort, which may be important if it’s relevant for the job.

Virtual Interviews: Cons

Now let’s review some possible drawbacks to using virtual interviews:

  • If the job is not remote, a virtual interview may give the false sense that it is, which could disappoint interviewees, who will ultimately be required to come to a central office location.
  • It may be tougher to discern nonverbal cues like body language during this type of interview.
  • It could also be more difficult to establish rapport in some cases.
  • Technical issues can wreak havoc on the process.
  • This process may inadvertently disqualify an otherwise good candidate if someone doesn’t have the required technology to attend the interview.
  • Poor connection speeds can mean choppy audio or video, which could not only hamper the process but also lead to biases against interviewees.
  • Some applicants may be discouraged to continue the process when they discover it will be a video interview because they lack the technological expertise or dislike being recorded. This is especially problematic if technical expertise is not a job requirement.
  • A virtual interview may result in distractions that wouldn’t otherwise be present, like a noisy background.
  • There’s isn’t as much room for spontaneous introductions or tours.

Has your organization conducted virtual interviews during the pandemic? If yes, are you still using this method? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.