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Are phone interviews dead?

Andy Haywood our consultant managing the role
Andy Haywood our consultant managing the role
Posted: 29/10/2019

The age of video

In the age of Skype, FaceTime and YouTube, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that video is replacing phone calls as the preferred channel for initial interviews. In the US, six out of ten hiring managers use video, and the UK is following suit.

The benefits for employers are clear: video interviews are as quick and convenient as a phone call, but provide far better insight into a candidate’s experience and character. Since 55% of communication is actually non-verbal, employers can glean a lot of information simply by seeing someone respond to their questions.

We’re still camera shy

For some candidates, the pleasure of securing a job interview can be offset when they hear it’s by video rather than phone. Whether because of camera shyness or technophobia, it seems a webcam can unsettle even experienced professionals.

But the benefits of video extend to you too. For example, although a more rigorous screening process sounds daunting, it’s actually in your favour: you’ll only attend a face-to-face interview if you’re a good match, so you won’t waste time and effort on a job you’re not right for.

On-demand video interviews are particularly convenient for candidates, since these allow you to record your responses at literally any time – so no more sneaking around at work, or using valuable annual leave.

Once candidates get over initial shyness or resistance to change, they often discover a preference for video over phone interviews. You only have to look at some of the tweets about HireVue – a leading platform for video interviews – to recognise this.

So, is video king?

Video interviewing looks set to stay, forcing phone interviews to take a backseat. An increasing number of companies are recognising the cost and time efficiencies it affords, and it’s already been adopted by numerous top global brands – such as Deloitte, GSK, Vodafone, Nike and Random House to name a few.

However, video interviews are no replacement for meeting in the flesh (perhaps with the exception of urgent or overseas roles). When a job offer becomes tangible, it’s vital you meet the employer properly to get a better sense of company culture, ask detailed questions and see where you’ll be working.

At Hobson Prior, we personally believe that the best results – for candidates and companies alike – come from using technological innovations in conjunction with human interaction. As such, we use video interviews to complement our recruitment process, while continuing to build real relationships between candidates, clients and ourselves.

I’ve been asked to do a video interview – what now?

If you're asked to complete a video interview, the key is to approach it as an opportunity rather than an obligation. Have confidence in your abilities, and use the video interview to really express your enthusiasm and confidence. We recommend preparing as thoroughly as you would for a face-to-face interview; see our top tips for video interview success to help you deliver a stand-out performance.

At Hobson Prior, we’ve invested in HireVue – a leading online platform – to make video interviews a simple and pleasant experience. You can learn more about our video interviews here.

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