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Never-ending debate about how candidates perceive video interviews

Saara Saalamo

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Tom York

25 May 2021

Every now and then a LinkedIn discussion is started by a jobseeker, asking what people think about one-way video interviews. In most cases, the person starting the topic thinks negatively about video interviews OR has never even gone through the process. This encourages HR professionals to discuss the method, and that’s good! While the majority of the comments might be negative, a lot of job seekers actually think the opposite.

Most common arguments of naysayers:

  • One shouldn’t need to be an actor to get a job
    (well, of course, you don’t. You’re not assessed by your acting skills but based on the content of the answer)
  • My voice sounds terrible when I listen to the recording
    (it’s only you, the recruiter hears you just as you were discussing face-to-face)
  • I don’t like watching myself on video
    (if it’s difficult, then don’t watch, let the recruiters do it)
  • I’d never answer a video interview if I got an invitation
    (you might be in trouble soon with that attitude, video recruitment is growing fast!)

And there are those that think positively about video interviews:

  • It’s a great way to give more information about myself in addition to my CV.
  • I’ve never been a good writer, shooting a video is a lot easier for me.
  • This is the most convenient way to express yourself to recruiters. You can do it from a safe place. For example, your kitchen table!
  • It’s great to see who is actually asking the questions.

Let’s look at real-world data from June 2018 on RecRight video interview reply rates (meaning the ratio between invited and replied candidates).

video-interview-reply-rate

A large number of candidates probably felt a bit anxious when starting the interview, but they still did it. The biggest pain reliever for candidates is the option to re-record their answers (we’ve written about retakes earlier). 

Looking at the invitation volumes above, we can see that they are generally considerably higher than the hiring manager would have time to interview in person. Someone with a strong CV would have been invited to a face to face interview anyway. How about the rest of the good-fit candidates? More often than not, it’s hard to say solely based on a CV. 

As a candidate, receiving a video interview invitation should be good news. It means that you were chosen for the next round from the CV pile. Now the recruiter wants to know more about you, and get more material to make a decision on who to go forward with.

Pulling out longer time averages, reply rates fluctuate between 80-90%. How we at RecRight have helped in getting to these percentages is:

  1. Easy-to-use platform.
  2. Mobile-friendly way to reply, no apps needed.
  3. Being fully transparent ie. showing the questions to candidates all at once
  4. Giving candidates an option to re-record their answer if the first one went south.
  5. Supporting the candidates facing technical problems.

Candidates who replied to an interview, are always asked about how they felt after, and 83% say they were somewhat or very satisfied with video interviewing as a method. More stats can be found in Candidate Survey 2020 (based on over 30k replies).

Now that video is invading the internet (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram), video in recruitment will certainly become more common every day – especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have prepared some tips for those who are creating their first video interview

Tip to jobseekers: start practicing now with your mobile phone or laptop. Record yourself and get used to listening and watching yourself on video.

Tip to employers: start using video interviews now. They boost your employer brand, help to hire the best-fit candidates, shorten time-to-hire, and reduce recruitment costs

As a start, you could try our video recruitment tool, free for 14 days, and see the benefits for yourself!

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