A trend is emerging, where some organizations prefer holding initial job interviews through video conferencing channels. That is unlike the situation a few years back, when most organizations, once impressed with your resume, would invite you to a face-to-face interview at their premises. Although majority of organizations still make use of such face-to-face interviews at some point, the emergent trend is one where the initial ‘introductory’ interviews are held over video conferencing channels. The arrangement is usually one where such video conference interviews lead to the production of a final shortlist.
Subsequently, only the people in that final shortlist are invited for face-to-face interviews at the respective organizations’ premises/ headquarters.
So, why is it that some organizations are opting to hold initial job interviews (also referred to as preliminary job interviews) through video conference channels? At least four reasons emerge:
1. It is more cost-effective to hold initial job interviews through the video conference channels. Traditionally, the arrangement was such that the organizations, having invited interviewees to their premises for the interviews, they would have to foot the candidates’ travel and accommodation costs for the trip. This inevitably meant spending money on people the organization would never hire, given the fact that out of a pool of candidates, only one would typically get hired. This was an inefficient way of doing business. It is therefore not surprising that so many organizations involved in long-distance hiring are opting to hold the initial interviews through video conferencing channels. Normally, the arrangement is such that thorough interviews are held, and only the candidates the organizations consider hiring seriously are eventually called to the organizations’ headquarters for ‘final discussions.’
2. It is less disruptive to the candidates to hold initial job interviews through video conference channels. The traditional approach of calling all candidates to the organizations’ headquarters for initial interviews tended to have the effect of raising their collective hopes. It would therefore tend to be cruel for the candidates who didn’t make it to learn of the same, considering the high hopes. Video conference interviews, on the other hand, come across as ‘ordinary day-to-day undertakings.’ The candidates partaking of them get the chance to keep their hopes low, knowing that they may miss out on the opportunity being discussed. Protecting candidates’ feelings is, by the way, very important keeping in mind the fact that in most cases, even when you don’t hire them as employees, you still need to keep them as customers (potential buyers of your product).
3. Video conference-based interviews help identify tech-savvy candidates. This is particularly important for jobs where video conferencing technology has to be used frequently, where you need candidates who are comfortable with the technology. From the interactions on camera, you get a chance to see those candidates who are comfortable with the technology (or, at least, those who learn new technologies fast), and differentiate them from those who struggle with new technologies.
4. Video conference-based interviews help to reveal how the various candidates act under pressure. Video conference communication is usually a bit tense, especially for candidates who are still new to it. That state of affairs gives recruiters the preliminary opportunity to see how candidates act under pressure, before inviting them (the successful ones) for further observation during the face-to-face interviews.