Are Video Interviews Advantageous?

Nancy Anderson
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More and more companies, recruiters and human resources departments depend on video interviews to vet candidates. The technology that fosters this kind of interaction exists on many computers as standard equipment, such as a small video camera, a microphone, an Internet connection and the software needed to complete the connection.

Video interviews offer several advantages for both the job seekers and firms doing the hiring. Companies can conduct face time during any part of the day, anywhere, to try to recruit the best talent to the firm regardless of someone's physical location. Companies that cannot afford expensive travel for viable candidates have come to rely on this technology to find the right person for the job.

Video interviews increased 49 percent between 2011 and 2013, and as many as 60 percent of all hiring managers use this method to vet candidates, according to a study from PGi, a leader in web conferencing software and services. This format gives both companies and job seekers certain advantages.

Instead of arranging travel, booking a flight, staying in a hotel, canceling meetings and taking time off work, candidates save time through video interviews. Sometimes it takes two days to make an interview in another city, and this face time often lasts just one hour. Video technology makes scheduling the interview much easier because both parties just have to agree on a time to meet. Recruiters spend less time weeding through candidates who may not be right for the job.

Virtual interviews save money. Recruiters don't have to fly someone to corporate headquarters, spend money on a hotel, arrange a conference room or provide transportation for the candidate. The average cost of hiring a new employee with in-person, out-of-town interviews is $15,000. Some companies may spend as much as $50,000 during the process to fill just one position. All of these expenses evaporate for video interviews conducted through an Internet connection.

This type of interaction saves energy for everyone involved. The candidate doesn't have to feel anxious about missing a flight or getting stuck in traffic. Videoconferencing to land a job makes the process more relaxed as the interviewee can sit in the comfort of home or a familiar office, and recruiters can talk among themselves off-camera, in the case of a one-way videoconference. The atmosphere is more relaxed for everyone, even though both sides still put their best foot forward.

As a job candidate, you still need to work at nailing the virtual interview. Make sure your equipment works by testing it a few minutes before your scheduled time. Dress appropriately, as if you have an in-person interview. Remove any distractions behind you, such as posters, wall hangings and decorations. Practice and record an interview with a friend to get used to how the technology works, and view the recording to evaluate how you and your surroundings look.

Video interviews give recruiters and candidates the best of everything. Hiring managers get to see the candidate and his reaction to certain questions. A prospective employee doesn't need to worry about travel snafus delaying his best-laid plans to arrive at the designated time and place.

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