February 2022 – 4 Min Read

Since COVID took the working world by storm a couple of years ago, online job interviews have become just as common as face-to-face interviews. The world is seemingly moving full force towards a digital age of online work and interviews, and there are advantages and disadvantages to this drastic change too many peoples lives.

Why Do Recruiters Still Choose Face-To-Face Interviews?

A study performed by the Degroote School of Business at McMaster University in Ontario suggests that job applicants who were interviewed using video conferencing platforms were less likely to get the job compared to the ones who underwent face-to-face interviews. On the other hand, the same research points out that interviewers who use online interview methods may be regarded as less trustworthy and personable by the candidates, which means that the candidate might feel tempted to refuse a job offer.

Apparently, meeting a job candidate face-to-face is beneficial both on the part of the recruiter and on the part of the job applicant. As organisations compete for talent, personal evaluations may convince a candidate to accept an offer. 22% of employers were conducting online interviews pre-pandemic, opposed to the 79% of employers who are now conducting them post-pandemic.

Personal interviews are still a good way of gathering information on candidates, as the interviewer has the chance to watch the body language and non-verbal behaviour of the candidate. Recruiters have more flexibility when it comes to connecting the dots. Spontaneous answers sometimes fail to show up from a candidate when they know they might be recorded, as it adds an extra level of stress that doesn’t exist in face-to-face interviews.

Advantages of Video Interviews

One of the main downfalls of a face-to-face interview is that it is both time and cost-consuming. Meeting an applicant is a process that can occur after many appointments have been made and cancelled. Due to this, it’s less beneficial for the recruiter. On top of this, it might prove to be a too expensive method for the applicant, particularly if they’re applying for a job in a different city or town to their own. Traveling from one location to the other depends on availability and personal finances. Another disadvantage of face-to-face interviews is the possibility of an intimidating atmosphere from your potential new employers. Some people do not deal well with being made to feel uncomfortable, and therefore will underperform in their interview.

Often businesses will find it much easier to conduct an interview as soon as possible if it can be done from home rather than having to move other responsibilities around to fit in a face-to-face meeting in an office setting. In turn, this makes interviewing candidates a much more cost-effective process, as now businesses are not required to pay to bring candidates into their place of work to determine if they’re a suitable match or not.

The advancement of technology in the working world has meant that video interviews are now much more of a viable option, with systems working seamlessly and getting better and better every day. This change is something that has sped up interview processes and makes for a much more efficient timeline .

The Negatives of Online Interviews

Some candidates and recruiters might still prefer in-person interviews over video conferencing. Job applicants might be unable to acquit themselves well on video, even though they were brought up on technology. This method may place a technological barrier between the interviewer and the candidate, as a possible lack of eye contact may occur.

Online interviews also bring about the potential issue of technological disadvantages, as not every candidate may own a device capable of online interviews or may not be a tech savvy person at all. Another negative of online interviews, is that the candidate does not get to see their potential new work setting or meet any of their could be colleagues, leaving them without a true representation of the environment they may be spending every day in.

Adjusting to the requirements of video software is a concern for candidates, as they may think of the experience as being an uncomfortable and unnecessary effort. By the same token, the conversation can suffer from poor audio or video quality and thus become time-consuming for both the recruiter and for the candidate.

However, given a choice, most people would prefer an in-person interview according to a new survey (2019) from staffing company Yoh, which finds that 62% of the 2,000 U.S. adults polled would prefer a traditional interview over a virtual one. The biggest reason, cited by nearly 60% of respondents, is that face-to-face interviews are the only way to “truly judge a new job opportunity.” The second reason, selected by 37% of respondents, is that online interviews would limit the connection with the interviewer, and 17% of respondents chose “too many opportunities for technical difficulties” as a reason why in-person interviews are preferable to virtual ones.

 

Overall, there are both pros and cons to online and face-to-face interviews, and both will be better suited to different candidates and recruiters depending on a wide variety of variables in relation to personal preferences. The most important thing is finding the best format that keeps all parties comfortable and happy, and with this, the most success will be found when looking for potential employees.