Candidates really like video interviews. Here's why.

Key takeaways:

  • 92% of candidates like on-demand video interviews because they see these interviews as flexible, innovative, and a chance to make an impression beyond their resumes.
  • On-demand videos are recorded by candidates and submitted to recruiters and  hiring managers for review, making it easier to assess more candidates in their own words.
  • We recommend giving candidates plenty of time to answer questions, allow them multiple takes before submitting, and have recruiters record themselves asking the questions.

Video interviews were still relatively new when the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations worldwide to start working – and recruiting – from home.

But how do candidates feel about this new technology? Do they like video interviewing? So we asked. More than 400,000 responses later, and it turns out candidates really, really like video interviewing. We’re talking 92%.

You’re not likely to get that level of agreement if you ask people what color the sky is. So we dug deeper to find out why.

Jump ahead if you’re in a hurry – for everyone else, let’s first take a quick look at how we got here.

The different types of video interviews and the roles they play in the hiring process

There are two main types of video interviews: live and on-demand. Live video interviews are the traditional screen-to-screen interactions that happen later in the hiring process. On-demand video interviews are prerecorded and occur earlier in the process, giving candidates time to sell themselves and hiring teams a chance to decide whether they want to commit to a live interview.

Live video interviews

Before 2020, most video interviews were live and took place over video conference software like Zoom or Skype. Many still do, but it’s no longer necessary.

First, there’s the issue of technology. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet all have reputations for reliability, as do many others. The problem isn’t the software. It’s spotty Internet connections and laptops that haven’t been updated in a long, long time.

Add in working from home, and you’re liable to meet with a menagerie of cats, dogs, spouses, children, roommates, and other unexpected interruptions. Don’t forget to sprinkle in poor lighting and ambient noises for good measure.

Suffice to say that live video interviews can and do work… just not always. They’re an important part of the hiring equation, particularly as the field of candidates narrows.

On-demand video interviews

For earlier in the hiring process, consider on-demand video interviews. As the name suggests, the primary difference is an on-demand interview is recorded. This gives candidates more flexibility, as we’ll see in a moment.

Finally, we should note our survey addressed on-demand interviews. That said, many of the lessons here can be applied to live video interviews as well.

Why so many candidates say they like video interviewing:

 

  1. Video interviews give candidates an opportunity to shine beyond their resumes. Viewed in isolation, it’s hard for job seekers to get a sense of your company if all they see is a job description. The same is true for resumes, only in reverse; it’s hard to know who you’re really hiring based on an 8×10 PDF, size 11 font, single-spaced. Seeing a candidate on video gives you insight into their communication style, how well they prepare, and their ability to think critically.
  2. Candidates have flexibility when doing on-demand video interviews. By virtue of being on-demand, candidates decide when to record (80% do so during working hours) and what device they want to use (51% opt for a mobile device, 49% use their desktop). Candidates also choose where – and can rerecord sections should the cat wake up and start howling for no apparent reason. (Not that this has ever happened to me.)
  3. 83% of job seekers perceive employers that use video interviews as innovative. High favorability means you may wish to advertise an on-demand video interview before job seekers apply. This has the bonus of deterring job seekers who are mass applying to every listing they find, as they may not want to provide the extra work.
  4. Offer a support line that candidates can call for questions and advice. Our data shows 17% of candidates have called into our support line, and not just for tech questions. Most call to confirm they know how the video interview works and ask for tips and pointers before they begin.

Three tips to help candidates navigate their on-demand video interviews easier:

  • Give candidates enough time to answer each question thoroughly without rushing. Additionally, tell them how much time they’ll have before they start.
  • Have the recruiter assigned to the job record themselves asking the questions. This adds a layer of personability and prevents the exercise from feeling one-sided.
  • Give candidates the option to review and record several times before moving onto the next question. Let them know this upfront, so they don’t worry if they make a mistake.

Ready to learn more about video interviewing? Check out our infographic by clicking below.

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