Four things talented candidates hate about video interviews

January 29, 2020
Four things talented candidates hate about video interviews

With video interviews set to become even more popular in 2020, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that not everybody likes them. In fact, many candidates find video interviews stressful, unnecessary, and an inefficient way to showcase their talents.

So to help you avoid accidentally turning talent away, I wanted to show you a selection of real concerns candidates sometimes have about video interviews. And while I don’t intend to offer any concrete solutions to them, I do believe that it always helps to have more empathy for your recruitment pipeline.

I can’t set up a video studio in my bedroom

Perhaps the biggest issue candidates seem to have with video interviews, is creating the right setting in which to sit the interview. And unless you are interviewing for a digital media position, you might want to cut your candidates some slack in this area.

“I don’t have a nice office with a nice background” says Joshua Joseph from Motivosity, “and I don’t want my potential employer to know what my room looks like – creepy! Next up, lighting and angles. Almost impossible to get right. Sometimes the lights are too warm, and make me look like an Oompa Loompa… no thanks!”

Josh does admit that it’s nice to do an interview without his pants on. But he’d prefer to wear pants, than have to worry about trying to create the perfect studio setting.

I’m worried that my wi-fi will glitch out on me

Of course, once the setting has been established, you’ve got to maintain a decent internet connection. Which is OK for most businesses with reliable internet setups. But for some candidates, an internet connection that reaches all rooms in the house is a pipe dream.

“I’ve had many video interviews, and they make me nervous because technology is always finicky” says Kerianne Vianden, content writer at Hotels4Teams. “I did most of the interviews in my grandparent’s house, because in the very last room at the end of the hallway is a plain, white wall. But the wi-fi there is slow, and there are many times where the screen will be delayed and I can’t hear what they’re saying. There are only so many times you can say ‘I’m sorry, can you repeat that?’”

Some candidates trade off their messy bedroom, for a setting with a poor wi-fi connection. Which is more important? It’s a difficult call to make.

Technological difficulties might take up too much time

But it’s not just bad wi-fi that makes a video interview difficult. There is a whole host of technological components to rely on, and all of them can go wrong.

“I just recently botched a Skype interview because the video and sound quality wasn’t good enough” says Steve Silberberg from Fitpacking. “You’d think that in 2020 any video interview between computers should just work. But there are so many variables. In this case, the interviewers went to a 3rd party website for audio, which increased quality but caused an echo. By the time we worked all the kinks out, we only had a few minutes left, and had virtually no conversation at all.”

Remember that your candidates need time to sell themselves to you. If video quality holds you back, try to give interviewees extra time to help you experience them in true HD!

I can’t make the most of good body language best practice

One of the points of video interview is that it allows you to really ‘meet’ your candidates without bringing them to the office. And unlike a telephone interview, you can see them, watch their body language, and assess their attitude based on the way they hold themselves. Or can you?

There can be certain cues in body language that become much more difficult to read, or more open to being misinterpreted” explains Barbara Hernandez-Taylor, who works for Azuga. “Communication tactics that feel instinctual, such as eye contact, take a much more conscious effort to incorporate in a video interview.”

So while a video interview certainly goes a long way towards helping you get a feel for a person, don’t confuse their constant darting gaze with distraction – they might just be trying to balance looking at the screen, and looking into their camera!

10 questions you should ask in a video interview

If you use video interviews at your company, you might be interested in my short video, which talks about 10 of the questions that might be helpful to ask in a video interview.

Watch my video now.

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