Digital Interviewing – Is this the “New Normal?”
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen new ways of working being introduced so that businesses can continue operating and moving forward. Digital interviewing has been around for a long time and normally deployed in early stage interviewing or for connecting with overseas candidates. However, due to lockdown government guidelines and the need to protect ourselves, video interviewing has grown exponentially over the last 8 months. So much so that we are seeing whole interview processes being managed virtually all the way through to offer stage. Digital interviewing is fast becoming the new norm.
Here is our take on the pros & cons of virtual interviewing.
Convenience & Speed
When you are hiring, finding the right person for a role will always tend to be a time heavy process. However, digital interviewing has given employers distinct advances in being able to save some of the time they would usually have spent at the interview stage. Often the logistical challenge of getting interviewers into the same space at the same time can causes delays, however, now popping all parties onto a virtual meeting means we can move processes forward quickly, having to jump less hurdles to get something organised.
Although moving at pace has its distinct advantages there it is also important to acknowledge if processes do move at a quicker speed it may have an impact on the amount of preparation all parties can undertake. Could this effect the quality of how businesses present themselves to candidates and vice versa?
The ability to carry out interviews ‘virtually’ allows businesses to interview candidates literally anywhere; all previous challenges such as finding interview rooms, booking interviews within office hours, having to be in the office have all been removed. This new flexibility offers a much greater array of options for employers to get interviews booked.
Whilst flexibility is helpful, there is also some obvious problems that can arise – will employers be putting extra pressures on interviewers to interview candidates outside of work hours? Will people’s workdays get progressively longer to fit in recruitment processes
Traditionally there are a number of factors that are assessed when interviewing in a more traditional face-to-face meeting which are less relevant on virtual interviews, for example things like body language, handshakes, presentation and first impressions are all considered. Virtual interviewing removes many of these factors and possibly allows the interviewer to focus on the quality of the candidates answers and therefore assess them more accurately.
If we are considering that virtual interviewing has removed many of the traditional assessment criteria it is worth considering that virtual interviewing has brought a whole new raft of assessment criteria. For example, the room the candidate is in, the quality of their internet connection, camera placement. Is this appropriate and does this detract from them being assessed fairly for the role?
There are several platforms for digital interviewing including Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and even FaceTime. The technology used is constantly improving; in fact, candidates can even use their phones or tablets if they do not own a computer or laptop. As the technology improves, surely this will give more people access to virtual interviewing and greater employment opportunities for all.
This subject is definitely worth a more in-depth discussion, however, at what point does the increasing dependability on technology during the recruitment process take away from the ultimate goal? Not only do companies seek candidates who can do a job, they want someone who can fit into the team and work within the pre-existing company culture. How can a business consistently find the right fit when technology does remove many of the interpersonal interactions traditional methods bring?
Considering the above, post Covid-19, companies may need to decide whether they will continue to interview digitally, return to more traditional methods or use a mix of techniques. We can give a lot of merit to virtual interviewing, it’s a method that’s been used for years and has kept businesses afloat during these difficult times, but soon, we’ll have to see what is the preferred practice.