Video interviews are not new. With the latest conferencing technologies, conducting job interviews online is economical and easy. For the jobseeker, being invited to a video interview may not have been as popular as it has become today with recent safe-distancing measures. That said, it will not come as a surprise should many corporations, both large and small, continue to include online interviews as part of job applications even after restrictions ease.
As organisations work towards digitalisation, we will see more human resource teams adopting a suite of technologies to streamline hiring processes. Whether online interviews will be a new norm for jobseekers, however, remains a question to be pondered. Let’s consider the factors below.
1. Role of online interviews for different organisations
For new startups with logistical challenges, conducting an online interview with a candidate will be a better option than struggling to find a convenient place for a face-to-face conversation. That aside, any startup or even small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) would benefit from the flexibility and freedom afforded by online interviewing when it comes to scheduling calls with multiple candidates in a day. This is one of the reasons why companies do online interviews instead. These can also be recorded (with permission, of course) and assessed again for role suitability after the interview. As technology becomes more advanced, a lot of in-person interactions can be adapted to the online realm and these tech-savvy organisations can further innovate their interviewing methods to support their hiring goals.
Should you apply for start-up or SME positions, you can expect an online interview as part of the job application. That said, some employers may still prefer to conduct in-person interviews to assess your body language and sharpness in responding to questions without any aid, which you may otherwise take advantage of during a video interview.
For companies based overseas such as multinational corporations (MNCs), online interviews will do the trick, as they have always been. At times, hirers from MNCs may be stationed out of town which means candidates will need to interview virtually. While there are many such reasons why such companies benefit better from online interviews, larger corporations and government agencies may find it risky to hire candidates without meeting them in person. This means you could expect a face-to-face interview to follow an online one when trying for positions in these organisations.
2. Taking advantage of online interviews based on job types
If you are looking out for freelance positions, you will most likely find online interviews a norm. After all, when you work remotely, you will only need to engage with the respective companies when receiving and submitting assignments. Interviews for office and desk jobs can also be conducted online unless otherwise required by the organisation.
For jobs that require a level of interaction with stakeholders, such as those between teachers and students, nurses and patients, police officers and the public, relying completely on online interviews may not provide a complete assessment of the candidates’ competencies. While an online interview can be made as part of the job application, it may be accompanied by a physical interview to study the candidate further.
The recent pandemic has also shone a light on professionals’ digital literacy and their ability to fully optimise technologies to enhance daily tasks as well as support job functions in times of change. With the advent of smart cities all over the globe, being assessed for one’s technological prowess will become increasingly important. For instance, jobseekers applying for teaching roles today may be assessed for their ability to conduct online classes with a bunch of digital tools to enhance the overall curriculum.
3. Why companies do online interviews
The flexibility and convenience offered by video interviews discussed earlier may be the main reason why some companies do online interviews. Others, however, consider it a strategic tool.
When companies need to find the right talent, they will do what it takes to get the best of the lot. Aside from screening the market for such prospects, they also need to make it easier for the potential candidate to discuss opportunities with them. For employers who want to hire talents from other organisations, they need to provide candidates with the flexibility to phone in or have a video interview at their convenience as opposed to them finding a good day and time to meet the employer at the office. With this, candidates won’t have to request for time off to head down for an interview.
Companies also do online interviews to hire freelancers beyond their borders and expand their network across the globe. This exposes them to new opportunities for organisational growth.
Is a video interview a good sign?
It definitely is! Just like an office interview, a video interview is a good sign that the employer wants to know what you have to offer. Video interviews will become increasingly popular and could be a norm for certain types of organisations and roles. Yet, they will never completely replace face-to-face interviews. You will, therefore, need to prepare for video interviews as you would for a physical one. This not only entails preparing for the interview itself but also practising how to conduct yourself virtually, making use of digital tools to aid interviews where possible and staying up to date with different online interview formats that emerge in the years to come.