6 Reasons to Fear Video Interviews

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

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Today I read about a company that provided a candidate video interview service.  For a fee companies sign up to have a third party ask prospective employees to answer one question on video.  The candidate gets one shot to answer the question and get an interview.  There is no other initial screening.   Sounds like it might be efficient.  That’s great if your goal is to churn as many applicants through the process as possible.  Not so great if you are trying to hire top talent.

There is a place, however, for video in your attraction, selection, and hiring process. In our executive search practice we try to use video interviews with as many candidates as possible.  This gives us a much better sense of who we are talking to.  It also goes miles in building a personal relationship with that person.  We have also started to encourage more of our clients to hire with video interviews.  Video doesn’t take the place of an in-person meeting.  Online interviews do, however, save money. They also position the company as having an innovative and technology centered culture.  Something the Millennial generation is actively seeking.

But there are reasons to fear video interviewing.  Below are 6 reasons to fear video interviewing that I have actually heard people say…

1) “I don’t know how to use the equipment.”  – Then learn.  The job video interview is probably not going away and this technique is growing.  Something as simple as Skype works great and allows you to share video clips of interviews with others in the hiring process.

2) “It’s just a phone call with a picture, isn’t it?” – If you believe this then you should fear video interviews. More than just a phone call with a picture, video interviewing is like an audition.  You are auditioning the candidate and the candidate is auditioning you.  Be prepared for the call and practice looking at the camera when you are speaking, not the screen.

3) “I don’t have a make-up artist.” – Get over yourself.  Office lighting is usually terrible and no one looks like a movie star on a webcam.  Just watch one of the recent Charlie Sheen videos and you’ll see what I mean.

4) “I’ll just do it at home in my kitchen .” – Maybe you won’t do it from your kitchen, but what about that awful wall in your office behind you?  Candidates don’t want to talk with a disheveled person in a cluttered space.  If your background is not orderly and pleasant, either change the angle of your camera or go do it in the conference room.

5) “Where will I get an announcer voice?” – If you are going to change the tone, cadence, and resonance of your voice to sound like a monster truck pull advertisement, then be fearful of video interviews.  You don’t need a TV voice, just be yourself.

6) “They won’t work here if they know what I look like.” – Seriously? Will you be wearing a disguise when you meet them in person?

There really is nothing to fear when recruiting with video interviews.  Employers will find this to be an effective and efficient way to quickly meet prospective candidates.  Just take the time to prepare, know the intent of the video interview, and start doing your interview videos today.