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Video Interviews: Should You Keep or Ditch Them Post-Pandemic

Posted by Ashley Preuss
video interviews

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve come to know the phrase, “the new normal” all too well. As we adapted to social distancing, companies felt the pressure to shift many of their hiring practices to virtual formats. Video interviews weren’t by any means a brand-new technology that suddenly appeared due to the health crisis. But their use exploded exponentially and became part of that “new normal” in the recruitment process virtually overnight.

If you’ve adopted video interviews, you know there are advantages, but you might also crave that old-fashioned, in-person alternative. So what comes next? Have you thought about how virtual interviews will continue or cease to be a part of your recruitment efforts in the future? Will you go back to your pre-pandemic hiring practices, dive deeper into the virtual world, or choose a hybrid option?

When we spoke with Peter Brooks, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Northrop Grumman, earlier this year, he remarked:

“There are a lot of people who feel that the pandemic is winding down, and there’s certainly some relief that comes with that. However, I think in some ways, this year is going to be more challenging than last year, because when you didn’t have an option (you’re either going to go virtual, or you’re not going to be in existence), you could quickly move in a direction. Now the question is going to be what balance do we want?”

Only time will tell when the uncertainties of the pandemic will be behind us completely, but if you haven’t started planning for the future of your interview practices, here’s some food for thought to help you consider your approach going forward.

Do Job Seekers Want In-Person or Virtual Interviews

A recent LinkedIn survey posted by Brooks, posed a question to job seekers to gauge their preference for virtual or in-person interviews after the pandemic. The findings showed that 22% preferred in-person interviews, 33% of respondents wanted to remain virtual, and 45% opted for whichever is most convenient.

In-person interviews have remained fundamental to recruitment—even persisting after technology opened the door to other alternatives. Though 2020 and much of this year saw a decrease in the usual number of in-person interviews taking place across industries, there are still individuals who prefer face-to-face interactions in the hiring process.

Comments on Brooks’ LinkedIn survey conveyed, “As a candidate who’s been on both sides of an interview table, I feel in-person interviews allow for a more wholistic interview feel for both the candidate and interviewers.” Another respondent noted, “There are a lot of ineffable qualities in a candidate that can really only be observed in a face-to-face interview. You lose much of that with the separation of a remote interview.”

Some folks crave in-person interactions in the hiring process and value the ability to read body language across the table and build a personal connection. But virtual interviews have their advantages too. One person who commented on Brooks’ survey explained, “I’m casting my job search net across multiple cities, so my availability to do in person interviews is limited depending on location.” They added, “Travelling to and from an interview site takes time. It’s easier to log into a Zoom meeting and leave when it’s over without having additional commuting time being taken away from you.”

High Preference for Hybrid Options

Many of the comments on the LinkedIn poll suggested people were interested in a combination of virtual and in-person interviews, or at least the option to choose whichever is most convenient. Some noted they would prefer the initial interview to take place virtually, and then they’d like to come into the office later in the process. A hybrid option that included some virtual components would still allow them to save time and expenses on travel initially.

Others shared that giving the candidate the option to choose between a virtual or in-person interview would be helpful, as various personality types might excel in one format over another. One such commenter said, “I think introverts do better in virtual environments and the extroverts function better in person.”

Another commenter added, “From the company assessment standpoint, it’s key to determine whether in-person or virtual communication is instrumental for performing successfully in the role – and select the type of interview accordingly.” For instance, if it’s a client-facing role that requires interpersonal skills, having an in-person interview might be more important to the hiring manager so they can better assess the soft skills needed for success in the position.

During a ClearedJobs.Net webinar in June, Raman Malhotra, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at Leidos, shared that the pandemic brought the opportunity to be flexible. When discussing video interviews she said, “Now is it here to stay? I think this particular option will stay, along with giving an option to come in person as well.” She added, “From a flexibility point of view, now we can ask a question to the candidate: is your preference coming in person or is your preference doing a video interview? I think that’s going to help us be able to fill our positions quickly.”

Your Plan Going Forward

At the end of the day, a large consideration in the approach you choose to take is what’s going to be most successful – and can it save you time or money? One LinkedIn poll comment summed it up by saying, “In the current job market, whichever is faster is what we’re doing, so that we don’t lose high quality candidates.”

Thinking about what’s next for your interview practices in a post-pandemic future may not elicit an immediate, clear-cut answer. Depending on your own preferences and those of your hiring managers and government customers, the format in which you conduct interviews for various positions might differ.

Whether you use in-person, virtual, or a combination of both interview types, a positive candidate experience will always help to support your talent acquisition outcomes. So as you think about your options, reflect on what you’ve learned throughout the pandemic and take the best elements of both worlds.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 1:49 pm

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