Do The Advantages of Video Interviewing Outweigh The Disadvantages?
What benefit has being able to see your interviewee brought you?
Let’s count the ways:
- • You can interview someone remotely, reducing exposure to any communicable diseases; sure, but what do you gain by seeing the person?
• You can make judgements about their sincerity, nervousness, and other visual cues you only got from a face-to-face engagement previously; sure, but how reliable and relevant are those “cues”?
• You can save money by interviewing remotely and thereby minimize applicant travel and lodging expenses; sure, but what does that have to do with being able to see the person?
• It demonstrates to your applicant pool that your Company is “up” on all the latest technology; and this really helps in what way?
• The visual aspect can perpetuate bias against race, sex, and handicap; wait, I was reviewing the benefits, not disadvantages!
Don’t get me wrong, remote interviewing is very helpful, especially in these times of highly contagious viruses. It’s the video aspect I question. But without video, how can you do remote interviewing; there are other communications channels available to use. Sure, its human nature to want to see the person you’re talking with, but beyond curiosity, videoing the person adds nothing to the process of evaluation (does it?), but opens you up to claims of bias (whether present or not) and works against your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. The communication link between you and the interviewee does not have to involve videoing the interviewee.
The conclusions drawn by manual or automated evaluation of an applicant’s physical behaviors and appearance while on the video engagement are often neither reliable nor even relevant. As Charles Krauthammer once observed, “Trying to act natural in front of a camera is the most unnatural thing to try to do”; we can all relate to being “camera-shy”. Or the reverse, a real, practiced actor/actress in front of the camera; neither are as they seem on the job. You could very well be evaluating unnatural, rehearsed behavior, not “normal” behaviors that would be displayed on-the-job.
Focus instead on non-visual remote interviewing and great insightful questions to find your top applicants. Can they do the job, will they be motivated by the job and stay with it, and how would they fit into your Company’s culture. Some are in self-denial that they’re influenced by a person’s looks or how they behave on camera, but, privately, if you really think about your own behavior, you’ll have to admit, for instance, that an physically attractive candidate will receive more attention and consideration, it’s just eye-catching. Regardless of statistics, it is wrong to deny a job to someone that could otherwise succeed in that job based on job-irrelevant visual factors.
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