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What Exactly is Video Interviewing?


Earlier in the year my company Metashift conducted a major piece of industry research into the emerging trend of video interviewing. We were keen to find out what technology was available in the market and what kind of experience employers were having with it.

It became clear very early on in our research that there are some varying definitions of “video interviewing” and this is potentially causing a lot of confusion in the marketplace.  I subsequently noticed that in many discussions on the topic people often talk at crossed purposes, as they haven’t realized the person they are debating with has a different definition of video interviewing to them!

In order to help clarify the situation, here are the three types of video interviewing that represent the most popular applications of the technology among the employers we spoke to:

Onsite Video interviewing

This technique is mainly used by larger organisations and normally involves inviting the candidate into their office to take part in an interview with a hiring manager or recruiter who is at another of the company’s office locations. The interview is conducted via Telepresence or similar enterprise level video conferencing solution. While there maybe some time and cost benefits, this method is often more to do with the convenience of the employer than that of the candidate

Live Video Interviewing

This is a method that proves popular with a lot of employers and is the technique most companies reference when asked for their definition of video interviewing. The interviewer and the candidate take part in a two-way remote video conversation where physical location is unimportant. Although some employers do raise questions about their reliability, free tools like Skype and Google Hangouts seem to be the most popular choices.  This makes sense not just from a cost perspective but because is likely that candidates may already be familiar with these commonplace platforms.

Asynchronous / On Demand / Recorded Video Interviewing

This technique perhaps offers the biggest benefits for employers but unfortunately is the least understood. The lack of consistency in the naming of the technique probably doesn’t help!

Asynchronous interviewing is designed to be the least intrusive for both recruiter and candidate. It allows the candidate to video himself or herself answering a list of recruiter provided questions at a time that suits them. From a recruiter’s point of view, they can watch, review and assess the videos whenever and however many times they want and share them internally. This typically occurs early on in the hiring cycle and recorded video interviews are often used as an alternative to telephone screening or first round interviews.

As with any new technology or approach there are many skeptics out there and this is only natural with something that represents such a potential shift in how companies manage the early part of their recruitment process. However during the research for our report we were amazed by just how positive employers who were using the technique were about it. Key benefits mentioned included: an increase in the quality of candidates getting to the later stages of the recruitment process, cost reduction, transparency and consistency in the recruitment process and time saved through increased efficiency.

A specialist provider typically provides the asynchronous video interviewing technology and there are an ever increasing number of platforms out there to help employers gain value from this new interviewing technique

You can find out more about Metashift’s Video Interviewing Report at

About the Author:

078e0c2Matt Alder | Digital, Social and Mobile Strategist | MetaShift

Ever since he first worked with the web back in 1997, Matt Alder has been fascinated by the emerging technologies that change the way companies go about recruiting people. Maybe that’s why today, some 16 years later, he’s recognised as a highly influential recruitment futurist and industry leading digital, social and mobile strategist.

Matt’s ethos is simple – in order to shape your future as an employer, you need to better connect with the talent you need. Using his unrivalled experience of leading digital migration within large companies and unique insight into the opportunities emerging technologies can offer, he helps businesses get the very best out of their recruiting activities by looking at every aspect of their digital recruitment strategy. As well as delivering pragmatic business solutions that connect go ahead organisations with the elusive talent they seek, Matt’s also a respected commentator on the emerging world of social recruiting, a regular blogger, published author and accomplished public speaker. What’s more, he has also been acknowledged as being amongst the world’s top HR & Recruitment Influencers. Above all, 16 years on from his initial fascination with the online world, Matt remains passionately curious about the ever-changing shape of the digital recruitment landscape.

Connect with Matt: LinkedIn & Twitter

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