The Pros and Cons of Video Job Interviews

Some benefits and drawbacks of video job interviewing are obvious, but other pros and cons of video interviewing will emerge as employers and job seekers gain more experience in using the technology. Video job interviews are useful and convenient when the interviewer and the candidate can’t physically be in the same room.

First, a look at the pros of video job interviews:

  • Time-saving: In certain situations, you may get a job faster because of video interviewing. Recruiters and hiring managers can conduct first-round interviews more quickly online using video interviewing than they can scheduling in-person interviews. Video interviewing is a time-saver particularly in instances where you can’t easily break away from your present job to travel to an interview or where several groups of company executives must weigh in on your hiring but are in different locales; video interviewing allows several locations to connect at once.

  • Convenience: When you’re currently employed, you won’t have to miss work to interview if you can respond at your convenience.

  • Distance-jumping for short-term employment: Video interviewing is a boon to prospective interns and contract workers who want jobs far away; a company isn’t going to fly you in for a three-month summer internship or contract gig but may hire you on the basis of an online video interview.

  • Modernity: Not many candidates have used video interviewing yet. If you can show that you take technology in stride (especially if you’re over 40), you get bonus points. You may be seen as a good fit in forward-looking companies.

Take a look at some of the drawbacks that video interviewing presents:

  • Lag time: A lag time occurs when data is compressed and sent from one location to another. You have to remember to allow for the delay and not step on the interviewer’s lines. Additionally, the interviewer may inadvertently cut you off in mid-sentence.

  • Connectivity: Sometimes the connection isn’t great and you have to strain to hear what people are saying.

  • Lighting: If the lighting is off, you may look too green or pale like a corpse.

  • Performance pressure: When it’s your turn to speak up, you have very little time to look away, down, up, or sideways to process your thoughts. When the “green light” goes on, the pressure on you is somewhat like a contestant at a quiz show: talk or walk.

  • Learning curve: Being judged in front of a camera takes some getting used to. Glimpses of awful screen tests of actors who later became famous confirm the point. While camera success may be ducks-to-water for a few people, more typically candidates start out feeling unnatural. Time and practice make them less so.

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