The New Face of Interviewing

Your next interviewer could be your computer screen.

Your next interviewer could be your computer screen.

There are many interview styles available today.  You have face-to-face, phone and Skype interviews.  In these three methods,  the interviewer and candidate communicate in real time.  Yesterday I was introduced to another style of interviewing that is becoming popular.

This alternative interview has different names, automated, time-shifted, and pre-recorded interview.  They different from the others in the simple fact they do not occur in real time.  Instead of having two (or more) people connecting by either personally or by technology at the same time, the new to me approach the people involved are connecting at different times.

The process is actually quite simple.  The interviewer enters questions into a computer program and then sends the candidate the link to the interview.  The candidate logs in to the program by a computer connected to a webcam.  They read and answer the questions that are recorded.  At a later time, the interviewer can get access to the recorded interview.

The advantages of this process for the candidate are:

  • Save time and travel expenses for a face-to-face at an employer’s location.
  • Can get access to the interview at a convenient time; when the house is quiet, or the time of the day they are at their best.
  • Ability to job search without having to take time out of work to interview.

The disadvantages are:

  • No ability to ask for further clarification of a question.
  • Limited time to answer each question.
  • Cannot see the facial expression of the interviewer to get a sense of how things are going.
  • It’s impersonal and removes the human element from the process.
  • Must have access to a webcam and a microphone.

The advantages for the employer:

  • Saves time and money.Allows the interviewer to compare candidates side by side, and to rewind to play again specific answers.
    • No need to bring people in to the location.
    • No need to tie up human resources, hiring manager and other people in on the interview several times for each position.
  • Can send video to all interested parties to view at their convenience instead of adjusting schedules.
  • Works great for a large turn over positions and seasonal help. 
  • Can be tied into the company’s application tracking system.

The only disadvantage for the company seems to be the cost in implementing the system.  However, those costs are offset by the savings in interviewing at the company location.

What does this mean for you the job searcher?  Just like any other interview you need to prepare and practice.  But the difference is you must be familiar and comfortable with the needed technology.   It is a practice adopted by more and more companies.  And just like any other interview, you should ask questions (you are allowed time after answering the questions) and send a thank you. 

In my next post, I will give you things you should do to ace this type of interview.


Image:  nonicknamephotos

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