The good and bad of video interviewing

By 5th February 2021 July 16th, 2021 No Comments

Recruiters and hiring managers are becoming exhausted from endless virtual meetings, and science has now shown that “Zoom fatigue” is a real condition. However, the recent crisis, with the home-stay restrictions and border closings, has caused industries to accept the fact that there is a need for interviewing virtually. With more and more video interviews replacing face-to-face meetings, video interviewing has quickly become the ‘norm’. If companies would like to keep hiring for business-critical roles, adapting to video interviewing is key to the success of the recruitment process.


There is no doubt that bringing the right people on-board is essential to the success of any business. Hiring can be time-consuming, and the ripple effect from one bad hire may end up costing you your reputation, productivity, and company morale. Thus, it is understandable that many hiring managers have concerns when it comes to interviewing and assessing candidates remotely.

In this article we’ll explore the “good and bad” of this method, and present a number of suggestions to make the most of it.

Advantages of video interviewing:

  • Widens the pool of candidates while keeping the costs down.
  • Easier to record; therefore, the interview can be played again or played for colleagues. Be careful to clearly let thecandidate know that you are recording.
  • Speeds up the interview process as it may allow for easier scheduling with those individuals who are currently employed and find it difficult to get away.
  • Provides a better way to get decisions validated. Just as it saves you time, it also saves upper management’s time, so hiring approval is faster.

Disadvantages of video interviewing:

    • Possibility of technical issues.
    • More difficulty in reading non-verbal communication. A candidate’s facial expressions or hand gestures, for example,could become less obvious or out of “camera view”.
    • Interviewing details, such as body language might be lost because you are not physically together.

Professionalism in such areas as video backgrounds and unexpected noise might compromise the interview process.

Dos and Don’ts

Do – Check your technology before the interview.

This is a point that is often neglected. Even if you use the same platform for all of your interviews, connecting a few minutes early will allow you to take care of possible technical issues beforehand. Even better, you could do a practice run ahead of the interview. Whatever your tactic, one thing is clear, having technical difficulties nowadays is less and less acceptable.

Do – Pay attention to your body language.

Keep your eye contact on the camera itself and not elsewhere or in the middle of the screen. It allows the candidate to feel connected. It isn’t as easy as it may seem, so practice during online team meetings. In addition, having your computer closer to eye level will allow a more intimate feel. There are stands available that allow you to raise the level of your computer screen for better video communication.

Do – Take time to search out your venue and make it your own.

This may be obvious but check your surroundings beforehand. Pick up (or at least hide) any clutter. Otherwise, this may give the impression that the company is disorganized or unprofessional. If you prefer, when using Zoom or Teams, you may select a background.

Do – Prepare and dress for the part.

Participate in the interview as if you were actually going to see the candidate in person. That includes wearing business attire and having neatly groomed hair. For women, also pay attention to makeup. For men, make sure facial hair is groomed. Also, be aware of the screen backdrop so that you can choose the color of your clothes carefully. Anything that runs into the background can make you look pale and washed out.

Do – Prepare to “sell” your company.

Enthusiastically convey to the interviewee the merits of working for your company and the reasons why they would want to join this team.

Don’t – Wait until the last minute to log-in.

This is another easily neglected point. Give yourself an extra minute or two to get yourself together and connected.

Don’t – Forget to turn off notifications on your computer.

There is nothing more annoying or distracting than someone’s computer dinging during the interview. If trying to turn off all of your messengers seems a bit time-consuming and daunting, create a guest profile on your computer and log into that.

Don’t – forget you are on camera!

There have been many horror stories this year about people simply forgetting they are on camera. Be careful and aware at all times that you are being watched!

Overall, while nothing can replace the effectiveness of a face to face interview, video interviewing can be an excellent way to determine a candidate’s potential without the cost of the in-person interview (and less exposure to COVID 19). Therefore, if your company is trying to cost-cut and keep everybody safe, this can be a great option in today’s virtual, COVID world.

For further guidance please contact Jakub Majcher (Tel: +44 7824 632003), Laure Storck (Tel: +44 7825 142379) or Maggie Goudy(+41 76 414 88 98)

VirdisGroup is a global Life Science executive search and organisational consultancy.

Established in 2007, with offices in Oxford (UK), Lausanne (Switzerland, Biopôle) and Boston (MA, USA), we partner with clients throughout the world.

Our focus is to identify, engage and help hire top talent from Executive to Board levels, covering a broad range of roles, from R&D to Commercial. We challenge constructively. As a partner, we bring the best organisational solutions; sharing our experience and lateral thinking.

Our services are flexible and tailored to fit our clients’ needs, matching their values and high standards. To offer the best, we attend international conferences, lead business workshops and support scientific events. As such, we develop industry knowledge and a network of established relationships, which help create a safety net and mitigate the risk inherent to building teams and organisations.