Phone vs. Video Interview (Pros and Cons)

Phone vs. Video Interview

Original article Phone vs. Video Interviews submitted and posted in the North Bay Business Journal.

Phone vs. Video Interview: Which is Better? What are the pros and cons of each?

According to research conducted by Talentlyft, phone screen interviews have been a long-standing first step in the hiring process. Next would be an assessment of some kind and eventually an in-person interview.

However, over the past 5 years, video interviews have been emerging as the go-to method for the interview process. The video interview became the de facto choice since COVID-19 has forced many recruiting efforts to go fully digital in lieu of in-person interviews.

So, which is better for your organization? Which method is best to assess top talent? Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding between phone vs. video interviews.

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The Phone Interview – Pros and Cons

The phone Interview is the go-to format for first-round interviews. Many aspiring job seekers expect a phone screen as part of the first-step process to get a new job.

Phone Interview Pros

  1. Phone interviews are accessible to every candidate and have been used for hiring purposes for decades. Less tech-savvy candidates in traditional industries are more likely to feel comfortable with this tried-and-true interview method. Candidates pick up a call from the recruiter on their mobile phone and they’re good to go.
  2. The phone interview is a great introductory call usually with a recruiter prior to speaking with a member of the team the candidate would be working with. It’s more relaxed and a great, no-pressure introduction for a company-to-candidate rapport.
  3. Neither recruiter nor candidate can see one another, allowing for both parties to reference their notes during the interview.

Phone Interview Cons

  1. It can be challenging for recruiters to gauge if a candidate is a good fit over the phone. Building a good initial relationship can also be more challenging.
  2. It’s almost impossible to get a feel for body language and non-verbal cues candidates and recruiters give each other at this stage, further blurring the lines of how well the recruiter and the candidate can assess job skills and fit. 


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The Video Interview – Pros and Cons


Video Interview Pros

  1. During a video interview, both the candidate and the recruiter are able to visually see each other and interact with each other live. This method allows recruiters to assess candidate reactions to interview questions and can lead to more natural ease and flow of conversation.
  2. Recruiters can get more of an inside look into how a candidate presents themself during a video interview compared to the phone interview. It’s also easier to see how prepared the candidate is without notes available to them. 

Video Interview Cons

  1. Technical difficulties can disrupt the flow of the video interview and throw both the interviewer and interviewee off and take away the possibility for the best assessment of each party.
  2. The video platform and constant visibility may intimidate both the interviewer and the interviewee and cause them to misrepresent themselves. 

The Best of Both Worlds

Leveraging both the phone AND video interview is a strong way to go. Use the phone interview for an initial 15-30 minute phone screen between a recruiter and a candidate. Next set a video interview with the hiring manager and the candidate. Finally, you could opt to bring the candidate into the workplace to meet the rest of the team OR finish the hiring process with one last video interview.

Choosing between phone and video interviews, or a combination of both, may depend on the amount of time and resources that are available to you and your recruiting team. Whichever method you choose, be sure to communicate your preference to candidates to ensure they’ve got time to download any necessary software, or take whatever steps are necessary to ensure a smooth interview process.



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