In-Person Interview Vs Video: Which is Better?

Interviews have taken many shapes and forms since the Covid pandemic, with companies offering a variety of different options for potential candidates to showcase skills and knowledge that might be relevant to the role. If your business is looking at hiring some new employees, you may be wondering what type of interview is best. So, we’ve put together the pros and cons of both in-person and video interviews, so when you’re next looking for staff, you know exactly how to conduct your interview process.

In-person interview pros and cons

Here are some of the advantages of in-person interviews that you can use to your benefit when looking to hire staff.

  • Observing body language – An in-person interview provides you with the opportunity to observe the body language of the candidate. It provides the chance to see behaviours that may not necessarily come across during a video call. Face-to-face interviews provide the chance to see whether their choice of language within their CV matches their choice of verbal and body language in real life.
  • Building a rapport – It’s always easier to build rapport with someone face-to-face, as it can be quite difficult to do so virtually. In-person interviews allow you and your hiring team the chance to connect with the candidate on a more meaningful level.
  • Interpersonal skills – Probably one of the best benefits of in-person interviews is the ability to be able to see exactly what it’s like to be in the same room as the candidate. Face-to-face interviews allow for the chance to observe a candidate’s interpersonal skills, however, it’s crucial to remember that nerves can impact a person’s behaviour.
  • Selling the company – In-person interviews aren’t all just about the candidate, this type of interview can also be used to sell the business to the applicants. The face-to-face interview provides the opportunity to use visual aids that can showcase the benefits of joining your company.

You may be wondering, if these are the positives of in-person interviews, then what could the negatives be? We’re going to break them down for you.

  • Delays – Although you may not experience technology glitches and difficulties, there’s no guarantee an in-person interview will go as planned. There are unplanned situations that can throw off the entire interview, such as traffic, delayed public transport and many other things.
  • Stress levels – This type of interview can be significantly more pressured than that of virtual ones. Whilst it allows you to see how the candidate works under pressure, it may be more difficult to get to know the more introverted candidates who attend the interview process.
  • Chance of bias – There are risks of unintentional bias at face-to-face interviews, with those who may have disabilities or impairments, struggling to physically attend the interview. You may also run the risk of excluding a variety of candidates who are unable to find childcare to attend the interview or even those who cannot afford to travel to the interview. This is something that may cause you to miss out on high-quality applicants.

Virtual interview pros and cons

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of face-to-face interviews. Now it’s time to shine the light on video interviews and what benefits your company might face if you choose to interview candidates this way.

  • Flexibility – Having the ability to interview from your own home offers a significant amount of flexibility for candidates. Not only that, but your hiring staff also can conduct interviews from their workstations or even their homes on working-from-home days, this greater level of flexibility allows for both parties to feel less stress and have greater focus on the interview at hand.
  • Opportunities for internal feedback – Virtual interviews allow the chance for other colleagues to sit in on interviews which they may not normally have been able to do. This provides an opportunity for colleagues to provide feedback to other members of their team, to overall improve the interview process for candidates.
  • Opening up the candidate pool – Video interviews can open up the pool of candidates available to interview as there is no need to travel to the location. Virtual interviews can open the window to applicants who are physically further afield who may want to relocate for the position.
  • Speed – Interviews that are conducted virtually then to be quicker than the traditional face-to-face interview. They require less downtime between interviews and this can result in more interviews being conducted, broadening the pool of talent and giving a better chance of finding the ideal candidate.

As always, there are likely to be some drawbacks to conducting virtual interviews rather than in-person. Here are just a few drawbacks we’ve found from conducting video interviews.

  • Distractions – Both candidates and hiring teams can become distracted by their surroundings. We’ve all seen the TV interview where a child, or a pet, comes running into the frame and, unfortunately, these situations are more common than you might expect. There are always temptations for distractions if the environment isn’t set up well.
  • Tech issues – Tech issues are always a concern when conducting virtual interviews, connectivity problems and glitches can disrupt and complicate the interview process, which can also put affected candidates at a disadvantage.
  • Access issues – Although the chances of this are significantly slimmer in the digital age, there may be some applicants without access to the internet or a device that allows them to attend the video interview.

Which type of interview is best for your business?

When it comes to choosing the right type of interview process for your business, there are many different factors to take into consideration.

  • Recruiting scope – If your job search is nationwide, virtual interviews are likely to be your go-to option. Not only are they more convenient for the candidate, but they are also perfect for your business as they don’t require a geographical area, unlike in-person interviews.
  • Turnover rate – If the position you are hiring for tends to have a high turnover rate, choosing to virtually interview may be more beneficial as it reduces the cost of the hiring process, however, you may find interviewees who attend an in-person interview may stay longer in the position.
  • Stage of the hiring process – Depending on where you are in the interview process, you may be more inclined to have initial interviews virtually and later move to in-person interviews when you’ve managed to narrow down the pool of candidates.
  • Duties of the job – If the duties of the job require frequent video calls with customers, conducting a virtual interview may give you an insight into the applicant’s skills. However, in-person interviews may be more suited to roles that require a lot of face-to-face interaction with colleagues, clients and customers.

There are positives and negatives for both in-person and video interviews. Choosing the right one for your business requires thought and organisation. However, if the whole interview process is becoming a little daunting for your business and hiring team, it may be easier to invest in a recruitment agency like us here at Cooper Recruitment. Let us make hiring the perfect candidate easy with our recruitment support. We have a team of specialists who will be able to help with the process and even conduct interviews if you simply can’t find the time. Get in touch with us here at Cooper Recruitment and begin your search for the very best talent in your industry.

Let us do the hard work

Contact Cooper Recruitment today for your next hire or your next role.

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