Telephone interviewing is often considered a great way to save time in the hiring process. Assessing first-round candidates without spending hours on face-to-face interviews? What’s not to like? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Because telephone interviewing has more than its fair share of downsides. Here, we look at three ways telephone interviewing doesn’t quite cut the mustard – and propose a time-saving alternative for busy recruiters and hiring managers.

Why you definitely shouldn’t be telephone interviewing

Published by Fidio Team on Friday 11

Telephone interviewing is often considered a great way to save time in the hiring process. Assessing first-round candidates without spending hours on face-to-face interviews? What’s not to like?

Quite a bit, as it turns out. Because telephone interviewing has more than its fair share of downsides. Here, we look at three ways telephone interviewing doesn’t quite cut the mustard – and propose a time-saving alternative for busy recruiters and hiring managers.

Not being able to see the candidate

Telephone calls are great for chatting with folks you already know. But when you’re first ‘meeting’ someone – especially if you’re assessing them for a job – factors like body language and eye contact are important. You can’t judge any of that over the phone, which can make it hard to determine how well someone would fit with the team.

Video interviewing provides an obvious solution to this, since you get to see the candidate on screen. You can see them making eye contact with the camera (or not, as the case may be). And important traits like confidence, warmth and humour can shine through. Sure, video isn’t a substitute for a face-to-face discussion – that comes later in the process – but as a way to initially assess people, video beats the phone hands (or handset) down.

Not really saving time

Despite sometimes being lauded as the time-saving answer to all our prayers, telephone interviews don’t actually save that much time. You need to allow a good 30–45 minutes per candidate, which really adds up when you’re assessing a lot of people. What else could you be doing with that time?

If you use a one-way video interviewing platform, like Fidio, initial interviews are cut to an average of five or six minutes. How? In a nutshell, you set a few key questions, and candidates then film themselves answering those questions. Despite being much shorter than the average phone interview, video interviewing still delivers great insights on candidates, including personality and fit.

As a result, you can use your time much more strategically – like spending more time on the most suitable candidates, freeing up time for headhunting and candidate outreach, and generally adding more value to the business.

‘You’re breaking up’ – Not being able to hear

Talking on a landline in a quiet office environment is fine. But how many candidates can really do that? The reality is that many candidates are on a mobile, perhaps in a distracting setting, and possibly even on the move. (Just the thought of conducting a phone call on a train brings us out in a cold sweat. We call it Tunnel Trauma.) In all seriousness, sketchy connections hamper the flow of the conversation and background noise can make it difficult to take in what’s being said. Both parties deserve better.

One of the great things about video interviewing is the candidate can record their interview responses at a time and place that works for them – in a quiet environment, without distractions, and when they’re feeling ready to ace their interview. That could be in the evening when the kids are in bed, first thing in the morning, or whenever. With a one-way video interviewing tool, you’re not restricted to business hours.

At Fidio, we’re obsessed with making interviewing better, for busy recruiters and the candidates they interview. If you’re looking to get more out of the hiring process, drop us a line.

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