Skip Skype: Why Video Job Interviews Are Bad for Everyone

Although they might save time, video interviews aren't paying off for job candidates or employers, new research shows.

A study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Ontario revealed that job applicants interviewed through video conferencing come across as less likable, while those doing the hiring are viewed as less competent.

Using simulated job interviews, researchers found that candidates who were interviewed via video conferencing were rated lower by interviewers and were less likely to be recommended for hiring. On the other side of the webcam, candidates rated their interviewers as less attractive, personable, trustworthy and competent.

"Increasingly, video technology is being used in employment interviewing because companies feel it provides convenience and cost savings," said Greg Sears, one of the study's authors. "Despite their growing use, our study shows that video-conference interviews are not equivalent to face-to-face interviews."

The researchers said accurate assessments of candidates and positive evaluations of interviewers are essential as organizations compete for talent. In addition, candidates who evaluate their interviewers more positively are more likely to accept a job offer, the researchers noted.

"Video conferencing places technological barriers between applicants and interviewers," said Willi Wiesner, one of the study's authors. "Employers and applicants should work to reduce the barriers that arise through video conferencing and improve the interpersonal aspects of the interview process."

To help address these issues, the researchers offered several tips for employers and job candidates using video conferencing:

The study, which was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, was published recently in the journal Management Decision.

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