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Is video interviewing marketing candidates a help or a hinderance?

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Is video interviewing marketing candidates a help or a hinderance?

Karen Lloyd employer, technology, interview technique...

Our working lives today are radically different from our grandparents, or even our parent’s generation.  Thanks, in the main to technology.  We acquire, adopt and adapt to the ever rapidly changing tech that we have at our fingertips, in marketing and in our general working lives.

Overall, it has made things much quicker and easier, especially in terms of communication.  This is no less the case than when recruiting new staff; we’ve seen an exponential rise in the use of tech, in this instance video interviewing, to screen marketing applicants recently. 

However, as with all things, no solution is perfect, and with so many of our clients video interviewing marketing candidates, we thought we’d take a look at some of the pros and cons.

How can video interviewing help?

Speed up the process: video interviewing marketing candidates is an ideal solution when you are looking to recruit quickly.  Interviewing is without doubt the most time intensive part of the recruitment process.  Simply trying to sync diaries can be a complicated when you are juggling a busy schedule.  For some marketing candidates, getting to and from an interview can be a 4- or 5-hour process and getting time off from their existing role can be a challenge.

However, most people can spare 30 minutes or an hour at short notice.  Therefore, you’re much more likely to complete the interview process in a timely manner and meet your deadline.

Flexibility: the flexibility that comes with video interviewing marketing candidates is fantastic.  You can work around your schedule and it is great for those of us working from home.  You may not be “interview ready”  but within a few minutes can pop on a shirt or scarf and be ready to go. 

You are “face to face”: well, in a sense you are.  There are significant advantages over a telephone interview in seeing the person you are talking to.  You will pick up on some body language and facial cues that you would have otherwise missed and generally get a better feel for the communication style, and interpersonal skills of the marketing candidate you are interviewing.

How can video interviewing marketing candidates let you down?

Reliability: whilst technology is a wonderful thing, it often lets us down.  A bad WiFi signal, laptop internal combustion (or is that just me?), and general reliability issues can leave a bad impression both ways.  You may get a sense of a lack of preparation from the candidate when it might not be their fault, or it may leave you looking more unprofessional than you’d like.  If the issues are really bad, then you waste your time and have to set up another interview.

You aren’t actually face to face:  it is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security that when video interviewing marketing candidates, you pick up on all the same interpersonal skills that you would in person.   Fact: you don’t.  Interpersonal skills are often missed.  

As an example, one of my clients was recruiting for a Senior Marketing Director role recently.  They pre-interviewed via video and their presentation was excellent, but in person their body language let them down.  It was all the elements you couldn’t assess on screen - they did not make eye contact, had a very weak handshake and were hunched and very nervous.  These skills are essential for senior marketing personnel who take on strong influencer roles within their organisation.  On this occasion the client simply felt the candidate did not have the right interpersonal skills for the job.  

Sometimes you get more than you bargained for:  the previous point isn’t to say that you can’t assess any body language – you can, and sometimes with terrible results.  I had one candidate who thought they were aware of the camera’s field of vision but didn’t realise that several times I could see them scratching a part of their body they certainly wouldn't usually do in public! Test out what can be seen in advance.

Your setting:  Don’t expect to successfully interview in an open office, glass fronted meeting rooms or cafes.  Even if you are at home, be aware of the background – a load of laundry does not give the best impression of you or the company’s professionalism!  This one works both ways; sometimes candidates can find it difficult to find a suitable environment.  Just be sensible and maintain a level of professionalism that you would expect if you were face to face. 

On the whole, video interviewing marketing candidates is a fantastic tool in your first stage of screening.  It allows you to gain a deeper insight more quickly that many other options.  However, it is not a substitute for a proper face to face meeting.  So our advice is to use it for your first stage of interviewing to narrow your marketing candidates down.  Then proceed with your second stage interviews in a face to face environment before making your final, all important hiring decision.

Are you feeling let down about the quality of marketing candidates you are video interviewing recently?  Let us help by connecting you with marketing talent who will bring new skills and complement your existing marketing team.

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