Video interviews vs. telephone interviews - which is better?

Telephone interviews have been an integral part of the selection process for some time, widely adopted across a variety of organisations for roles from telesales advisors through to senior and specialised roles. It’s likely that most of us have experienced a telephone interview at one time or another.

If it ain’t broke….

Employers are successfully using telephone interviews as a quick way to validate skills and experience, and whittle some names off their often long list of suitable looking candidates. It is a quick and cost effective way of eliminating the weaker candidates from the process. So if it’s not broken, why fix it?

Many recruitment technologies are offering employers new and innovative ways of improving the effectiveness of their already succinct recruitment strategy, saving time, resource and money, and video interview software is leading the way.

The Process

Telephone Interviews

  1. Call to schedule – first of all you must make contact with your candidate to let them know they have been shortlisted and are required to complete a telephone interview. This 2 minute phone call can easily translate to 30 minutes of your time if they don’t answer the first time.
  2. Block out your diary – Once you’ve managed to get hold of your candidate you need to arrange another time, convenient to you both, to call again. You may need to block out anywhere up to 60 minutes out, in case this candidate is a talker!
  3. Repeat yourself – You’ll likely begin each telephone interview with a little introduction to the company and a brief overview of the role. How many time per day do you find yourself saying the same thing? You’re probably saying it in your sleep by now.
  4. Ask, and ask, and ask again – Repeating the same questions to each candidate is another drain on your time.
  5. Listening – Here’s the important part. Listen to your candidate’s responses and evaluate not only what they’re saying, but also how they say it. Listen to their tone, their enthusiasm, perhaps their use of language, their knowledge and try to get a feel for whether they are right for your organisation.
  6. Note taking – Once your call is finished you need to recall the candidate’s answers and write up your interviewnotes from memory.
  7. Collaborate – You may want to discuss your shortlist with someone else, perhaps at this stage they’re referred to the hiring manager, who has only your notes to base a decision on.


Video Interviews

  1. Invite your candidates – add the candidate name, email address and phone number, then simply drag and drop to send them an email and SMS invite. With some simple integration this data can even be pulled directly from your Applicant Tracking System or CRM.
  2. Get on with something else – you don’t need to block out your diary, so you’re free to work through your priorities and review interviews at a time to suit you.
  3. Activate your employer brand– not only do you not need to repeat your company introduction and role overview over and over again, you can actively enhance your employer brand and engage your candidates with nifty company videos.
  4. Save your voice – And your time. Once you’ve set the questions they appear to each candidate in the same way.
  5. Watching – Review each candidate’s responses at a time to suit you. Watch their short video answers and rate them against your criteria directly in Shine. In addition to being able to assess their tone, enthusiasm, use of language and knowledge you can also assess their body language and facial expression.
  6. Not note taking – Whilst you have the opportunity to make notes about your thoughts on a candidate and their answers, there is no need to make notes about what they’ve actually said. Why? Because you can replay their videos at any time!
  7. Collaborate with ease – with simple sharing collaborationis easy. You can even share completed interviews with the Hiring Managers who can review responses and confirm which candidates are suitable to take to the next stage.


What do Candidates think of video interview?

Our surveys regularly show that candidates find the whole process straight forward and convenient.

Personalised invite emails which are always fully branded to your corporate guidelines let them know they’ve made the next stage and that we don’t bite! They’ll also receive a link to some handy video interview tips on our website.

In an age of technology many candidates find themselves more at ease taking a video interview since they’re confident and comfortable in using smartphones and tablets, and over 60% of interviews are taken on mobile devices.

In the past year, 2 out of every 3 Shine interviews were taken outside of traditional office hours.

The element of flexibility can also be a bonus, since candidates can complete their interviews at their leisure, often resulting in a less stressful process and a more positive experience for the candidate.

Cost and efficiency Savings

We have seen some of our volume recruiters achieve efficiency savings of 70% by replacing early stage telephone interviews with video interviews, due to the fact that scheduling is no longer required, there is no repetition and Hiring Managers find it much easier to review.

With such tangible benefits, it is not hard to see why video interviewing is becoming so popular.

Please get in touch if you would like a demo or to learn more.





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.