Is The Phone Screen Going The Way Of The Dinosaur?

The phone screen age has been decades-long, but recent research suggests that now may be the age of the video interview.

More than 60 percent of companies are currently using video interviews to screen candidates. This is especially important when you consider the findings of a recent survey conducted by Software Advice that suggests candidates prefer video interviews. Forty-seven percent of respondents who have participated in a video interview prefer them to phone interviews, while only 36 percent prefer phone interviews.

Why are more and more companies using video interviewing? Why do more candidates prefer video interviews to phone screens? Put simply, phone interviews have become a less efficient way to screen candidates. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons phone screening is slowly going extinct:

Phone Screens Don’t Give You A Complete Picture Of A Candidate

Phone interviews don’t allow interviewers and candidates to connect visually. Since 93 percent of communication is nonverbal — according to research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian — both interviewers and candidates are missing out on key opportunities to connect during phone screens.

Both one-way and two-way video interviews give interviewers the chance to gain a real first impression of candidates. Instead of trying to decode a candidate’s personality and comfort level via tone of voice, video interviewing allows hiring managers to pick up on visual cues that may impact decision-making. Having an opportunity to see how professional, comfortable and sincere candidates are during a screening interview is one of the biggest advantages video interviewing has over phone screens.

From the candidate point of view, two-way video interviews provide the opportunity for visual feedback while answering questions, which allows candidates to get a better read on the interviewer and adjust strategy based on the interviewer’s body language. The ability to read interviewers’ reactions can help candidates feel more comfortable and generate stronger responses.

Phone Screens Are Time-Consuming

Phone interviews used to be a quick way to screen candidates before offering in-person interviews. Now, instead of dialing countless numbers and spending hours on the phone, one-way (asynchronous) video interviewing allows hiring managers to write their questions, send out a link and get back to work.

Video interviewing also helps hiring managers avoid wasting time on the phone with a candidate that they know right away is a strong or weak fit. Instead of having a prolonged discussion, managers can simply pause the video, move the candidate to the “yes” or “no” pile and move on. In fact, a study by the Aberdeen Group found that hiring managers can view 10 one-way interviews in the time it takes to perform one phone screen.

So, while phone interviews may have been the fastest way to screen candidates in the past, they now waste more time than they save.

Phone Screens Can Be Inconvenient And Difficult To Schedule

The bottom line is, phone screens require both parties to be free and uninterrupted for an extended period of time. For busy hiring managers and job seekers, that can mean scheduling difficulties and potential conflicts.

One-way video interviewing solves this problem on both ends. It gives candidates the freedom to complete the interview whenever and wherever they want, and hiring managers the freedom to spend as much or as little time as they want to reviewing the videos.

Phone Screens Are Not Standardized

Whether you have a list of questions or not, conversation can — and often does — flow in various directions, making it hard to standardize phone screens across candidates. The nature of conversation makes it difficult to get the same information out of each candidate, and even more difficult to make sure they all have the same amount of time to answer.

One-way video interviews level the playing field between candidates by ensuring they all answer the same questions in the same amount of time. This standardization makes it easier for hiring managers to compare candidates to find the best fit for their organization.

The Way Of The Dinosaurs…

The emergence of more efficient, mobile-ready video interview platforms has ushered into the age of the video interview. Now that hiring managers can compare candidates on a level playing field and connect visually with candidates to build a more complete picture, it is only a matter of time before phone screens go the way of the dinosaur.

About the Author: Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe.

photo credit: Hold All My Calls via photopin (license)

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