Don’t Waste Your Time: Find the Right Interview Type for Your Company

by Modis on May 26, 2015

It’s an understatement to call interview processes time consuming. For today’s hiring decision makers—with their infinite to-do lists—the thought of taking weeks to months to vet multiple candidates can feel daunting. Speeding up the process, however, can increase the risk of bringing on a bad hire.

One way to streamline the interviewing process is to incorporate a blend of phone, in-person, and video-based interviews. The below will help you decide which interview type is best for you, your business and your new hires!

Video-based interviewing

Pro: Video eliminates scheduling bottlenecks

One of the biggest challenges with candidate interviews is the need to bring everyone into the same room, at the same time. With video, all parties can be geo-distributed, on-the-road, and even on their lunch breaks. Virtually all scheduling bottlenecks are gone, and it’s still possible to meet face-to-face. Organizations and candidates get the best of both worlds.

Con: Technical difficulties are the norm rather than the exception

Plugins misfire. Software breaks. Headsets create feedback. When it comes to technology, more isn’t always better. Especially when participants are on different devices, there’s room for error.

Luckily, there are steps that organizations can take to correct these challenges. Ask call participants to install software, check their headsets, and guarantee bandwidth ahead of time. Also, include a failsafe — like a corresponding dial-in — in case something goes wrong.

Traditional in-person interviews

Pro: Great way to understand how candidates fit into your office

By bringing candidates into your office and connecting them to your team, you can see how they fit into the context of your day-to-day operations. Similarly, prospective candidates have an opportunity to see your office first hand and to connect with future colleagues.

Con: Interviews can be stressful and nerve wracking

Between early morning flights to your office, 8 hours of interviewing, and scrambling multiple people, in-person interviews can be exhausting and nerve-wracking — it’s not a context that sets them up for success.

Even still, there are things organizations can do to make candidates feel comfortable and welcome. Make sure that schedules are set in stone, candidates are well-equipped with a hotel room before or after their interviews, and that there are plenty of break times in between interviews.

Lunch or Drinks Interview

Pro: Great way to learn about candidates as people

Casual interviews can help hiring managers understand interviewees as people. You’ll laugh, have fun, and come to an understanding of each other on a personal level. These lighthearted contexts will encourage candidates to open up and feel welcome.

Con: Restaurants, coffee shops, and bars can be distracting environments

Music might be loud, and food might be distracting. While your candidates will open up and enjoy the discussion, there won’t be much ‘actual work’ getting done. Not to mention, you won’t be spending time with candidates in the context of your office.

If you are hosting a lunch or drinks interview, make sure to choose a quiet location that’s conducive to conversation. You might consider hosting a second, follow-up interview at the office too.

Phone Interview

Pro: Pre-screen candidates before inviting them to your office

The phone is a great way to get to know candidates before committing to a longer and more in-depth conversation. Not to mention, phone interviews can save your company from unnecessary plane fares and lodging expenses. Meet each other before officially meeting.

Con: Phone conversations can be clunky

From poor reception to background distractions (i.e. hiring managers who are checking email), phone conversations can be a lackluster way to establish a rapport. It can be challenging for both parties to devote their full attention to the moment.

Final Thoughts

Hiring managers should make sure that they have a quiet place to take calls—and that technology is up and running ahead of time. Ask questions that encourage candidates to open up. Get the conversation going, and make your prospective hires feel comfortable.

What’s important to keep in mind is there are no ‘best practices’ in place — it’s up to your organization to determine which style fits into your interviewing process. Test a few different workflows to see what brings out the best in your candidate and team. Seek feedback, iterate, and evolve. If you want to save time and money during your hiring process, Modis can be your strategic partner. With our extensive pipeline of candidates across the country we have the ability to connect you with exceptional IT talent. Contact us today to find your next tech professionals.

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