Is It Finally Time to Ditch the Phone Interview?

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Oct 23, 2014

In the 1870s, we were first able to transmit speech electronically, thanks to Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray.

Over the years, phone technology evolved from candlestick to rotary-dial, eventually becoming cordless, and now, completely mobile. Before then, we relied on hand-delivered messages and in-person communication, much like companies do in the hiring process with in-person interviews.

Of course, companies also began using the telephone as a resource for conducting interviews more efficiently. It was the most convenient way to speak to a candidate quickly without having to wait and schedule an hour block of time to meet later in the week.

Today, the phone is the most convenient way to reach someone from virtually anywhere, with more than 67 percent of people owning smartphones, according to Nielsen.

Why phone interviews are still around

Your phone is probably sitting within reach right now. The phone has become so commonplace, especially since going mobile, that it’s rare to find someone without a phone with them at least 22 hours a day.

Interviewers want to be sure their candidates are comfortable with the tools they are using during the interview. To not risk wasting time with any confusing programs, the time-tested phone might seem like the solution.

When you need to reach someone quickly, the phone is a go-to device. But what if the problem lies not in the device itself, but the method?

The smartphone has streamlined several channels of communication beyond the traditional call. We have apps, programs, email, and social media chats at our fingertips, all of which are now more frequently accessed on a mobile device than a phone call.

A new Nielsen report breaks down just how much time we spend using our phone in ways apart from calls. Last December, for example, Americans spent 34 hours using smartphone apps to surf the web, six hours more than the previous December (2012).

The phone interview solved many problems back in its time. Candidates no longer had to travel to interview with a company, and they had more flexibility on when and where they could interview, as a result. A company could spend an average of 30 minutes on the phone instead of an hour or potentially more in a conference room.

4 good reasons to ditch the phone interview?

However, video interviewing solves these problems, along with many more. Video interviews enable employers to conduct interviews from anywhere, even while not in real-time.

So, here are a few reasons why it might be time to ditch the phone interview in favor of new video interview technology:

  1. Stop wasting time. Phone interviews used to be a time saver when the only other option was the in-person interview. Today we have the option of video interviewing, which allows users to review 10 one-way video interviews in the same time it takes to complete one phone screen, according to the Aberdeen Group. By comparison, the phone interview now seems like more of a time waster than a time saver.
  2. Increase diversity and remove the location barrier. With diversity being an element companies actively seek, video interviewing is a great way to screen candidates from anywhere, more quickly. The key is seeing people from a wider geographical range visually, and how they interact to clue you in on how their differences are assets to your company.
  3. Get a multi-dimensional first impression. Some people believe you can “hear” a smile through the phone, but if you don’t have that kind of superpower, video interviewing can come to your rescue. For many industries like sales, hospitality, and customer service, employee first impressions are extremely important. Video interviewing allows interviewers to physically see how candidates present themselves to make more informed hiring decisions.
  4. Use the phone without making a call. Among the abundant pool of apps that make life easier, video interviewing is included. That means employers, HR managers, and recruiters can conduct video interviews on their phones, the same way they would on a computer or laptop. All of the benefits of using video interviewing are there, they’re just accessed on the device everyone loves so much, and the process is faster and more flexible than a phone call.

Outdated benefits

Phone use in hiring is not going away anytime soon, especially with the creation of apps that help our lives run more smoothly.

However, the benefits of a traditional phone interview are now outdated compared to what video interviewing does for usIt’s time to ditch the old-style phone interview, and use a video interviewing app.

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