What roles and campaigns do video interviews work best for?

I’m regularly asked by recruiters and HR directors what type of roles video interviewing works best for. It’s a very pertinent question, for which there is no simple, right or wrong answer. It depends on a number of factors such as the seniority of role you’re recruiting for, or the size of your organisation.

The first thing to say is, you shouldn’t be thinking of video interviewing replacing face-to-face interviews. Instead, video interviews provide a great way to filter large volumes of candidates, reduce the time spent by recruiters and hiring managers, speed up the whole recruitment process and better identify the brightest talent sooner.

Volume recruiting

There are two main ways to use video interviewing, the first is either at the very outset of the recruitment process, as a way to reduce the number of applications from casual job seekers and enable recruiters to identify suitable candidates based on more than just their CV. However, too many large employers still seem to like receiving huge numbers of applications, even if the majority of candidates are totally unsuited to the role.

The second is to first screen candidates based on their CV, application form or by using simple filter questions. Those left are then asked to complete a video interview, replacing telephone screens or first stage interviews. This approach reduces the number video interviews the recruiter or hiring manager needs to watch and will save them time in the eventual face-to-face interviews – as the candidate will already have answered basic questions and the interviewer can then focus on probing for more detailed information.

Which method is going to work best for you will depend on a number of factors. Do you currently receive a large number of applications for each role you advertise? Are a lot from unsuitable candidates? If so, then putting a video interview at the very start make most sense. Similarly, if you’re recruiting graduates or school leavers, or for customer facing roles such as sales and customer service jobs, how a candidate looks or their personality can be more important than simply their academic qualifications, so video interviews add more value.

This approach will often raise the question of, “Are we going to be putting people off applying?” Well probably, but from my perspective if a candidate isn’t willing to complete a short video interview, are they really interested in working for you? In which case, are they going to turn up to a face to face interview or make themselves available for a telephone screen? You can of course provide an alternative if you are really worried about restricting applications.

So video interview works well for high volume recruitment campaigns, particularly for entry level, sales and customer service roles. For example, customer contact centre roles are ideally suited to using video interviewing as it’s easy to assess large volumes of candidates, many of whom will on paper appear very similar, and quickly identify those with good communications skills.

Recruiting for specialist roles

In addition, video interviewing can be extremely useful for employers recruiting for more specialist or technical roles where there is a limited talent pool, often geographically dispersed and already in employment. Here the ease of access for a candidate to complete the interview, without having to travel long distances or take time off work will pay dividends, particularly with passive candidates. Secondly, a video interview enables the recruiter / hiring manager to better assess whether or not a candidate really knows what they’re talking about compared with text based assessments or tests.

A great example of this was the software company based in the Middle East, they have customers around the world and were looking for telephone and online technical support staff. Using video interviews they were able to ask each candidate a series of questions to assess their technical knowledge, as well as seeing how good they were at communicating a technical solution to a customer. This saved them a huge amount on travel and shortened the time to hire by many weeks.


Obviously, video interviews aren’t right for every role or every employer, however when used correctly they can offer significant advantages for many recruiters and employers. Ultimately, choosing whether or not to use video interviewing, and at what stage in the process you do it, needs careful consideration and planning.

If you would like more advice on how best to use video interviews, then please feel free to contact me at tom.stroud@tazio.co.uk or give me a call on 0844 493 5560.

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