Researchers find video conference job interviews bad for companies and candidates

July 29, 2013 in Other Sciences / Economics & Business

Job applicants interviewed through video conferencing come across as less likeable, a new study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University has found.

The study, conducted by Greg Sears and Haiyan Zhang when they were PhD students at DeGroote, shows that using for job interviews disadvantages both employers and candidates.

With use of video conferencing growing—in recent surveys 50% up to 65% of employers have reported using the technology for job interviews—the DeGroote study raises cautions about widespread use of video conferencing in recruitment.

In simulated , candidates who were interviewed by video-conferencing were rated lower by interviewers and were less likely to be recommended for hiring. On the other side of the webcam, candidates also rated their interviewers as less attractive, personable, trustworthy and competent.

"Increasingly, is being used in employment interviewing because companies feel it provides convenience and cost savings. Despite their growing use, our study shows that interviews are not equivalent to face-to-face interviews," explains Sears, now an associate professor at the Sprott School of Business.

Accurate assessments of candidates and positive evaluations of interviewers are essential as organizations compete for talent. Candidates who evaluate their interviewers more positively are more likely to accept a job offer.

Study co-author Willi Wiesner, associate professor of human resources at DeGroote, says, "These findings suggest that using video conferencing can adversely affect both applicant reactions and interviewer . Video conferencing places technological barriers between applicants and interviewers. Employers and applicants should work to reduce the barriers that arise through video conferencing and improve the interpersonal aspects of the interview process."

The researchers recommend that video conferencing be used only for preliminary screening interviews. Final selection of candidates should be conducted through face-to-face interviews.

The study is published in the journal Management Decision. The research was funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 28,000, and more than 159,000 alumni in 139 countries.

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"Researchers find video conference job interviews bad for companies and candidates" July 29, 2013