Video interviews: innovative but something to stay away from.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview with a company for a sales position.  The interview was three steps, starting with a phone interview, a second “video” interview in which I was required to answer questions that popped up in video format, and finally I reached an interview in a hotel restaurant (which I unfortunately failed as I did not “move forward” for those of you wondering).  Regardless of my failure, I thought about the concept of the video interview. It seemed innovative, but I felt it actually lacked in the area of human interaction.  The questions were fair, the time I was given to answer questions was fair, and it was an interesting experience.  I started to wonder about why they would use a recording of me as an interview instead of multiple face to face ones?  Although it likely does save time and gas.

Was it just a filter to see if I was on top of things?  I was basically given 10 hours notice to complete the half hour worth of video recordings.  Having receiving the information on how to complete it at 9PM at night, I needed to research the company as much as I could, and prepare myself mentally for any questions that may come up.

Was it a filter to see if I wasn’t hideous looking, and had the confidence to speak not only in front of a camera, but also to see if I could answer basic the basic questions “what would you do if someone wasn’t cooperating,” “what is your biggest fear,” etc…?  I’m not trying to insult anyone here or show any sort of discrimination, but it’s the way society works, people are critical of each other in real life; in a sales position where you’re constantly interacting with the general public, I don’t blame a company for someone at least average looking.  Regardless I don’t know the answer to this, they were just honest questions which popped into my head that I thought I would share.

The handshake.

The biggest flaw of the video interview was there had been no handshake, and human interaction.   The handshake is one of the most important forms of initial physical contacts you can have with any person.  Sure other cultures may not put emphasis on handshakes, but I live in the U.S. of A., and that’s how it is here.  Back to my story, the question kept running in my mind, why would a sales position take out one of the most important forms of physical contact?  As a fan of King of the Hill, this video summarizes my thoughts on the importance of a handshake exactly – http://youtu.be/NKmoze-hlXU

When you have a good handshake with someone you don’t know, you gain a mutual respect, and I feel any sort of video interview takes out this important feature of meeting a potential candidate.

In conclusion, I’m obviously not here to say video interviews are bad, AS LONG as they are used just as an initial “filter” to maybe save time, and see if candidates meet even the most basic requirements, however I hope for society that video interviews do not become the norm.

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