Pros & Cons of Virtual Interviews

Depending on your location and your talent pool, finding great employees might be a challenge. You can use virtual or remote interviews to overcome those concerns.
According to a Snagajob survey, 45% of workers are open to video-only interviews; 66% are open to phone interviews, especially in the face of current stay-at-home orders.


How do you know when to host a virtual interview and when to do it in person? Here are the pros and cons of remote interviews to help you make the best choice for how to hire for your business.


When to use virtual interviews

During a pandemic

While all 50 states have reopened, there are still restrictions and most people are still staying home due to the COVID-19. Virtual interviews can be a lifesaver in this situation. Especially as you’re trying to staff up for when restrictions lift completely and you can get back to business as usual. 85% of employers reported to Snagajob that they’re already working on a restaffing plan. 

With a remote interview, no masks are needed; there’s no need to wonder whether a handshake is a good idea, or how to stay six feet away from the person you’re interviewing. Moving forward with hiring can be something you can do to prepare for when your storefront can open again.


To get a better interview show rate and more qualified candidates

A common complaint from small business owners in the service industry is that candidates don’t even show up to the interview. Not only is it a waste of your valuable time, but it can also cause you to potentially eliminate a qualified candidate that couldn’t make it because of an emergency or because they’re backfilling a shift for their current employer. Snagajob uses virtual interviews to hire our own W-2 Shifts workers and we’ve found that virtual interviews have a 20% higher show rate and a 15% higher hired rate when compared to in-person interviews.

To make the best use of time

It can be much more efficient to schedule a remote interview because there’s no travel involved. Virtual interviews are easier to fit into the schedule. If you’re lucky enough to have a large pool of candidates, it’s a lot easier to schedule a number of interviews back to back. With remote interviewing, the downtime between applicants is much shorter. There’s also no need to worry about booking a meeting space or if you’ll have room in your store or restaurant.


To make the best use of resources

Many resources are available that can help streamline the process for virtual interviews. For example, Snagajob’s platform helps you find qualified candidates for your job, plus has a built-in video interview hosting option. We can also track applicants and schedule and manage interviews, meaning you can manage the entire hiring process in one place. Before scheduling a virtual interview, it is recommended that you ask the candidate through Snagajob’s communication tool if they are comfortable or able to participate in a virtual interview.



When a live interview is best
Despite their many advantages, virtual interviews aren’t always the best option. Depending on your personal ability to read people through a two-dimensional screen, it may be better to opt for a live interview instead. Here are some reasons to consider a live interview instead.


COVID-19 restrictions have lifted or you’re an essential service

If you live in a region where restrictions have eased or you’re considered an essential service, it may be worthwhile to continue with in-person interviews if they’re already your preferred method for hiring. It may be more cost effective to continue with the process you’ve already created instead of starting a new one if it’s not necessary.


When in-person customer service or sales are important

Not everyone is as comfortable meeting on a computer screen as they are connecting face to face. If you’re looking for a top salesperson or bartender for example, whose job consists entirely of making customers happy in person, you may not be able to get the information you need from watching them through a monitor. If you start with a virtual interview and you feel like you’re probably missing some important aspects to their personality, schedule a follow-up interview in person to see if it makes a difference.


Choosing to use virtual interviews depends on your goals and whether you can get the information you need from a virtual interview. The best option is the one that makes the most sense to your company and business model.


About the Author

Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn is a Growth Marketing Manager at Snagajob. Tom focuses on both helping hourly workers find on-demand shifts to make extra cash, as well as helping small businesses find the perfect employee. Tom’s first hourly job was working the concession stand at his local childhood movie theater.

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