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Interview candidates online? Yes, but use caution

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in Centerpiece,Hiring,Human Resources,Office Technology,Web Tools

You’ve narrowed a pile of résumés down to eight. Some live out of state. You don’t want to bring all in for interviews, but also fear rejecting possibly good candidates.

Solution: Run candidates through brief 15-minute online/video interviews to select your final four. Online interviews are an increasingly popular option for employers, as video technology has become simpler and cheaper—essentially free with services like Skype.


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According to a CareerBuilder survey, 11% of employers planned to conduct video-based interviews in 2011, up from 6% in 2010.

Follow these tips to successfully conduct video interviews while avoiding potential pitfalls:

√  Apply anti-discrimination policies. The legal risks are the same as during face-to-face interviews.

An informal EEOC letter addressed this issue, saying, “Under Title VII, it is not illegal for an employer to learn the race, gender or ethnicity of an individual prior to an interview.” How­­ever, “Video clips might be analogized to information on a résumé that clearly tells an individual’s race, such as, ‘President, Black Law Students Association.’ In this situation, as with the video clip, the employer needs to focus on the person’s qualifications for the job.”

Also, if you see on the video that the person has a disability, “You have not violated the inquiry prohibition of the ADA, but you must not use that information to discriminate in hiring.” (Read the letter at www.tinyurl.com/EEOCvideo.)   

√  Use online interviews as additional screening tools, not as replacements for face-to-face interviews. Most employers use video interviews to determine which candidates will undergo face-to-face interviews.

√  Maintain an online file of video interviews. Do it in addition to documenting all aspects of the hiring process as usual.

√  Always screen candidates via paper or online résumés before proceeding to video interviews.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Colin Rhodes February 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

I read your article with great interest. We are Vidico are a UK based company that are about to launch our online, live video interview platform with full HR workflows built in. I would welcome the chance to talk to you about our offering.0


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