Increasingly, Millennial job seekers are engaging in remote interviews, sometimes to the exclusion of face-to-face meetings. All indications show this new interview paradigm is rapidly gaining ground.
Millennial Heather Blonsky is part of this growing trend and recently was successful in a highly competitive hiring process. Before meeting in-person with hiring managers, she completed a two-step remote interview process that included answering pre-recorded questions by video and engaging in a live phone interview. Blonsky explains:
“The online application included an option to film a video introduction of myself. Pre-recorded questions would play, and I was then given the chance to practice for one minute before giving a three-minute answer. The video interview let me introduce myself in a way I couldn’t through just writing alone.”
Sometimes, the remote interviewing process concludes with a job offer, skipping the in-person interview altogether. One Millennial of my acquaintance received a significant offer from a consulting firm after a video interview on Skype, several phone interviews and submission of writing samples.
Remote interviews are particularly popular for summer internships. And, while this is an increasing trend, it’s not completely new. Millennial Mark commented:
“In 2007, I got my summer internship in marketing with Hewlett Packard entirely through remote interviewing. Essentially, I showed up in Fort Collins, Colorado to start work without having ever met anyone in person."
According to Penn Career Services, the number of companies doing remote interviews and talking to students remotely in the on-campus career facility increased 43% between 2010 and 2013.
On the Hiring Side
In a survey of 500 HR managers, staffing service firm OfficeTeam found 63% of companies conduct video interviews—compared to just 14% in 2011. This is a notably rapid increase in remote interviewing.
The popularity of video as part of remote interviews has created a market opportunity beyond a simple Skype call. Services such as Spark Hire provide companies with easy-to-use video interview options. Started in 2012, Spark Hire is used by over 1,000 organizations, with 10,000 job seeker profiles. CEO Josh Tolan asserts:
“Video interviewing is part of a sea change in the way recruiters and hiring managers use the online space to source and hire great talent.”
Tolan lists several benefits to employers and reasons why remote interviewing is increasing in popularity:
- It becomes cost-effective to widen the geographic area in search of the best candidate. No longer do companies need to contain their search within driving range or budget for airfare.
- Pre-recorded video answers can be reviewed much faster than conducting phone interviews. According to research from the Aberdeen Group, recruiters can view up to ten video screens in the time it typically takes to complete one phone screen.
- It’s usually easier to schedule a video interview than an in-person meeting.
- Hiring managers can “see” the candidate sooner through early engagement with video.
Remote interviewing has gained traction rapidly, and Millennials are at the forefront in this trend. As digital natives, they appear more comfortable with these remote interactions and are more willing than previous generations to forego face-to-face interaction in making major decisions (such as renting an apartment, as I wrote about in “Great Expectations Among Millennial Renters Highlight High-Touch Trend.”)
As these new employees grow in their roles, it will be interesting to see what, if any, effects the remote interview process has on each company’s culture and how these employees contribute to the organizations they have joined. In the meantime, both for Millennials and for job seekers from older generations, it is critical to buff up on video interview skills.