Meet and Greet: Why Digital Interviews Make Sense for Start Ups

The world of interviewing is changing rapidly, along with the digital age. It’s gone from work being given to family members and friends in the 1700’s, to candidate tests being invented in 1921 by Thomas Edison.

Now, interviewing is an essential part of the hiring process, and social media checks (particularly with websites such as LinkedIn) are creeping in as an examination of the candidate’s suitability.

Research has shown that all of this has resulted in the hiring process taking longer than ever before; from 12.6 days in 2010 to 22.9 days in 2014. This can be put down to the highly specialized jobs that people are now looking for, and the fact that employers are using more of a detailed screening process to find the right candidates for them.

People are becoming increasingly cautious about finding the right person the first time interviewing, to save their company time and money.

Related Article: How to Recruit Top Talent (Even if Your Company Isn’t Cool)

Of course, there is a way around that with digital interviewing. This allows you to bring your long list down to a much shorter one quickly and easily. It also saves you and the candidates a lot of time and effort.

You can use this for the majority of the process: emailed resumes, online portfolios and presentations, and video interviewing using software such as Hirevue, which boasts a 25 percent faster cycle time, 29 percent less turnover, 17 percent fewer poor performers and 13 percent more top performers.

When you consider that more than 60 percent of employers are already using video interviewing for remote positions and that it’s believed that smart watches will soon allow employers to screen candidates on the go, it’s easy to see that this is clearly the future, so why not get on board now?

Virtual Workforces

The remote, virtual workforce is a growing business, which is predicted to rise to 63 million people by the end of 2016. The reason that employers, particularly of small start-up businesses, prefer to work this way, is because it gives them access to talent out of their area, keeping their options open much wider.

It’s also a great money saving technique, with companies on estimate saving $2,000 per employee, just by allowing them to work at home. Not only that, research by TLNT has shown an 8.5 percent rise in productivity.

And of course, if these members of staff live too far away, digital interviewing is the best way forward. It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to hop on a plane to join you at your office, and with technological, live video streaming options, such as Skype, why make it more difficult for yourself?

Body Language

Often, people are put-off from the interviewing technique, because they worry about missing out on vital non-verbal communication, such as body language. But, just because the candidate is not sitting across the desk from you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good feel for them.

Live video interviews are better than pre-recorded videos that answer a generic set of questions for this, and the more you do it, the better you will get at judging if people are the right fit for your organization.

Related Article: Super Sneaky Recruiting Tips You’ve Never Considered

Inbox Evaluations

An inbox evaluation is a great way to put all of the skills that candidates seem to promise you that they’re capable of during the interview into practice. It’s effectively giving them “a day in the life of the role”, and allowing you to see how they will handle the directions, demands and the pressures of the job.

This is also something that you can do online, using applications such as Inbox Evaluation. This will give you a much deeper insight than an interview ever could.

Online Evaluations

Using online evaluations to test out potential employee skills is a great way to confirm that they have the right skills for the job. You can set up online questionnaires or application forms, or online tests to ensure that the person can do all that they say they can. Sites such as ISV Group have been set up to help you with this, but it’s also something that you can do with Hirevue.

Contract Employees

It’s also important to consider hiring staff for certain jobs. Things that you don’t need doing all the time. This can be anything from design work, writing, coding or website development. Luckily for you, there is also a selection of websites that have been set up with this in mind, such as Freelancer, UpWork, and PeoplePerHour.

The freelancers on the sites have feedback posted from others that they’ve worked for before, they’ve generally already completed skills tests to show you what they can do, and they often have a portfolio of past work posted for you to view prior to any communication with them. You can also request a video interview with them before hiring if you’d prefer some more personalized communication.  


Here are some tips to ensure that you get the best out of your digital interviewing if it’s something that you think you’d like to try:

  • Make sure the environment surrounding you is quiet. Ensure that minimal outside noise can affect your interview.
  • Look professional, both yourself and the background. You would be sure to tidy up before a face-to-face interview, so do the same here.
  • Be careful with the lighting, so the candidate can see you. Don’t have the light shining from behind you.
  • Test the quality of your video and audio beforehand. Get feedback if possible. It’s also advisable to check your Internet connection, too.
  • Have access to all the documents you might need close at hand so you don’t have to vanish for an extended period of time.
  • Make a point to look into the webcam. Give the impression that you’re looking into the candidates eyes. Smiling doesn’t hurt either.
  • Refrain from doing anything distracting, such as swinging on the chair, tapping your fingers, fiddling with a pen, etc.

The Hirevue Blog has listed the five most common interview questions, which are a good place to start when planning out what you are going to ask:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • What are your long-term career plans?
  • What made you leave your previous job?
  • Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • What makes you want to work for me?

But be warned these are not always the best questions and you should consult with a recruiter to give you better questions to ask candidates.

Related Article: The Small Business Guide to Recruiting and Hiring #DreamSmallBiz

So, get with the future, and use the Internet to your advantage when hiring. Digital interviewing is certainly worth a try as it will save you time and money, whilst giving you a wider scope for finding your employees. Why not give it a go?

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