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Now that it's 2023, the big question on everyone's mind is, "what will the economy do?" In recent months, two topics that have been the center of attention everywhere from newspapers to office gossip are “inflation” and “recession.” And, as uncertainty looms, companies everywhere are looking for ways to save money and stay competitive. One way many businesses are doing that is by utilizing video interviews as a cost-effective alternative to traditional in-person interviewing methods.
Often called virtual interviews, this type of interview has been around for years, but they were rapidly adopted as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and companies were forced to continue productivity through stay-at-home orders. This was a huge challenge for traditional businesses that hadn't set up the infrastructure necessary to work remotely or trained their teams on how to handle the transition.
Luckily, platforms like Zoom and Teams scaled quickly to meet market demands, and video interviewing quickly became a viable and cost-effective alternative to in-person interviews, with the added bonus of eliminating travel expenses.
The ROI (return on investment) of video interviews is quite simple to calculate. For instance, the cost of F2F Interviews (Face-to-face interviews) can range from $500 to thousands of dollars per candidate based on travel and other expenses. On the other hand, a video interview can be conducted with no extra costs besides the software you're using and the time.
Let's break down the costs into 3 categories.
Pre-interview costs are the costs associated with recruitment, background checks, drug testing, and other pre-interview activities. In many cases, these will be the same for F2F and video interviews as they're company-mandated, not driven by the type of interview.
If you've engaged an outside recruiter, you can expect to spend 20 - 40% of an employee's first-year salary on hiring.
Interview & Assessment Costs include interviewers' time, instructional materials, software and interview intelligence tools, assessments, and other costs related to the interview itself. For F2F interviews, you can expect these to be higher due to travel expenses and other related costs.
Video interviewing eliminates much of those costs since they don't require time away from the office or extensive travel expense reimbursements. This is a major cost-saving for businesses that have multiple candidates in multiple locations.
Post-interview costs can be quite high for F2F interviews because of extensive reference checks and background checks as well as onboarding costs and other HR-related expenses. Video interviewing also eliminates many of these post-interview costs by using online assessments, automated reference checking, and digital onboarding processes.
Finally, employee turnover is an important consideration when looking at the ROI of video interviews. Over the last 12 months, we've helped our customers lower employee turnover (what we call failed hiring) by 50% - here's a link to the case study. This means that companies can save money not just on recruitment and interview/assessment costs, but on the cost of turnover itself and the loss of knowledge that comes with turnover.
If you'd like to see the ROI of our video interview platform, check out our savings calculator to see how much you could be saving.
How long should an interview last? The answer is, it depends. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but if you're hiring for highly technical roles like software engineers, the time required to assess their skills will look very different than if you're hiring for customer service positions.
As a video interview platform, we hear questions about interview length constantly. "How long does a zoom interview last?" "How long should a first interview last?" The average interview should last 60 - 90 minutes. The University of New Hampshire did a study they called "The Brain Break." Their research showed that students could study diligently for 45 - 60 minutes and then they needed a break. Taking the student from a focused state (studying) to a relaxed state (browsing social media, talking to a friend, going for a walk) allowed them to get the best results.
This can translate directly to interviewing. If your interviews are technically challenging, the candidate may need to take a break 45- 60 minutes into the interview which allows them to decompress, refocus, hydrate, and come back with more answers.
Here are some typical interview times:
Ultimately, the interview length should be determined on a job-by-job basis and should account for the complexity of the role and any special requirements or assessments that need to be included in your hiring process. A good rule of thumb is to keep interviews between 60 - 90 minutes with an option to break if needed.
Oprah Winfrey, one of the greatest interviewers of all time, said that the key to interviewing someone is "building trust and making them feel special." Interviewing is about asking the right questions and listening intently for understanding - Oprah's "rule of thumb?" Listen 3x as much as you talk.
Do you want to know the secrets used by five of the world's top interviewers? Unlock their invaluable knowledge with these insider tips!
These tips can easily translate to how you interview someone for a job. When you interview someone, the goal is to find out if they are a good cultural fit and can do the job well. You want to ask open-ended questions, let the candidate do most of the talking, and take notes.
1. Begin with a Warm Welcome - People are more likely to open up if they're greeted warmly and offered an introduction. We also recommend having an icebreaker ready - something to build rapport and show that you're familiar with the candidate and that you're prepared.
2. Ask Meaningful Questions - When interviewing potential candidates, be sure to ask in-depth questions. Ask them to narrate stories and back up their answers with proof or examples. This will give you a better understanding of the candidate's skills, knowledge, and experience.
When thinking about how to interview someone for a job, questions like, "Why do you think you're a good fit for this role?" or "What sets you apart from other candidates?" are easy to ask but don't get us the data we need to actually make great hiring decisions.
Instead, try asking open-ended, semi-structured questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had to think quickly and make an important decision." or "We recently faced this problem (provide a real-world scenario). How would you think through the process of solving it?"
3. Take Notes - It's important to take notes throughout the interview process so that you can remember key points later on when making a decision about who to hire.
4. Allow for Silence - Don't be afraid of silence! Give the candidate time to think and process their response before asking a follow-up question. This helps ensure that you're giving each candidate an equal opportunity to answer questions thoughtfully.
5. End on a Positive Note - You want the candidate to leave the interview feeling positive and excited about the possibility of working with your company - if they're a good fit. Let them know about the next steps, take some time to review the conversation, thank them for their time, and let them know you'll be in touch soon.
Every interviewer has their own style and each job requires a different set of questions. Here are a couple of traditional questions interviewers ask that could be reframed to gather better data on the candidate.
1. "Tell me about yourself" - this question is vague and open-ended. And, "Where would you like me to begin?" is often the response. If you ask more specific questions like, "Describe the sales cycle in your previous role" or "Tell me about a time you overcame a difficult customer objection," you'll get more detailed answers.
2. "What are your weaknesses?" - This question can be difficult for a candidate to answer in an honest, thoughtful way. Instead, you could ask "Tell me about the last time had difficulty meeting objectives?" or “Tell me about a time when you felt like you couldn't reach the goal you set for yourself. What did you do?"
3. "What do you know about the job?" - Instead of getting an overview of their knowledge, ask more detailed questions such as: "How would you handle this particular task?" or "What strategies would you put in place to achieve the desired results?"
4. "Why do you want this job?" - 95% of the time, the real answer is, "the money," and we all know it. Instead, ask questions that get to the heart of why they're a great candidate for the role such as: "What specific skills and experiences make you feel confident this is a great role for you?"
Strategic interview questions to ask candidates should get to the heart of the candidate's skills and experience, problem-solving abilities, work style, and ability to work in teams. This will give you a better idea of whether the candidate is actually qualified for the job and could be a good fit for your company's culture. We've provided a handful of sample interview questions and answers in this article, but there are many more ways to get the information you need to make the best hiring decisions.
Questions to ask at the end of the interview will help you understand what matters most to the candidate and if they have any other questions or concerns. Asking follow-up questions such as, "As you've familiarized yourself with our company, what do you think we could improve on?", "What 3 factors would make this role your dream job?" and "Is there anything else we should discuss that I haven't asked about" can help ensure all of the important points have been covered and that the candidate feels like their concerns were taken seriously.
By asking thoughtful questions and taking careful notes, you can ensure that your hiring decisions are based on more than just a gut feeling, and Pillar created interview intelligence software to accomplish that. Our App on the Zoom Marketplace empowers hiring teams with insights powered by Ai to help you make better hires. Record, transcribe, and index interviews so they're searchable and easy to review. Then highlight and share those insights with your team. Schedule a demo, to see it in action.