Written by:
Fern McCann LLB
Graduate Consultant

As the pandemic began, there were changes in the way we work, and some of these ways seem likely to stick around. Remote work and virtual recruiting are among them, meaning that your next interview may take place online. Video interviews have become a new way for businesses to employ and assess candidates. With many of us working from home, video interviews present an opportunity to continue hiring; but at what cost? In this article we give the lowdown on video interviews, and why they are effective. We then move onto assess the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in video interviews and its pros and cons. We will then close with top tips to give candidates the best chance to ace their video interviews!

What is a Video Interview?

You may think of video interviews simply as a job interview that takes place remotely and that use video technology as the communication medium. There are two main forms of video interview: automated video interviewing and live video interviewing. Both are alike your typical interview in the way that questions are asked of candidates, all designed to probe and discover whether you should be hired for the job at hand. As you may expect, they help interviewers address any concerns from previously in their application, to assess if the candidate can do the job well, and importantly if they would mesh with the existing team.


In automated video interviews on the one hand, candidates are typically given a set amount of time to answer a series of pre-determined questions. There is an allocated time for each response, often with the opportunity to have multiple attempts at recording the answer. Once completed, the recruiter receives the recording and can play back the interview responses. Examples of such software include Assess Candidates and HireVue. In live video interviewing on the other hand, the interview is simply conducted live between the candidate and interviewer using platforms such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. These will often be recorded for later reference, and always involve real interaction with a member of the employer’s team.

Now, with an understanding of Video Interviews in place, we investigate why they’re so commonly used by employers in their hiring processes.

Why are Video Interviews here to stay?

There are various reasons why companies use video interviews. We’ve already seen that Covid was the catalyst for their increased use. In the section, we are going to outline three key reasons why video interviews are effective and hence continue to be used. We will discuss three key areas: their effectiveness, the benefits to the employer and the benefits to the candidate.

Video Interviews are Effective

The first reason why Video interviews continue to be popular is their effectiveness, which can be broken down into three components.

  1. Provide consistency
    • Video interviews are typically structured in nature. All questions are prepared in advance and remain consistent for all candidates. Candidates have a clear timeframe for accessing the interview, and for sitting the interview. This consistency ensures that all candidates are assessed fairly.
  2. Reflect today’s working environment
    • Video interviews are very reflective of current-day technology, especially during the recent pandemic. People are talking online on a daily basis. This means that candidates may feel more comfortable doing a video interview as covid has forced them into this way of working for at least the two years prior.  For example, some candidates each day in their current role or place of study will be communicating online or over a screen. Should a candidate show they are comfortable when doing an online interview, it suggests they are ready to use online software and communicate virtually during that particular role.
  3. Help to maintain clear records
    • Online interviews most often record what candidates have said. This means that the essence of their answers will not be lost. One potential risk of face-to-face interviews may be the varying depth of candidate notes on which to make hiring decisions. This makes video interviews effective as it ensures interviewers don’t forget about a certain candidate or what someone may have said as it will all be easy to access online. The questions asked are both monitorable and trackable, which means all interviews are assessed in their entirety, to ensure applicant are more likely to be assessed fairly.  

Video Interviews Benefit the Employer

Video interviews certainly have their benefits for the employer when on a recruitment drive.

  • Social distancing: When social distancing rules were introduced because of the pandemic, it made it almost impossible for companies to interview people in-person. By having interviews online, employers can continue with their hiring process, while also making their hiring process more accessible to candidates.
  • Video interviews save time: Video Interviews allow employers to hire candidates more easily, by conducting interviews more quickly and efficiently, because arranging face-to-face meetings or even phone calls can be a lengthy process. Also, because the interview is online, it will be saved and easily accessible to employers at any time to review. This has the added benefit of being less time consuming because they won’t have to find and sift through their notes on how a particular candidate answered a certain question.
  • Increased Applications: Video Interviews have increased application; more people will be able to apply and attend the interview because they won’t have to worry about how far they live from the business. More and more employers are willing to hire from further afield, recognizing that the same work can often be achieved when working from home. According to an ISE student recruitment survey, up to 93% of employers were hiring online in 2021. It is expected that this trend will continue despite the dwindling effect of the pandemic.
  • Save Money: Another advantage for the employer is that it allows recruiters to expand their reach at a fraction of the cost of the traditional recruitment model. Face-to-face interviews are extremely expensive, largely due to travel costs, interview wages, and accommodation. This is exactly where video interviews can help employers improve their recruitment process, while also making it more cost-efficient.

Video Interviews Benefit the Candidate

There are also benefits of the use of video interviews for candidates applying.

Firstly, candidates will have less worries about being late for their interview due to traffic or public transport delays, simply because they won’t need to leave their house to do it. They’ll just have to worry about setting their alarm!

Secondly, video interviews are more low cost for candidates than in-person interviews as they won’t need to spend money on travelling expenses, food and lodging. Some job opportunities may also be based from home, which is an advantage if the candidate is a good fit for the role but lives far away. The ISE student recruitment survey outlines that 13% of employers said employees don’t need to live near to the workplace, suggesting they will rarely need to venture into the office, if at all.

Also, candidates can go back to their regular activities as soon as they are done with their online interview, which means it doesn’t get in the way of anyone’s productivity in their current role for example. If the candidate is employed and looking for a new job, it will make it more convenient for them as they may be able to conduct the online interview on their lunch where normally they would have had to take a day’s holiday. Alternatively, if they are currently unemployed, they’ll have a choice of doing the interview in the comfort of their own home. This will ensure, they won’t face the stress of visiting a new place for the first time in the way that you would if you were having an in-person interview.

We have discussed many of the benefits of video interviews both to the employer and candidates. In the next section we will give your more of an insight to how artificial intelligence is used in video interviews, as well as the pros and cons that come with it.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Think a human is reviewing your video interview? Think again. If you’re being interviewed by a large company, it is very possible that your performance could be assessed by artificial intelligence before ever interviewing with a human. Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as virtual perception, facial expression recognition, speech recognition, decision making, and translation between languages. The use of artificial intelligence has become increasingly widespread in recruitment over the last few years. Candidates are often asked to complete video interviews or online tests without any awareness that an algorithm will be the first assessor of their application.

Major companies such as Hilton, HSBC and Unilever have used AI interview software. These interviews allow companies to interview large numbers of potential candidates even more efficiently than they otherwise could, AI- enabled hiring software can quickly scan interviews with hundreds of applicants. When a video interview is using AI, it can’t infer what applicants might be applying

It may seem on the face of it that the use of artificial intelligence in video interviews are a good thing. However, it will be explored in the next section how there are many different positives and negatives to this certain type of interview.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence Video Interviews

In this section, we will now explore the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence (AI), we will explain both why AI makes our lives easier and why it can hinder the interview process.


  • On the face of it, AI-powered video interviews create fair chances for each candidate to succeed, making the application process as unbiased and as objective as possible. (See the last disadvantage for the reverse perspective!)
  • AI systems lower human error rates. Interviewers may lose concentration or forget what the interviewee has said after asking a lot of candidate’s questions. AI has the potential to provide a more accurate result and can be revisited by the interviewer if needed.
  • Manual data analysis is time consuming; Al-systems can process and analyses massive amounts of data at remarkable speeds. They can quickly find relevant information, identify trends, make decisions and offer recommendations based on specific data.


  • Many applicants feel that being assessed by AI is even further impersonal than a person reviewed online interview. Some candidates feel uneasy about how their data is being used.
  • We should all remember that people are more attracted to employers who value their skills and want them to join. Without interaction, we must ask ourselves whether one-way video interviews really help.
  • Many people who are excellent in the workplace but can be terribly camera shy. Others who are relaxed with videos can feel greater pressure with scrutinising eye contact. This may suggest, the AI video interviews may unfairly judge people who would otherwise be good for the job.
  • Some have brought into question the use of AI video interviews as unbiased tools. Many suggest that when creating the parameters for AI, certain biases creep into the system, and can be reflected in the results. For example, it was found in a Harvard business review that facial analysis technology in AI video interviews, has higher error rates in minority women.

Employers have to weight up these advantages and disadvantages of AI video interviews to decide whether to utilize this technology when interviewing candidates. In fact, 83% of the respondents in an ISE student recruitment survey highlighted they need to work on diversity moving into 2022, in particular improving racial diversity in their company. This focus and importance placed on diversity highlights the need to seriously consider if AI interviews are a good fit for their values.

It is all well and good knowing about artificial intelligence, but if candidates don’t know the steps they have to take whilst undergoing the video interview, it can be a barrier to success.  In the next section, we are going to discuss some useful tips to help you pass the interview with flying colors.

3 candidate tips to give them an edge when doing Video Interviews:

Video interviews are becoming increasingly difficult with more companies using them instead of in-person interviews. Here are 3 tips to help candidates prepare for a successful job interview.

  1. Be prepared before the interview
    • We advise that candidates plan well in advance before they do the interview. Even though, the interview is online, we suggest candidates still think of it as their first day of work. Generally, the kind of appropriate attire is a suit jacket or a shirt/blouse. Candidates may be at home but there are still things that can go wrong. Use a quiet location, where noise and people won’t disturb. Make sure the room you choose is tidy and use a clean and simple background so that the recruiter is focused on nothing else. Candidates need to also think about the lighting, if there is no natural light, use a lamp. Furthermore, close anything on the computer that may play notification sounds and switch all devices to silent, so there are no distractions. Another tip is the use of hand gestures whilst answering questions, for example: movements such as touching your fingertip, clasping palms and moving your hands as you speak are signs of honesty and openness.
  2. Use Positive body language:
    • When doing any type of interview, it is best to avoid slouching or fidgeting too much. We suggest making good eye contact with the camera, listen and take an interest in what they’re saying. For pre-recorded answers candidates should imagine they’re speaking to a real person. When taking an interview, if you’re nervous, ensure you speak carefully and clearly and be careful not to interrupt.
  3. Get technical:
    • Test the computer a few days before, as well as the camera and software to ensure the picture is clear and quality is good. Ensure everything is fully charged. Also, we suggest if you’re having a problem on the call, tell the interviewer, technical difficulties may happen and it’s not the candidate’s fault if you checked everything the day before – it may be easily fixed, or the interviewer might ask to redial. To prevent this from happening, ensure you have a backup, have another device set up so you can swap if needed.

These 3 tips will help any candidate have a successful video interview and will be sure to relieve nerves, as this can be an unfamiliar experience.


Video interviews continue to be used by many organizations across the globe. As discussed, video interviews have many benefits and drawbacks. At GF we have focused solutions to help candidates prepare when applying to their dream role. Practicing these can help ensure you are even more effective at completing online interviews, it will reduce the chance of error, such as technical issues and unfamiliarity with the assessment type itself.