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In Person vs Remote Interviews

If you have gone through the process of applying for a new job in recent times, then you will know that the landscape of interviewing has undergone a huge transformation. This is largely driven by the change in work dynamics due to the pandemic, coupled with advancements in technology. The traditional in-person interview, once the undisputed standard, and the only real way to secure a new job, now shares the stage with remote video interviews.

Remote interview

The assumption may have been that all would revert to ‘normal’ once we got back on our feet after the pandemic, but that had not been the case. Much like the office vs remote working conundrum, it would seem increasingly evident that remote interviews are here to stay in the evolving world of recruitment and hiring.

This raises the questions of which is the better approach and which do candidates prefer?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the pros and cons:

In-person interviews have long been considered the gold standard for evaluating candidates. Not only can they assess the candidates’ qualifications, but they offer a personal touch, allowing candidates and interviewers to establish a direct, immediate connection. Perfect for showcasing soft skills.

In Person Interview

In-person interviews also offer an insight into the company’s culture and environment, giving candidates a genuine feel for the company and potential new colleagues and thus helping to gauge compatibility. However, in-person interviews can be logistically challenging and simply not feasible for candidates who live in different locations or countries.

On the other hand, remote interviews are convenient and accessible thus offering undeniable advantages. They save time and resources and enable access to a much wider pool of talent simply due to not having any geographical constraints. They can also be less intimidating for some candidates, allowing them to showcase their skills without the anxiety often associated with face-to-face interactions.

At E-Frontiers, we recently conducted some research into this and asked the question ‘what do candidates prefer?’
Interview trends survey

In a recent LinkedIn poll of 474 candidates who were asked what their interview preference was, a resounding 55% responded with the choice of ‘Remote video is the way to go’. This coupled with a strong response of 30% for the choice of ‘In-Person only for the final stage’, means a whopping 85% prefer remote video interviews. ‘Always in-person is best’ scored just 15%. Certainly food for thought for clients.

Our team of recruiters report similar experiences to the above findings:

John Ryan, Technical Recruiter, reports that ‘candidates are still very keen to do remote interviews, purely for convenience as much as anything else. But, when it gets to the 2nd stage and they are onsite interviews, they are happy to attend, meet potential new employers, and see the site’.

In Person Interview

Similarly, Eddie McAndrew, Recruitment Consultant for engineering and customer success roles at E-Frontiers, has found with recent roles that ‘2 stage interviews have proved most popular. The first stage is via teams, with the second onsite. It is rare that an offer will come without the client meeting the candidate face to face. Candidates prefer Teams interviews but generally for second stage interviews they are always comfortable with onsite, as they usually want to get a feel for the office and get to meet who they will be working for’.

This research tells us that the ideal approach for clients is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While the nature of the role, the industry, and personal preferences must be considered, a hybrid model that combines in-person and remote interviews seems to be the most promising path forward. And I think is the best solution for clients to ensure good hires.

Certainly, initial screening rounds and tech assessments can take place remotely and clients not already doing this should consider moving towards it. This works in accommodating obvious candidate preferences for video and works in favour of the client by casting a wider net to a broader talent pool and bringing efficiencies and inclusivity to their hiring process. In-person interviews can then be reserved for the final critical stages, where cultural fit and deeper personal evaluations are important.

Remote video interview
Conclusion

The changing landscape of interviewing highlights the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the hiring process. Employers should adopt a flexible approach and consider a mix of both in-person and remote interviews, offering candidates genuine options. By embracing this diversity in interview formats, organisations can ensure they are making the best and most informed hiring decisions.

Contact us

Feel free to get in touch with our commercial team to discuss your recruitment and resourcing needs:

IRE:  Nigel Bolger : [email protected] (m: 00353 86 3888147)

UK: Kenneth O’ Connor : [email protected] (m: 0044 740 365 1213)