We’re on day 4 of 30 as we passed through the gates of the medieval city of Provins. I  wondered what life must have been like 1000 years ago for the people here.

The primary focus of daily life was still survival for most people.
After 52 miles of riding survival was on our minds too!
Interviewing people wasn’t…

…but I get asked about doing video interviews with ofs all the time.

I don’t usually do video interviews when I’m hiring an OFS. I know many people do it, and it works for them. But I don’t do them for the following reasons.

  1. Many Filipino workers don’t like it. They’re worried that employers might not understand their English. Employers might also notice their background, which could be messy, and people walk behind them.
  2. Video interviews take up a lot of time and require asking a lot of questions. It’ll probably take you 30 minutes or longer to interview just one person. If you’re interviewing many people, that’s hours wasted on people you’re not hiring.
  3. It puts good applicants who don’t interview well at a disadvantage. Some jobs don’t require excellent spoken English. But a lousy interview can discourage you from hiring someone who could be good simply because they don’t speak English well.

For example, I have a few developers who I know don’t speak English well. I avoid going on calls with them because I really can’t understand their English. But when I email them or chat with them on Slack, their English is really good.

That’s fine because I don’t need them to have perfect English; I just need them to be good developers. I would have missed out if I had let the way they spoke English affect my hiring decisions.

That being said, I understand why people still insist on doing video interviews. Doing a video interview does come with distinct advantages.

  1. A video interview is a quick test of whether they have the equipment and internet speeds to do the job. If their setup can sustain a video call, they can do most online work.
  2. A video call is more personal, which can help you get to know your applicants better.
  3. Seeing how they talk on a video call shows how well they’ll be on the job that does require good English-speaking skills (phone customer support, cold calls, etc).

The interview is one thing that takes up time when hiring. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you still want to do a video interview with your applicants, there are ways to do them faster and make them more efficient.

  1. Don’t do video interviews early in the hiring process. Doing the interviews later in the hiring process lets your applicants know you enough that they’re not as self-conscious. They’ll be more relaxed and less guarded with their answers.
  2. Do your interviews with your top 2-3 applicants. This way, you’re not rushing through each interview. Also, you know your top applicants enough to ask them specific questions relevant to the job.
  3. Prepare your interview questions ahead of time. You don’t want to lose track and waste time talking about things unrelated to the job.

In the end, here’s the experience most people have with doing video interviews:
– If it’s the first thing you try doing only one out of 5 people will show up for the interview.  Super frustrating for you.  Super frustrating for them.  They’re scared.
– If it’s at the end of the interview process, 2/3 will show up. Now this is a good way of making your final decision.

John