Conducting an interview with a potential employee is the first step to getting to know them better and then making a decision about whether they are a suitable choice for your business or not. When you are looking to hire an employee, it is important that you conduct a few interviews to determine whether they are a good fit or not.
In the past, all interviews were conducted in person. The prospective candidate would have to appear before the recruiters, thus giving them a chance to get to know the person better. However, phone and remote interviews are becoming more and more popular.
There have been lots of studies based on the differences between phone interviews and in-person interviews. In the following article, we put the two together. In the phone interview vs. in person battle, let’s see which one comes out on top!
In-Person Interviews – The Conventional Method
The oldest and the most conventional method that has been used snce the age of business is the in-person interview. In-person interviews are held on premises or in a boardroom. These are formal meetings that are held between the candidate and the hiring manager.
As you can imagine, these interviews are considerably more in-depth as compared to telephone interviews. There are many advantages and a few disadvantages that you should know about when conducting interviews in this manner. Let’s talk about them one by one.
The biggest advantages of holding interviews in person is that you get to see the person and observe their body language. You will get a much better idea about how they are in person as compared to conducting an interview over the phone.
You can see how they present themselves, how well they are dressed, and how they talk. The first impression that you get with a potential candidate is critically important, so you have to make sure that it is the right one. With an in-person interview, you get to do just that.
Secondly, the other thing about conducting interviews in person is that you can ask them to clarify their answers in a much better answer. Most of the interview questions will require some sort of expansion upon the first answer, and you would want the candidate to talk more about them.
When you are holding a conversation, you automatically find it easier to discuss different things together. The conversation runs much deeper than a standard phone interview. As a candidate, you will have more chances to build on your answers as well.
In fact, you can always ask your own questions and find out more if you want. The good thing about in-person interviews is that you can also gauge the interviewer’s body language. If you feel they are getting bored of the conversation, you can swiftly change the topic.
A Great Impression
The chances of misunderstandings decrease dramatically when you are sitting in front of the person. Facial cues and body language both come into play thus making it easy for the interviewer to determine what you are actually trying to say.
Nonverbal communication plays a critical role in sending an important message, and the confidence that you bring with yourself in the room is going to play a critical role in increasing your chances of getting hired.
There are a few cons included as well. For instance, scheduling is a serious problem. If you are already working in another company, scheduling an in-person interview is obviously a bit difficult. You will have to take time off from your current workplace, and provide a sound reason.
More importantly, you have to keep things as confidential as possible. If a colleague sees you walking into another office as a potential employee and spills the beans, it could cause a problem for your current job.
There is also the issue of the pressure involved. You will have several candidates sitting in the waiting room, and this amps up the pressure. Only one person is going to get the job, and this means that you will have to maintain your cool. Stress could be a serious problem for in-person interviews.
Then, there are telephone interviews. Remote interviews are on the rise and more and more companies are adopting these policies. The aim of a phone interview is slightly different. Interviewers aren’t really looking for the strongest candidates right off the bat.
Instead, they try to eliminate the weakest individuals, especially because a single job could attract hundreds of candidates. In many companies, phone interviews are designed as a filter to eliminate weak candidates. It is a precursor to the in-person interview in many places.
The biggest advantage of conducting a phone interview is the flexibility that they offer. You can conduct a phone interview from anywhere in the world. More importantly, you don’t have to worry about prospective candidates taking time off to come to your interview.
This increases the turnout and allows you to choose from a bigger talent pool.
For the interviewees, this also calms interview anxiety by a significant margin. When you are talking to someone on the phone, you are able to speak in a better manner. You aren’t face-to-face with the employee. You will probably want to take the interview in a familiar environment. This will increase your comfort levels dramatically.
More importantly, phone interviews also remove geographical distances. If you are applying for a job that’s in a remote area, you don’t have to worry about going all the way there. The phone interview will be a fantastic way to figure out the company and the job responsibilities that are expected of you before you decide to go ahead.
As mentioned, above, the biggest problem with this is the fact that building rapport is quite difficult. Holding a fun conversation over the phone is obviously very difficult, and you are going to find it quite difficult to clarify your answers or prolong them.
You should make sure that your attention remains firmly focused on the interview. Don’t bother multitasking because the interviewer will immediately get a hint that you are not paying full attention, and this could lead to serious problems.
Another major disadvantage of telephone interviews is that you will have much less time to sell yourself. In a face-to-face interview, the conversation can go on as long as the interviewer is interested. But, in telephone interviews, it’s not as easy as you might think.
Your time will be limited, and you will have to sell yourself in under a minute. It’s obviously much easier said than done, and in many cases, you will miss out on opportunities this way.
So, as you can see, both have their pros and cons. That is one of the main reasons why so many companies are now using a mixture of both to find the best candidates.