Thanks for applying! Now please interview yourself… 🙁

Instead of speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager, some companies are asking candidates to interview themselves, a take-home test if you will. After completing a lengthy (often painful) job application, candidates are now required to record videos of themselves answering screening questions as an additional step of the application process.

“Thanks for applying! Now please awkwardly record yourself and maybe we’ll talk to you!”

Why would companies not want to speak with candidates who have expressed interest in working for their company, instead of the competition? Interviews are a two-way street where candidates are also interviewing your organization. Adding an extra step for the candidate (to save a recruiter some time) seems like a poor strategy if you’re seeking top talent. The best candidates have options and it’s human nature to go with the path of least resistance.

Bias and Discrimination

In the USA, it is illegal to require photos on resumes or employment applications. How are video applications okay?

We often hear “screening for culture fit’, but this does not require video… Personality, enthusiasm and domain knowledge can all be easily heard over the phone. We already know there’s extensive bias in the hiring process and one-way interviews are not only inconvenient to working professionals, video interviews are not fair.

Asking an unqualified candidate to spend another couple of hours to complete a one-way interview doesn’t promote inclusion or build a more diverse pipeline.. it’s cruel and gives stressed out job-seekers more work. Especially, if they are declined and never get to speak with someone at the company.

Terrible Candidate Experience

For anyone who has recorded application videos of themselves, it’s a painful process that requires multiple takes to get a version you can stomach, let alone something you’d share with your dream employer.

Anyone with experience recruiting in hyper-competitive and candidate-driven talent markets wouldn’t ask an engineer, a marketer, a financial analyst or a top seller – to interview themselves before a quick conversation.

As recruiting practitioners, we spend our days advertising jobs, sourcing passive candidates, improving our employment brand, and asking for referrals. All of this work is to get the word out that we’re actively hiring and to build a diverse talent pipeline for our clients and hiring managers. When we finally get someone to bite, why would we ever add such an impersonal experience, to save a few minutes?

High Quality Phone Conversations

Instead of outsourcing our candidate conversations to one-way interviews or external screening services, companies have a real opportunity to improve the phone interview experience and save everyone time. If your recruiters have built trust with hiring managers and can skip candidates to on-site interview after the first phone conversation – then your talent acquisition team is adding incredible value. If after the first conversation, candidates require one or two additional phone interviews before they visit the office – there is room for improvement. Timing is everything in the talent (acquisition) business.