There are a number of video interviewing technologies and companies in the market place right now.  All of them are based on technology allowing a candidate to record their answers to questions and have a recruiter (or manager) watch the video on their own schedule.  There are also video-based job applications available.  In this case, the applicant interacts with a video-based interviewer (automated) to answer closed-ended, and open-ended, questions which then are used to automatically determine what piece of information, or question, is presented to the candidate next.

The remainder of this article will examine the differences between these two newer recruiting techniques.

Video Interviews

Video interviewing is a hot commodity right now.  There are a lot of benefits that are being touted, and in my opinion many of them are empty.  For example, one big benefit is that you can save the recruiter time.  Yes, this is true – recruiters only have to watch a few minutes of an interview where the candidate is clearly not qualified, versus having to interview them for the full time scheduled.  But how big is this benefit really?  Companies that focus on streamlining the process and making recruiters more efficient might be sacrificing on quality of hire.  And the recruiter might be missing good information presented by the candidate in subsequent questions they never observe.  Also, the recruiter still has to look at everyone.

Video interviews are not that big a change from the traditional interview.  Answers are still subjectively scored, there is no standardization in how candidates are evaluated, the visual appearance of the candidate may be used in the decision-making process (and yes sometimes this is ok as long as it is not the candidate’s gender, race, or age), etc.  The video interview is a technology answer to an existing process that does not change the basic premise of the interviewing process – it is just a little more efficient but not qualitatively better.

Video-based Job Applications

Video applications are not as common as video interviews yet.  They differ from video interviews significantly.  The video application is a qualitatively different way of collecting application data than has been done in the past.  It is a shift in how applications should be used, and is necessary to keep up with the demands of the Millennial Generation entering the workforce.

The video application is an interactive experience in which the candidate is in more of a traditional exchange with the interviewer (automated).  Active recruiting happens from the very beginning and the process of completing the application is a very different experience compared to the traditional application process.  In the traditional application candidates simply fills out all the questions and receives nothing in return.  In an interactive video-based application, as the candidate answers a question he/she receives information based on his/her answer.

For example, if the candidate is asked how much experience he/she has and the answer is none; on a traditional application the candidate may feel at a disadvantage and not willing to complete the rest of the process.  In the applicant’s mind why would the company be asking this unless they are going to use this in their decision-making process.  And they might think, “if I don’t have experience maybe I won’t know how to do the job.”  Well in a video application, when the candidate answers “none” the onscreen interviewer responds to the candidate and assures them that having no experience is ok, and that they will be provided training to get them up to speed.  In other words, the candidate is getting “recruited” and shown the company’s employee value proposition from the very beginning of the application process.  This is a big change from the traditional text-based, one-way application currently being used by most companies.

The Need for Video-based Job Applications

In today’s job market, candidates have choices.  Today’s candidates are looking for technology-based processes.  They are looking to have a web-based application experience similar to their other web experiences.  They want video, they want information in exchange for providing information, they want instant feedback (even at the question level), and they want to have this all in as convenient, and as short, a period of time as possible.

Over 78 Million Millennial will be in the workforce within the next 10 years.  They have very different expectations and demands when it comes to the hiring process.  Companies that meet those expectations will be ahead of the game in their workforce planning – they will have the cream of the crop to choose from.  It’s not a matter of “if” companies are going to change, it’s a matter of “when.”

Difference between Video Applications and Video Interviews

The following chart simply highlights some of the differences between a video interview and a video-based job application.  Previous blogs have already compared the video-based job application to the traditional text-based job application.

Factor Video-based Job Application Video Interview
Adaptive Questioning – presenting unique information or questions based on previous answers. Based totally on adaptive questioning, and responding. None
Instant Feedback to Applicant’s Candidates get feedback with every question.  And with automated scoring the candidate gets feedback at the end of the process indicating whether they are a true candidate and can move forward, or even if they are not a fit. None – still have to wait for recruiter to view the responses and get back to the candidate.
Applicant Convenience Can do from anywhere at any time. Can do from anywhere at any time.
Interactive Based on the candidate’s responses unique information is presented to the candidate.  There is a “give and take” of information gathered from the candidate, and information given to the candidate. All one-way answers.  The candidate is giving the company answers and receiving nothing in return.
Automated Scoring Rules are established to objectively and consistently “score” each candidate’s answers.  This information is used to treat each candidate the same and allows for immediate feedback during the experience. Recruiters still have to review all answers and subjectively score responses.
Active Recruiting From the very beginning the employee value proposition is presented to the candidate.  Also, based on their answers, each response shows how the company may, or may not, be a fit for them. All one-way questions – simply collects responses from candidates without responding to their answers.
Recruiter Time Saver Recruiters only look at those that are “hi potentials”.  Recruiters don’t waste any time on those that are not real applicants. Recruiters can save time because they don’t have to see all answers for all candidates.  But they do have to look at some responses of ALL candidates, even those that have no chance of being a real candidate.
Integration with ATS Easily transfer data collected into the ATS. Data is rarely quantified so there is no integration typically done with the ATS.
Finding Passive Job Seekers Versus Only Active Job Seekers A link to the experience can be published anywhere and potential candidates can spend 5 minutes to engage with the company. Typically only active job seekers find the career pages and register for an ATS in order to apply for the job, and take an interview.
Fairness All answers are objectively scored and all applicants are treated the same. Some may claim that subjective decisions could be based on race, gender, or age, appearance, etc.


So yes, obviously I’m biased.  I think video interviewing is being driven by technology versus science, and true data gathering needs.  I think the next generation of applicants will demand a true paradigm shift in the application process and will expect something interactive, video-based, information driven, and provides instant feedback throughout the entire process.  Click here for a comparison of the video-based job application to the traditional text-based job application.

Click here for an example of a video-based, job application.  Or contact us to discuss this further.

Related Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Pre-employment Screening