Does an interview have to be face-to-face?

Katie Barillaro
By: Katie Barillaro
Category: Interviews

Often if you manage a remote team you may find yourself hiring without ever physically meeting the person. It’s an odd concept to some hiring managers that are used to traditional face-to-face interviews because they’re used to that physical, tactile, personal connection with a someone, but it can be no less effective.

In an era where connection with others by digital form is becoming more common, it makes sense that workplaces will evolve in the same way and use digital platforms more often for things like recruitment. We already use a lot of digital tools to advertise our jobs, receive applications and screen candidates, so why not extend that to the interview process too?

Here we look at the pros and cons of video interviews:


  1. Lower costs: often a candidate or a hiring organisation will have to pay for the physical interview to take place – these costs could include travel, accommodation, venue.
  2. Time saving: there is less small talk with a video interview and once the interview is over both parties can go back to their day without slowing productivity.
  3. Screening remote candidates: this has to be the biggest pro because firstly it means that it opens up the door to a wider candidate pool (and is more inclusive) if you accept applications from further afield, and it also helps you to screen candidates before perhaps getting them to commit to a face-to-face meeting which may involve costs to your organisation.
  4. The interview can be recorded: this allows the recruiter to go back over the interview which is especially useful if there have been a number of candidates interviewed.
  5. Less pressure: as it is a more relaxed medium it allows candidates (and some hiring managers) to feel more relaxed too. Even if it is used as a screener, it is more likely that the candidate will feel more confident at a second interview especially if that is conducted in person.


  1. Internet access: a large majority of people don’t have internet access at home, so this method is discriminating them.
  2. Internet connection issues: not everyone is gifted with great internet connection unfortunately, especially those in remote areas. This could waste time if you’re trying to conduct the interview over a bad line.
  3. Poor quality picture and/or audio: again, it’s important to be able to see and hear the person you’re interviewing, so bad connection could mean that you’re missing key points in the interview.
  4. Authenticity: it is hard to judge someone’s authenticity so well over video as you may not be able to pick up physical nuances in their behaviour.
  5. Lack of human connection: as above, it’s difficult to get a true picture of someone without their presence. Though we don’t realise it we pick up a lot of subconscious cues from people we meet physically.

We think that interviews conducted with a range of different media formats (i.e. phone, video conference, Skype, FaceTime) will become the norm, however there will still be preference for final interviews to be conducted face-to-face in some situations.

To discuss techniques and best practice for interviewing in your organisation, contact our experienced team via our website.


Katie Barillaro
About Katie Barillaro
Katie joined JustMums in July 2018 as our Marketing Consultant and brings more than 20 years traditional and digital marketing experience to the team. Katie has previously worked for large recruitment brands and is a busy working mother balancing career and family.

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