Not Yet Video Interviewing? Now You Have No Excuse

Video interviewingIf you aren’t already using video for interviewing, what are you waiting for?

More and more employers all the time are finding that conducting at least an initial, live interview can save them both money and time, and can give them a better sense of their candidates than even an in-depth phone screen.

The heaviest users of live video interviews are the biggest employers; 80% of those with more than 10,000 workers have used or use video interviews. But even employers as small as 100 workers are giving it a try.

A GreenJobInterview survey of corporate leaders, most of them in HR, found that nearly half of all employers with fewer than 100 workers have conducted a video interview. And almost six out of 10 employers with 1,000 to 5,000 employees use remote video interviews.

This isn’t one of those shiny new object trends. Unlike the video resume, the use of video interviews is steadily growing as the technology has become both more affordable and easier to use.

An Office Team survey last summer found that in just one year the percentage of HR managers saying their company at least sometimes uses video interviews went from 14% to 63%. Not only is this here to stay — 85% of the managers said they expected no change in their use of video — but 14% said it was likely they would increase their use.

Larger companies tend to use video suppliers like GreenJobInterview, HireVueMontage Talent, and InterviewStream. Their platforms offer all sorts of bells and whistles that a large employer is likely to want and use. Naturally, the service comes at a price. Though heavy users with a contract may pay as little as $50 or even $25 per interview, there are plenty of free services such as Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, and Google+.

Each has its pluses and minuses: FaceTime works only among Apple devices; Google+ requires users to register with Google and obtain a Gmail account; Skype, which has some security issues, has to be downloaded and installed, though it is the most ubiquitous with more than 250 million users worldwide.

And, it should be pointed out, these conversations are not as secure and confidential as the connections provided by the video platform vendors. Skype, for instance, had a hijack vulnerability disclosed by, of all groups, a Russian hacker website.

A bigger issue with the free services is that unlike their for-fee counterparts, recording a video interview is not, in many cases, a simple matter. Capturing the interview and saving it for later review requires a second application, and even then, because of how they work, quality can be uneven and, on older or slower machines, the process can be limited.

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Though there is no shortage of recorders, nearly all of them are designed to record Skype calls over a PC. Apple users have far fewer choices, Ecamm among the best of the few.

supertintinFor PC users, there’s SuperTintin. It’s a silly, made-up name for a remarkably useful and cheap video recorder. At $29.95, SuperTintin does all the essentials, and offers some neat options. For instance, it will record both sides of the Skype call: side-by-side, picture-in-picture, or as two completely separate files. You can also choose to record only the audio, only the remote (candidate) video stream or just you.

File sizes are surprisingly small; about 30-40 MB for a five-minute high def recording. That’s because the video format is .mp4, making it playable by most media players, including Windows Media.

It’s even easier to use than Skype itself. Simply open SuperTintin after you start Skype and hit “record.” Simple, said Lei Ju, co-founder of IMTiger Technologies, which built the program. “That is exactly how we designed it,” he said. “Extremely easy to use,” he added, noting there’s “no post production” as there is with some more complicated programs.

Right now, SuperTintin is for PCs running Microsoft’s operating system. Lei is working on a version for Windows 8, which should be out later this year. In addition, the company, which is based in the U.K., has a similarly easy-to-use recorder for MSN Messenger. Versions for other instant messaging programs — AIM, Yahoo, etc. — are in development.

About that name: Lei, who lives and works in Beijing, told me it’s made up and means nothing. He makes up bedtime stories for his kids, and came up with the name in the same way.

Image courtesy of pat138241 /

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


38 Comments on “Not Yet Video Interviewing? Now You Have No Excuse

  1. John,

    Thanks for posting. In just the last 12 months I’ve seen a dramatic change in the awareness of video interviewing. Last year, our sales people at RIVS spent a lot of time educating companies on the concept of video interviews, especially the pre-recorded type. Now that companies are more aware, our conversations are more geared toward helping the customer measure the potential ROI in various parts of their business, deciding where to put digital interviews in their process, and whether to use pre-recorded voice vs. video. Where to use live video interviews is usually pretty obvious.

    It’s absolutely amazing to me how dramatic the shift has been in such a short amount of time. I’d love to know if anyone else has noticed this shift.


  2. John,

    I agree 100%. At VidCruiter we believe phone interviews in the next 5-10 years will become extinct and we are working diligently with the rest of the industry to make this goal happen.

  3. Great article John! Seems like just yesterday (2008!) we were having our “start-up” forum at ERE Expo in Florida. Thanks also for being an early believer and sharing the vision.

  4. Thanks, John. I too believe in using your “televisor screens”-I’m just not sure where in the hiring process it should be done, though I lean toward the back-end to minimize appearance, gender, age, etc. bias…

    Also: for years I’ve maintained that anything in recruiting that isn’t high-touch, high-value add should be what I’m now calling “transourced” – no-sourced (eliminated), through-sourced (automated), and/or out-sourced sent away). However, I’ve wondered how much of that HT/HVA activity CAN’T effectively be done with cheap, real-time, HD video?
    Folks: do you have any thoughts about this?


  5. Hi John,

    Great article! Totally agree companies no longer have an excuse *not* to do video interviews for their recruitment.

    It’s so incredibly accessible nowadays to record and organise video interviews it’s crazy that not more people are doing it already.

    At we also offer video interviewing solutions for smaller companies, larger companies and governments.

  6. Thanks for posting this, John. Every day I try to get both candidates and companies to do video interviews. I like introducing it as early into the process as possible because it builds rapport and connections.

    There’s really not much of a compelling argument not to be doing video interviewing. I also don’t think using fee-based services makes sense unless the “free” services aren’t reliable or available.

    I just had a conversation with a corporate recruiter about why that person’s company doesn’t make Skype, FaceTime, and Google+ standard recruiter and hiring manager tools. Still waiting to hear back why it can’t/shouldn’t be done. The best they could come up with was “we don’t have iPads or compatible tablets” to which the answer is get some.

  7. Great overview John.

    Though I’d suggest not all *free* services share the security and other issues you mentioned.

    My company offers a recorded video interview platform, free up to 20 interviews per month:

    Many small and growing companies are finding it a great way to save time in initial screening.

    Michael Overell

  8. In addition to the surveys you listed above, we conducted a survey to understand the main reasons that companies are turning to video interviews. The results of the survey are summarized in this Costs of Talent Acquisition infographic, “What does it take to recruit a new employee?”

    In addition, there seems to be some confusion about what value the dedicated platforms offer over free services like Skype. Here are the 6 most common misconceptions we encounter about video interviewing:

    Finally, you’ll be happy to hear that Wowzer provides a much more progressive pricing structure than the one you describe above. Rather than burden with users with a charge for every video interview you conduct, we have a per-recruiter subscription model that allows the recruiters to create and conduct unlimited interviews during the subscription. And, they can share the recorded videos of candidate responses with hiring managers for free (hiring managers don’t have to have a paid seat in order to review and evaluate candidates on Wowzer).

    Hope that helps!

  9. @ Everybody: Here’s an idea- Whenever somebody blatantly self-promotes, aka “advertises” their product, service, or book in an article or posting here on ERE(as over half the postings on this have been so far), they have to give the first 10 people (and Todd and John Z, too) who call them out on it, free use of it. Or if our “sponsors” prefer, they can just send ME their product,service, or book, and I will review it in a forthcoming article on ERE. How’s THAT for blatant self- promotion, Homes?



  10. @ Everybody, here’s an idea: Next time we see people blatantly self-promote, aka “advertise” their product, service, or book here on ERE (as over half the posts on this one have been)they have to give it free to the first 10 folks w (and Todd and John Z., too) who call ’em out on it. Or if they prefer, they can send it to ME to review and write an article on it for ERE. How’s THAT for blatant self-promotion, Homes?


    kh keithsrj@!

  11. Good article. We have been using Montage for about 2 years here at Wells – Blue Bunny ice cream in LeMars, IA. We have fully moved away from the phone interview to video with their help. The transition was very easy and the customer support to our hiring managers and candidates is what makes the difference for a great candidate experience. I was hesitant about using video interview prior to this transition, I wish I would have started it when I came in 8 years ago. Use of the video interview has saved us time, money, and has created a greater relationship with the candidate from the on-set. If you are on the fence, get off and jump into video interviewing! Have a great weekend all!

  12. While I agree that there are positive aspects with video interviewing, I cannot help but notice that the article did not even touch upon legal issues. The opening statement makes it sound like this is a process every company should just jump into–and I think that is a bit naive. For one thing, laws and regulations vary around the world, even within the same country–and in the US even within a state.

    Discrimination is a potential issue in the hiring process, and video interviewing can come across as being used in a discriminatory manner.

    I recognize that “technology does not discriminate”, but unfortunately “people do”.

  13. Mr. Zappe, while it was a good article with alt of good points., there is a point that you may (may not be aware of). . . where you say “Google+ requires users to register with Google and obtain a Gmail account”. I don’t think it was Google+ that you meant to mention. Google+ is somewhat of a free-for-all message board (i.e. Social Networking platform, similar to that of a Facebook)., However I believe that it was “Google Talk” ( that would be classified in the same category as Skype, Apple’s FaceTime.

  14. The first question that needs to be asked is, “Is video interviewing legal?” If it is against the law to have a photo of a candidate on a resume because it can be discriminatory, how does video interviewing fit into the equation? Until the laws of the land catch up with technology, the only way I would conduct a video interview is after I have interviewed the individual in person.


  15. Michael,

    Thank you for the link. I had a look at the website and while the law of the land varies by country, the article you referred to still does not address the legality of video interviewing in the US.

  16. Edward – I’m not sure it’s “against the law to have a photo of a candidate on a resume.” Maybe what you’re saying is it’s not wise to *require* that a candidate have a photo (unless it’s a job on the cast of a TV show or something). But merely having a photo of a candidate on a resume is not against a specific law that I’m aware of.

  17. Todd,

    The last time I checked it was. The fine for violating the law when I last checked was $10K per instance if your files were audited and resumes with photos were found. The reason for checking was the globalization of my practice. It is common in Asia and Europe to have photos on CV’s but not so in the US.

  18. Michael, yes, of course, agreed, that’s what job-seekers are counseled all the time. Though interestingly LinkedIn is often being used in lieu of a resume these days, and job-seekers are counseled all the time to make sure they have a photo on their profile.

  19. A few observations about the comments:
    @Keith: I like your suggestion about vendors who post providing their product free. If this catches on, my next post will be about BMWs. 🙂
    @Merlynn: Video interviewing has no more risks regarding discrimination than does interviewing someone in person, and, because these are recorded, it may actually provide a measure of greater protection.
    @Edward & @Merlynn: The EEOC has issued at least a couples informal discussion letters regarding videos. In one of the earlier ones about record keeping of video resumes and resumes with pictures, it said: “Under Title VII, it is not illegal for an employer to learn the race, gender or ethnicity of an individual prior to an interview. Of course, Title VII requires that all individuals be provided equal, nondiscriminatory treatment throughout the hiring process.” Specifically regarding video interviewing, its most recent letter dates from Nov. 2012 in which it said, “While the EEOC provides pertinent public guidance on its website, the EEOC does not offer prospective assessments of whether particular “talent acquisition tools” or employment selection procedures will be EEO – compliant when they are used.”

  20. @john,

    Here at VidCruiter we insure our clients understand the legal details of video interviewing and I would like to share with the group some more great info.

    Here is a link to the Associate Legal council for the EEOC Carol Miaskoff talking about Video interviewing (around minute 40) about how “legal” video interviewing can be.

    One thing we provide to ensure our clients are not discriminatory is audio interviewing done over the telephone this ensure no one group of people are being screened out of the process since if they do not have a webcam they most likely have a telephone or access to one.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to reach out to us for more of a clarification and also of course like the others we will offer a free trial to anyone who mentions this thread and wants to try VidCruiter.

  21. @Sean, I agree with you that training and insuring your client’s understanding of the legal issues is very important.

    @John I am very familiar with the EEOC’s informal letter. I never stated that video interviewing was illegal. The EEOC’s letter also stated: “The EEOC’s job is to investigate specific allegations –or “charges” — of unlawful employment discrimination that are brought by applicants and employees, and then to determine whether or not it is likely that discrimination occurred as defined in the EEO laws.(3) A determination of whether discrimination occurred is highly fact-dependent. It depends on how (and for what purpose) a covered employer, employment agency, or union used a selection procedure in a particular “talent acquisition process” to screen candidates. ”

    I would disagree however, that video interviewing has the same risks as in person interviewing. I indicated discrimination because there was a letter by the EEOC. However, the issues are actually broader than just discrimination. For example, the article references free services such as Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, and Google+. But, should a company just decide to use these services, there could be a variety of legal issues which would need to be addressed, for example, who owns the “video”? If the candidate demands the video and the company refuses–will they become the EEOC’s test case? Something to think about. Not an issue that comes up in a “face to face” interview.

    I am not trying to convince anyone for or against the technology, but rather that when an article broadly states to use a technology without mentioning legal issues, that is in my opinion naive.

  22. Hi Merlynn,

    Thank you for bringing this up; at VideoView we’ve had to do quite a lot of thinking about making video interviewing legal because some of our customers are government organisations within Europe.

    > for example, who owns the “video”?
    > If the candidate demands the video and
    > the company refuses–will they become
    > the EEOC’s test case?

    At VideoView we’ve made it a point that every single one of the videos uploaded or recorded by candidates remains their property. Each candidate can review or delete their interview at their own convenience. This has actually made us Privacy Compliant across the European Union and across most of the United States.

    At the same time, I’d really like to point out a research report from this January which implies that video interviewing reduces discriminatory practices as opposed to traditional screening methods:

    VideoView has three pillars: Equal opportunity to all, strength through simplicity and the highest security and privacy controls available. If you’d like to learn more about how we achieve this, check out our website:

  23. @ John: Thanks, I’ll keep my eye out for forthcoming “swag”…
    Speaking of which: Rogier, still waiting to hear back form your sales department to try your product for a review.

    @ Everybody: I am not a layer, so this is pure speculation:
    Perhaps using a video interview in lieu of a F2F interview would have little possibility of discrimination, because at this is the natural point of direct contact. However, if it were used at a very early stage of the hiring process, then there might conceivably be a perception that the person was unreasonably screened out due to their appearance (analogous to requiring a picture on a resume)….
    I’d think companies like startups which already tend to screen out older people might be particularly vulnerable…


  24. @Rogier, I will take a look at the report–it sounds interesting–Thanks!

    @Keith, you are very on-target regarding start-ups.


  25. Dear all,

    We are in the process of offering an add on service to Video interview buyers – which is Video reviews for IT skill sets. This will help Hiring managers to further save cost and energy to delegate the bulk of review process to us, and their efforts gets only invested in top picks.

    Who does this offering help the Video – recruiting ecosystem ? Do you guys think – it will help ?


  26. Video has and continues to become an important part of the interview process. We recently launched a platform that allows the HR to create prescreen interview questions that include video in addition to text questions….yes/no, multiple choice and essay. A prescreen interview allows the HM to review, rate and share the results of the applicant prior to beginning the time consuming and costly interview process.

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