Common Evaluation Traps
The very nature of video interviewing, and the fact that candidates can be seen on screen, does means it is important to be aware of evaluation traps which can unfairly sway judgement of a candidate’s performance, and are easy to fall into.
- Quality of video - this is irrelevant to the performance of a candidate but many reviewers focus in on this and perceive a candidate’s performance negatively in the face of poor video quality.
- Eye contact with the camera - too often we hear reviewers commenting that the candidate is unsuitable because of poor eye contact. Depending on the device used and its positioning it can be difficult and unnatural to maintain eye contact with the camera and this should not be a major factor in judging a candidate’s suitability.
- Background / decor - video interviews provide reviewers with a view of a candidate’s environment. Once again this is irrelevant to how well a candidate may perform in a role but reviewers can be drawn to factors they observe in the background and allow these observations to influence their judgement of a candidate’s performance.
Relying on factors such as these to evaluate a candidates’ performance in a video interview brings several key risks:
- These factors are not predictive of likely performance; relying on these criteria to inform candidate evaluations may mean candidates are rejected who would have gone on to perform well in the job.
- Conversely, candidates may be selected who would have been regretted if job relevant factors had formed the basis of the evaluation. This increases both the time and cost investment in the recruitment process as unsuitable candidates will have to be processed through further recruitment stages.
- There is no legally defensible justification for any decisions made if factors such as these inform that decision.
To use a video interview effectively a formal rating system needs to be in place before the first candidate completes their interview - indeed the rating criteria should drive the production of the questions.
Candidate’s performance should be evaluated on the basis of key job requirements - typically competencies, motivations or strengths. These requirements should be clearly documented in a structured rating framework to ensure objective and effective decisions are made.
Common examples of such criteria include:
- Interpersonal awareness
- Motivation for application