The Pros and Cons of Virtual Interviewing Methods

by: Sarah Donaldson


The pandemic changed the workplace structure, as companies transitioned towards remote or hybrid work schedules. Even as the threat of Covid has receded, many companies are choosing to keep these policies in place. This continued flexibility has had a lasting impact on employee job satisfaction and mental health while also decreasing overhead costs for employers.  


With this change in structure, the interview process also shifted towards virtual discussions over in-person meetings. In a study commissioned by HireVue, a virtual interview and assessment provider, 41% of 1,140 hiring leaders stated they continue to use a combination of virtual and in-person interviews, and 23% plan to use virtual interviewing exclusively. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of virtual interviews for both candidates and hiring managers. 


Pros of virtual interviews:  

  1. Increases the talent pool – Recruiters are no longer limited by proximity to a particular place. Instead, desirable candidates living in other states or even other countries become eligible for a remote or hybrid role. This greatly increases the amount of highly qualified individuals for a job.
  2. Logistics – Virtual interviews allow for greater scheduling flexibility as candidates and employers no longer need to account for travel costs and space limitations. As a result, hiring managers and candidates have greater availability, and more of the employer’s stakeholders can sit in on the interview, or review recorded interviews.
  3. Time-saving – By simplifying the scheduling process, video interviewing can also accelerate the hiring process. There are fewer delays and cancellations due to travel or illness, and hiring managers can use this technique to quickly narrow down a wide pool of candidates based on particular fit indices. By reducing time-to-hire, employers limit recruiting costs and avoid lost opportunities or productivity delays. 


Cons of virtual interviews: 

  1. Technology can be unreliable – Virtual interviews require everyone to have a computer with a functioning microphone and (ideally) a camera for video calls. However, any of this equipment can malfunction at any time, causing delays or miscommunications. Further, a reliable internet service is essential for a positive interview experience, yet many candidates (or businesses) in more remote areas may have trouble connecting to a robust network.
  2. Can introduce more bias – In-person interviews typically happen in controlled settings, which can standardize comparisons. In virtual interviews, a hiring manager’s decision may be subtly influenced by external factors, like the person’s background, inadequate lighting, video quality, etc.  


Which is Better? 


While many employers use virtual interviews during preliminary stages, most companies agree that face-to-face interviews offer a higher level of engagement and allow both parties to assess how the candidate will fit into the office working environment. According to a study by Forbes Insight, 85% of hiring managers stated that in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships compared to video conferencing. Further, candidates in virtual interviews miss out on a sense of human connection while participants in face-to-face interviews often feel more present and free from distractions, environmental conditions that can lead to higher-quality discussions. 


Ultimately, a mixture of virtual and in-person interviews will likely remain a standard interview practice moving forward. The time-saving and logistical ease of virtual meetings make them a great first step in the search process. Then, as candidates move to more advanced stages, employers might find it valuable to incorporate in-person meetings to better assess personality and cultural fit. 



Sarah Donaldson is a Project Manager at ECA Partners. She can be reached at [email protected]



Sarah Donaldson
Project Manager

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