Most job seekers still want the opportunity for personal connection when it comes to interviewing.
A recent poll from talent and outsourcing company Yoh found 62 percent of Americans prefer in-person interviews to virtual interviews when being considered for a job. More than 2,000 adults were surveyed.
The biggest reason? In-person interviews provide the best chance to assess a job opportunity, Yoh found; 59 percent said so. Close to 40 percent said virtual interviews limit the connection with the interviewer, and 17 percent said there’s too much chance for technical difficulties with virtual interviews.
On the other hand, 38 percent prefer virtual interviews, and 22 percent said they feel more relaxed during such interviews, per Yoh.
“While virtual interviews can offer a wider reach and can often be quicker to schedule, they should not be replacements for face-to-face interaction and the personal connection provided by highly skilled recruiters,” said Emmett McGrath, president of Yoh, per a news release.
Not meeting face-to-face has become common in our increasingly digital world, whether due to location conflicts or to improve efficiency; job candidates could be asked to take part in a live interview via video call, or record themselves answering questions that hiring managers later watch.
Notably, concern over technical difficulties during virtual interviews is about equal among Baby Boomers and Millennials (13 percent and 12 percent), Yoh found. Gen Xers were slightly less concerned with potential technical issues, at about 9 percent.
College graduates are most likely to prefer an in-person interview, with 68 percent saying so. Among those with a high school diploma or less, it was 57 percent, and among those with some college but no degree, 61 percent, per Yoh.
Respondents with household incomes greater than $100,000 per year were more likely to favor in-person interviews, compared to those with household incomes under $75,000 per year. Those with higher incomes also are more likely to prefer in-person interviews to most accurately judge the job opportunity than those with lower incomes.
Gen Z prefers face-to-face interaction, another survey recently revealed, although Gen Zers expect technology will be part of the recruiting process, like applying via mobile device.
Yoh’s findings support an analysis that found in-person interviews are more satisfying for both the interviewer and the candidate. Without body language, eye contact and rapport building, candidates who video interview have a lower chance of getting the job, and they tend to view the company less favorably, George Washington University researchers discovered.
Researchers noted awkward camera angles, lag time and video freezing during virtual interviews can affect communication and reflect negatively on the candidate.
Regardless, technology has sped up the recruiting process and improved efficiency on the employer end, and can make it more personalized for job candidates, per HR Dive. Companies like PwC have started using virtual reality in recruiting and training candidates, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
But as technology is incorporated into the recruiting and hiring process, personalizing the candidate experience should be a priority for recruiters, Jenny Klebba, manager of talent acquisition at interviewing technology firm Montage, has told HR Dive.