Why we should carry on with first stage video interviews

Published on October 2, 2022 by Becky

In the last 18 months, we have seen a shift in how our clients hire. For months, no one could meet in person, forcing a shift in how and where interviews were held and new, virtual onboarding strategies.

We think that some of 2020 should be the norm. Not all of it though, let’s keep being able to enjoy team days out, in person conferences, networking events and of course, cocktails with friends.

Today we are talking about video interviews. Specifically, first stage interviews.

Why first stage video interviews should be video calls

It wasn’t unusual for first stage interviews to be over the phone in the past. However, the majority of companies insisted on seeing people in person.

Meeting in person for a first stage interview involves more logistics than a phone or video call and a lot more commitment from both parties. You might have to consider:

  • Travel time
  • Travel cost
  • Venue/room bookings
  • Formal outfit preperation
  • An excuse for the current boss

The candidate will have to book more time out of their day to meet in person too. Possibly booking a half day’s annual leave, eating into their holiday allocation. This is a big commitment for such an early stage in the process, for a role they don’t truly know they want yet.

We are all pretty good at video technology now. Teams and Zoom have integrated right into our work and social lives. We know how to blur backgrounds or set up a nice backdrop for a call. We know how to dress well on camera too (from the waist up!) and ensure the lighting in the room is favourable.

Not only do video calls take up less time and diary management, but they also accelerate the time to hire.

Currently (2021) we are seeing a real shortage of candidates. Long, formal, spread-out interview processes are incredibly off-putting, especially if they are moving along the process far quicker with a competitor company, who has truly embraced technology!

Too often we have seen 3 or even 4 stage interviews, in person, for a 30k role! Often resulting in the candidate being snapped up by someone else who did a more efficient and suitable hiring process for such a level of hire.

There needs to be a continued reality check on the appropriate interview format and number of stages required, for each role on offer. Too often we see early-stage, relatively unknown companies trying to emulate Google’s interview screening process. Unless you have the brand to back this up and the candidate demands to work for you, this is truly unnecessary and off-putting to savvy talent.

While the candidate pool is short, hiring managers need to consider ways to speed up the interview process, not lengthen it.

We think first stage video interviews do just that!

You might have the first stage on a Monday, then invite the candidate in the same week for a second stage, in person. Or, you could even do that virtually – depending on how you work within the team.

Virtual first stage interviews also allow managers from other offices/geographic locations to participate in the early stages of the screening process, so more inclusive from a company perspective.

We know some clients who are fully remote and conduct all of their interviews online. We have others who offer a hybrid work model and conduct interviews on and offline.


While it has been a tough time, the pandemic has accelerated the future world of work. We have so much technology available to help us work remotely and together, that we should be making use of it where possible, to accelerate time to hire and make our work more efficient and flexible.

Thus, also minimising the chance of missing out on the best talent, by taking too long in the decision process.

It’s also super attractive for candidates in 2021 to see that their potential new employer has embraced technology and is moving with the times.

Do you agree?

Published on October 2, 2022 by why-we-should-carry-on-with-first-stage-video-interviews

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