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iPhone Hiring? Is Being Impractical Really the New Cool?

Video interviewing is a new technology getting noticed more and more among HR professionals and recruiters for its many benefits in helping organizations hire more effectively and affordably.  I like video interviewing.  I get all the benefits of it and have written  about it in the past.  I’m a big supporter of conducting video interviews.  With that said video interviews must be done right. 

Now I know everyone either has an iPhone or maybe wants an iPhone.  It is the new cool toy!  I like the iPhone, and as with video interviewing, I have no problem talking about how wonderful it is.  But when it comes to conducting video interviews over an iPhone (or iPad) I have an issue.   

Why you ask?  Because some people want you to believe that PCs and laptops are about as cool as Betamax players and if you’re going to do a video interview, you should conduct it with the most cutting edge piece of technology.  But just because you can conduct an interview on an iPhone doesn’t mean you should.  

Once upon a time wasn’t the microwave considered a miraculous piece of hardware that must have been alien in origin for its sophistication?  “Hey look everyone we don’t have to boil hotdogs anymore we can cook them in 30 seconds!”  Can you imagine what they must have been talking about in 1980?  “Why spend four hours cooking your turkey in the oven when you can do it in one?” 

That’s my point.  Conducting a video interview using your iPhone or other mobile device is like cooking a turkey in your microwave oven.  Sure you can do it but why would you?  I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t.   

Reason Number One: It will look bad!  Most candidates want to conduct a professional interview with you.  This isn’t a video web chat with their old college roommate.  They want to look and sound their best.  While candidates generally favor video interviews done on a desktop or laptop, conducting one on an unstable device such as a phone is impractical.  The only current application I can see for doing an interview on a phone is because the candidate is unable to get to one of the one billion PCs in use today worldwide. 

Reason Number Two: It will look BAD!  Yes, I realize I already said that but it is worth repeating.  Do you really want your candidate to interview over their phone while walking down a sidewalk?  Let’s see how good a candidate looks while conducting an interview on a subway or in the back of a cab while his head snaps to and fro as the cabbie plows through pot holes.  Your candidates don’t want to deliver bad interviews to you nor do you want to see bad interviews. 

Now I know what you’re about to say.  A candidate would never do that.  They would go somewhere quiet and noise free to conduct their interview.  If the candidate indeed has time to do that then why wouldn’t they then do it on their laptop or PC?  Why bother with holding their phone up in front of them the whole time trying to keep their aching arm steady?  The same is true for trying to conduct one on an iPad.  Can you see a candidate with fully extended wobbly arms steadying an iPad in front of their face and trying to answer questions?  

I understand that smart phones are all the rage but let’s not get crazy.  Form factor matters.  For another example from the history of technology diffusion, it took years of work on handheld devices, with failure after failure (even Apple’s Newton!) before Palm introduced one that found broad market acceptance.  The Palm has evolved to today’s smart mobile devices, but they are best used for certain applications, with video interviews not on the list.

Mobile interviews are like microwaved turkeys.  Yes you can do them efficiently but the poor taste and presentation make you wish you had done them right from the beginning.

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About The Author

Ryder Cullison

Ryder has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction. Follow him on Twitter: @hireintelligent and @cullison1

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