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Why you shouldn’t be afraid of recording an interview

Clovers Editor

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 82 percent of employers turned to virtual interviews to keep employees and candidates safe. But even as the world continues its climb out of the pandemic, remote interviews are here to stay. One study found that a staggering 93 percent of employers plan to continue using virtual interviews in the future.

One reason for this is that with 74 percent of organizations making remote work a permanent fixture, the interview process has to change. HR leaders now need to consider how they can effectively interview and secure top talent as quickly as possible—even if those people live on the other side of the country.

While many HR teams are now comfortable conducting virtual interviews, recording these interviews can further enhance recruiting performance. Doing so can help you gain the clarity needed to make better hiring decisions, faster. But there are a few best practices for recording video interviews that can ensure you get the most out of each interview while giving every candidate a great interview experience. In this article, we’ll go over why recording an interview is always a good idea and what you need to know before you hit that red “Record” button.

In-person vs. remote interviews

In-person and remote interviews both have their advantages. And while some industries or roles naturally lend themselves to one type of interview over another, you don’t always have to choose. You may decide to have your initial interviews virtually, for example, with a final interview prior to making an offer being held in person. 

Benefits of in-person interviews

In-person interviews can often provide opportunities for a higher level of engagement between recruiters and candidates. They also generally make it easier to get a sense of an interviewee’s soft skills. For certain positions, this face-to-face contact can be an essential part of your decision-making process. When interviewing for retail associates or restaurant workers, for example, in-person interviews may simply just make more sense. 

Benefits of remote interviews

With the job market exploding, candidates are also starting to call the shots. They expect a flexible and seamless interview experience, with 65 percent of candidates preferring virtual interviews. And it’s not just candidates who benefit from remote interviews. Remote interviews offer a higher level of flexibility, enabling employers to meet more candidates in less time. Since it’s easier to share and review hiring team feedback, remote interviews can also speed up your time to hire. In fact, 74 percent of employers who use virtual interviews report speedier hiring, while 77 percent report virtual hiring has improved the candidate experience.

Laws related to recording an interview

Before you start recording interviews, it’s vital to be aware of the legal issues surrounding this practice. In the U.S., most states require either one-party consent or two-party consent for recordings to be made. Eleven states require two-party consent, meaning everyone involved in the conversation—both you and the candidate—must agree to be recorded. Those states are: California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

With remote interviews, candidates are often located in another state, which has the potential to create confusion. If you’re in a one-party consent state and the candidate is in a two-party consent state, you might assume you can record the interview without gaining their consent—but that might not be the case. When recording a video interview, a good rule of thumb is to always gain written consent to avoid any misunderstanding. 

Why do recruiters and hiring managers record interviews?

From making video calls more engaging to accelerating the hiring process, here are just a few of the top reasons you should consider recording video interviews.  

Better engagement

From an interviewee’s perspective, it’s no fun to sit and wait while your interviewer frantically scribbles down notes. A recorded interview leads to more fluid conversation because the recruiting team can focus on the interview process itself, confident in the knowledge that they don’t need to take extensive notes. 

Don’t have to rely on memory

When you’re interviewing multiple candidates, it can quickly become a test of memory to remember who said what. Instead of relying on recall, use video and audio replays to accurately record each candidate’s answers, which can be played back in highlight reels later.   

Recording can be used for training purposes

Interview recordings can be incredibly useful for training hiring teams and HR staff. Using these recordings can help you train junior recruiters, as well as coach hiring managers and panel members on how to be better interviewers. Interviewing is not a natural skill for most, yet many companies don’t train their teams to properly interview candidates. Leveraging interview recordings to upskill your team can help you provide a better interview experience that ultimately leads to better hires.

Share with your team to speed up the hiring process

As the war for talent continues, keeping your time to hire as short as possible is key. The quicker you can make hiring decisions, the more likely it is you’ll be able to secure top talent and offer them a role before the competition. And when using video interviews, 47 percent of companies say they can make faster hiring decisions.   

Candidates may be recording the interview as well

Candidates are within their rights to record their interviews too. And in an era in which nearly everyone has a recording device in their pocket thanks to smartphones and other digital recorders, this is easy enough to do. If there’s ever any concerns from an interviewee about your hiring processes, having your audio files and transcript can help clear up any questions.     

Can be used to resolve legal disputes

Some interviews may inevitably be subject to a legal dispute. If a candidate feels they’ve suffered from adverse impact, for example, they may raise a complaint with your HR team. Having a video recording of the interview is a great way to confirm or refute any allegations.   

5 best practices for recording an interview

Ready to find out the best way to record interviews? Check out our top tips below. 

  1. Ensure you get consent

    As we’ve already mentioned, getting prior consent from interviewees is crucial. It’s safest to get this in writing. It’s also a good idea to state your policy if a candidate requests that their recording be destroyed post-interview. 

  2. Explain why you are recording

    Some candidates may be unsure of your motivations for recording their interviews. Communicating your reasons—including the benefits to both you and them—will help dispel a lot of concerns or doubts. Recording interviews to ensure a fair, consistent interview process for all candidates, for example, can actually help create a better candidate experience. 

  3.  Test your recording equipment

    Don’t rely on a call recording app on your iPhone or a digital voice recorder—the sound quality on these is often poor and you won’t capture any video content. A better option is to use the video recording setting on your chosen interview platform. Make sure whoever is in charge of recording the interview tests it first so they’re familiar with all the settings and to check their microphone and camera work. Implementing an interview intelligence tool like Clovers—which integrates seamlessly with communication platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams—also allows you to easily record and share interview clips with the entire hiring team.    

  4.  Find a quiet spot to conduct your interview

    The audio quality of any recording will be negatively impacted by background noise. Recordings should take place in a quiet location like a private room or office. Plan to minimize disruptions by making sure in-house team members know you shouldn’t be disturbed. We know that’s not always easy when you’re living that WFH life with kids and dogs running around, but conducting interviews in a place free of audio distractions will provide a far better interview recording.

  5. Turn off your cell phone

    Most hiring teams would be put off if a candidate took a phone call during a job interview—so extend the same expectations to yourself. Make sure all cell phones are turned off and distracting devices are left in another room. Few things are more annoying in an interview recording—or to a candidate being interviewed—than the constant pings and dings of Slack notifications and text messages.

Record your interviews with confidence

Today we rely on video conferencing technology for everything from fitness classes and family reunions to online learning, doctor appointments, and job interviews. While remote job interviews are nothing new, the ability to easily record these interviews offers a unique, largely untapped opportunity to improve the hiring process. 

Video interviews have the potential to uncover the best candidates while also creating an equitable interview process. And by choosing video interviewing tools that easily integrate with your preferred communication platform, you can focus on what’s most important—creating a positive interview experience that’s fair, transparent, and efficient. 

Take your interviews to the next level

Schedule a demo or try for free for 30 days to discover how Clovers’ interview intelligence platform can enhance your video interview process, helping you identify top talent quicker than the competition.