Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

5 Candidate Traits that Phone Interviews Miss

Video interviews aren’t supposed to replace final, in-person interviews with your dream hire. However, video interviews do make excellent substitutes for other, more antiquated, parts of the hiring process. More importantly, they make excellent substitutes for a part of the hiring process that is famously loathed. Phone interviews are unpopular among candidates. Turns out, they also miss a lot of information that is vital for interviewers. Here are 5 candidate traits that phone interviews miss:

Body Language

Being able to see a candidate’s body language is one of the advantages of video interviews. This may be one of the obvious advantages, but it’s obvious for a reason. Body language, which is of course invisible during a phone interview, conveys a lot about a candidate. Does your interviewee lean forward and use hand gestures? Or is s/he slumped in the seat and disinterested? A phone interview could miss these important traits. Speaking of being slumped down in the seat…


A video interview has distinct advantages over phone interviews in determining enthusiasm: an indispensable trait for new hires. While some candidates can convey enthusiasm vocally, a video interview gives a more complete picture of a candidate’s feelings toward the job. Leaning forward, active listening, and eye contact are all signs of enthusiasm—as is how a candidate presents him/herself…

Presentation Skills

A video interview lets hiring managers know which candidates know how to give an effective presentation. Unlike phone interviews, which are fairly one-dimensional, a video interview requires candidates to think about their visual presentation as a whole. Is the lighting good? Is the candidate’s outfit appropriate for a video interview? Does s/he speak loudly enough? A candidate who does all of these things well knows how to make a good presentation, and you can be sure that s/he will represent your company well.

Ability to do Homework

One-way video interviews allow candidates to answer a hiring manager’s set of questions on their own time. This means that they have the ability to give their answers some thought before-hand. While the phone interview shows which candidates think on their feet, one-way video interviews show which candidates can provide a well-thought-out response to a challenging question.

Comparison with Other Candidates

The ability to compare candidates side-by-side is one of the greatest advantages of video interviews. Because video interviews are recorded and stored, hiring managers can re-play an interview as many times as needed to make the correct decision between two candidates. You can even bring in more stakeholders to help you compare the interviews. Try doing that with a phone interview!

Do you think video interviews should replace phone interviews? What are the advantages? Disadvantages? Leave a comment below, and start a conversation!

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Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.