Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Should You “Hangout” with Candidates Before You Hire?

It’s time for a battle of video technology: Google Hangouts versus video interview platforms. Which should you use to connect with potential candidates?

Both Hangouts and video interviews are good for connecting with candidates. Both allow you to do it remotely, which is convenient for employers interviewing multiple candidates or long-distance candidates. When should you “hangout” or use a video interview platform?

Making collaboration easier.

Google Hangouts can work well for interviews because of the ability to involve multiple parties, similar to a panel interview. You can split your screen and invite up to 10 others in your circle to join the conversation. Also, you can create a circle specifically for the interview and delete it after, helping you keep everyone in one place. This helps hiring teams collaborate by allowing multiple team members to participate.

Some video interviewing platforms also have the capability to invite multiple people to participate in the interview and, additionally, further foster collaboration through post-interview tools, including being able to write comments on the interview and rate candidates.

Incorporating the ability to record.

Both Google Hangouts and video interview platforms have the ability to record, which is useful when conducting interviews. The ability to record means not everyone has to be present at the interview to give feedback. Team members who can’t make it can watch the interview in their own time and add comments and feedback to help make hiring decisions. Additionally, recording an interview makes it easier to share with a client, hiring committee or interview multiple candidates and compare responses.

Although both platforms allow users to record, they differ in how the recording works. Google Hangouts allow the video to be recorded through YouTube, which requires users to have an account. Additionally, users will need to log on to YouTube afterward and change the settings of the video to make it private. Some video recording platforms, however, allow users to record an interview directly on the platform so you can keep it accessible to only those that need access while having the option to re-watch whenever you’d like.

Showcasing your company brand.

Google Hangouts comes with the Google brand, which is something companies should think about when considering whether or not they want to feature their company brand during the interview. Unlike Google Hangouts, many dedicated video interviewing platforms allow you to tailor the interview experience to your unique brand, by offering customization options. Being able to brand the interview experience sets you apart from the competition and ensures that your company brand will be on the candidate’s mind throughout the interview.

Improving the candidate experience.

While a lot of candidates might be familiar with video chat platforms like Google Hangouts, video interviewing platforms are designed specifically to provide recruiters and candidates with a seamless interview experience.

For example, video interview platforms offer candidates tech and interview support, to provide them with the best interview experience possible. Google Hangouts was not built with the hiring process in mind, however and tech support is not as readily available.

The importance of one-way interviews.

Google Hangouts are more like traditional interviews in the sense that once they are over, they’re over and the hiring team needs to rely on their memory or any notes taken when making hiring decisions. One-way video interviews, where candidates record answers to questions and send recruiters the video, aren’t possible with Google Hangouts.

One-way interviews save the stress of trying to coordinate a time when both parties are free for an interview, which can be a big relief when interviewing multiple candidates. Unlike a Hangout, where you have to sit through to the end of the interview, if you can tell early on that a candidate isn’t the right fit you can simply stop the video and move on to the next candidate.

How to decide?

It all depends on what features you want. Hangouts are good for interacting with candidates and involving multiple parties but video interviewing platforms allow you to record the interview, brand the experience, share it or re-watch it later. Recruiters should think critically about what features are important to them and choose a platform accordingly.

What do you think? Should you “hangout” with candidates before you hire?

Enroll in our free e-Course, “From Chat to Video: What Video Has Done And Will Do For Us”, to learn more about video interview technology and how to best utilize it for your company!

Image: Wavebreak Media Ltd/


Camelia Rodriguez

Camelia Rodriguez is the Digital Community Specialist for Spark Hire. She enjoys writing and editing, binge-watching TV shows on Hulu and Netflix, and eating foods she isn't allergic to. Born and raised in Chicago, she loves to cheer for the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubbies.