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The Differences Between Video Interview Software and Video Chat

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As the founder of a video interview software company, I’m often asked how video interviewing is different from a service like Skype. The simplest response would be to relate the question to Facebook and LinkedIn. Why have an account on both? 

If you ask most people, the answer you’ll receive is, “I use Facebook to interact with my friends and LinkedIn to network with my professional contacts.” It’s a digital separation of one’s personal and professional identity. 

The same holds when comparing video interviewing services to video chat platforms–Skype is for personal use, and our video interviewing services are for professional use. However, there are many benefits of integrating video interviewing services over video chat platforms in your hiring process. Today’s post will take a look at a few of these benefits.

First and foremost, we should define some terms:

One-Way Video Interview: an asynchronous virtual interview in which an employer sends text-based interview questions to a candidate who records and submits video answers.

Live Video Interview: a cloud-based (in your web browser) virtual interview in which an employer or recruitment professional and job candidate connect face-to-face via webcam.

Video Chat and Video Conferencing: often confused with live video interviews, video chat or video conferencing is a live webcam interaction between multiple parties.

Now we know how to define these terms. Let’s begin examining how top video interview software differs from video chat platforms like Skype.

At first glance, you may be wondering where the real distinction lies between the two options and their features. After all, they both require a webcam and help companies connect face-to-face with another individual.

The obvious differences

With live video interviews (as seen on Spark Hire), you invite candidates via email. Most video chat services require you to connect through personal usernames. Also, live video interview software lives on the cloud. Many video chat services run from your desktop everyone must download the software and create an account. But let’s dig deeper into the differences.

One-way video interviews vs. video chat

When individuals unfamiliar with video interviewing hear about the technology for the first time, they instantly think of live video interviews. However, many organizations that employ video interviewing technology enjoy one-way video interviews the most. They save an unbelievable amount of time by improving collaboration and connecting with top candidates faster. 

With one-way video interviews, recruiters send text-based or video questions to candidates who record video answers. They, then, submit them back to the recruiter for screening purposes. Just imagine being able to sit back, relax, and watch dozens of interviews at your convenience without the hassle of scheduling conflicts. 

One-way video interviews enable organizations to screen candidates on their own time. They can also take notes directly on the software to track candidates and create powerful collaboration opportunities. This is simply not possible with video chat.

Recording the interview

Without the use of additional pieces of software or plugins, you cannot record a video chat. The conversation ends with nothing to show. You can’t save silver medalist candidates’ interviews for future opportunities. And if a hiring team member wasn’t there, there’s no way to compare candidates fairly. 

Live video interview software, more frequently than not, does give you the ability to record and playback all that transpired during an interview. Thus, the conversation never ends. You have a recording to refer back to, and any colleagues who couldn’t do the interview can watch it when it’s convenient for them. 

Recruiters, hiring managers, business owners, and anyone else involved in the hiring process can appreciate this streamlined features as they foster collaboration and makes it much easier to get a fair second opinion.

The candidate experience and branding

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, let’s talk about candidate experience and employment branding. Your candidates must have a positive experience when interviewing with your company. They’ll likely share their experience with their friends, family, and even post on various social sites. 

In the hiring process, your candidates evaluate your company just as you assess them on their qualifications. It’s essential you give them a good experience. Video interviewing solutions lend themselves much better to candidate experiences and employment branding opportunities than video chat. This is because video interviewing solutions are built for the hiring process. 

On Spark Hire, your candidates receive branded interview invitations containing information about your company and the role. They are also able to create a dynamic profile detailing their qualifications for the job you can view when watching interview recordings. With video chat, candidates connect with you in the same way they would family members living across the country. If you want your candidates to be excited and engaged, give them a nice, branded experience with a video interviewing solution.

So let’s recap: one-way video interviewing for the time-conscious interviewer, increased collaboration with recorded live video interviews, and an amazing candidate experience and employment branding opportunity. You ask: what’s the difference between video interviews and video chat? I ask: besides the video, what’s the same?

How to Make Virtual Interviews a Lasting Part of the Hiring Process

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 5,000+ customers in over 100 countries.

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