60-Second Science

Video Job Interview May Weaken Your Chances

Under test conditions, job seekers on video were rated as less likeable, and were less likely to be recommended for the job than were those who interviewed in person. Christopher Intagliata reports

If you're applying for a job a couple thousand miles away, a Skype interview will certainly be cheaper than meeting in person. But it could end up costing you the job. Because a study finds that a video chat can make you seem less likeable than a face-to-face interview would.

Researchers recruited 104 MBA students, most of whom had about five years' work experience. Half the students acted as job candidates for a position at a fictional company; the other half served as interviewers. Each candidate interviewed both in person and via video chat.

Turns out, job seekers on video were rated as less likeable, and were less likely to be recommended for the job.

And it's not just the interviewees who got worse scores with video. Interviewers themselves were judged as less personable, competent and trustworthy. Even less attractive. The results appear in the journal Management Decision. [Greg J. Sears et al., A Comparative Assessment of Videoconference and Face-to- Face Employment Interviews]

It's harder to telegraph emotions and maintain eye contact during a video chat. So if Skype's your only option, the researchers recommend positioning your webcam as close to eye level as possible, and being more expressive than usual—it might land you some actual FaceTime down the line.

—Christopher Intagliata

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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