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Despite Technology, Face-to-Face Job Interviews Still Make the Best Impression

Despite Technology, Face-to-Face Job Interviews Still Make the Best Impression
Credit: Baranq/Shutterstock

Even though more and more employers are conducting job interviews online and over the phone, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting, new research suggests.

Both job candidates and employers make better impressions during in-person interviews than during technology-mediated interviews, according to a study from George Washington University.

"We live in a world where we increasingly rely on technology, but this study reminds us that personal interactions should never be underestimated," Nikki Blacksmith, one of the study's authors and a doctoral candidate in George Washington University's Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers examined 12 research articles published between 2000 and 2007 that examined candidate and employer impressions during various types of job interviews. The articles, which assessed both in-person and technology-facilitated interviews, included ratings of the interviewer and interviewee. [See Related Story: 6 Avoidable Job Interview Mistakes (And What to Do Instead)]

The study's authors found that video interviews received the most negative ratings, followed by telephone and computer interviews. Face-to-face interviews received the most favorable rankings.

"Many times, the candidate does not have a choice in the format of the interview," Blacksmith said. "However, the organization does have a choice and if they are not consistent with the type of interview they use across candidates, it could result in fairness issues and even possibly a lawsuit." 

While the researchers thought that video interviews might improve over time as they became more common and people became more accustomed to them, they found the opposite to actually be true. The study's authors discovered that ratings for technology-mediated interviews became more negative in more recent studies.

"Considering the rate at which technology has changed, it is clear that we lack understanding of the modern interview," the study's authors wrote.

While she believes the study's results are important, Blacksmith did say that more research is likely needed since she examined only a small number of studies, some of which were conducted some time ago.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Personnel Assessment and Decisions, was co-authored by Jon Willford, a doctoral student at George Washington University, and Tara Behrend, an associate professor at George Washington.

Need help preparing for your next in-person job interview? Check out this Business News Daily article for tips.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.