A comparative assessment of videoconference and face-to-face employment interviews

J. Sears Greg (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)
Zhang Haiyan (Kenexa High Performance Institute Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
H. Wiesner Willi (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
D. Hackett Rick (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
Yuan Yufei (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 2 September 2013



Based on theories of media richness and procedural justice, the authors aim to examine the influence of videoconferencing (VC) technology on applicant reactions and interviewer judgments in the employment interview, the most commonly used employee selection device.


MBA students participated in simulated VC and face-to-face (FTF) interviews. Applicant perceptions of procedural justice and interviewer characteristics were collected. Interviewers provided ratings of affect toward the applicant, perceived applicant competence, overall interview performance, as well as an overall hiring recommendation.


Applicants perceived VC interviews as offering less of a chance to perform and as yielding less selection information. They also viewed VC interviews as less job-related than FTF interviews and had significantly less favorable evaluations of their interviewer (on personableness, trustworthiness, competence, and physical appearance) in VC interviews. Finally, applicants in VC interviews received lower ratings of affect (likeability) and lower interview scores, and were less likely to be recommended for the position.

Research limitations/implications

The authors' findings suggest that VC technology can adversely affect both applicant reactions and interviewer judgments. They propose several precautionary steps to help minimize the risks associated with conducting VC interviews.


The authors extend prior research concerning the use of VC interviews by directly assessing applicant perceptions of both procedural justice and of interviewer characteristics associated with the probability that job offers will be accepted. They also add to the literature in showing that VC interviews tend to result in less favorable evaluations of applicants than FTF interviews.



J. Sears, G., Zhang, H., H. Wiesner, W., D. Hackett, R. and Yuan, Y. (2013), "A comparative assessment of videoconference and face-to-face employment interviews", Management Decision, Vol. 51 No. 8, pp. 1733-1752. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-09-2012-0642

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