Video interviews: the real indicator of a person’s character

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words.

Let’s just stop to think about this mind-boggling number for a minute. It makes you realise just how much the brain can process visuals better than it can words (the figure by the way comes from research carried out by 3M, the company behind the Post-it Note).

Here are a few more statistics (bear with me, I like my numbers). A team of neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that it takes us 13 milliseconds to process an image. According to the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, almost half of participants (46.1%) said that the design of company’s website was the best indicator of credibility. Visual aids in presentations improves the likelihood of customers buying from us by 43% (3M survey).

Improved hiring decisions

We’ve been adept at reading facial and visual expressions since humanity began. Our brains are hard wired at reading people’s emotions and body language much faster than text. The main concern of our hunter gatherer descendants was survival and the decisions they made were based on what they saw. They had to react to their environment and make those split second (and sometimes
life-saving!) calls in much the same way we do today.  

As Product Manager at Fidio, this is a topic that fascinates me. Having developed our own video interviewing platform, we’ve seen the benefits of video in the interviewing and hiring process. It has helped many of our clients not only save time by pre-screening candidates (candidates also don’t have to give up hours of their day travelling), but it has also helped them make better, faster and more accurate recruitment decisions.

Judging a person’s character

Hiring managers, recruiters and human resources consultants, whose job it is to trawl through CVs, are far less likely to pick up on those all-important visual and verbal clues that reveal so much about the person being interviewed – and their suitability for their role.  Watch a video and the answers to questions such as ‘Am I going to be able to work with them?’, ‘Can I trust them?’ or ‘How will this person deal with a difficult stakeholder?’ will start to unravel.  

Now I’m not undermining the value of a CV – it’s still an essential tool in recruitment – but video adds that critical human dimension that changes your perspective about a person. Studying someone in this interactive medium enables you to make a far more informed assessment of the individual’s skills – interpersonal and behavioural attributes – than you would glean from reading about his or her past job experience on paper.

 Skills and suitability

Video enables us to make far more accurate judgements about the person’s suitability for a role and whether for example they will fit into our company’s culture and slot into our teams seamlessly. We can discover more about the person’s character and mannerisms, and ultimately their likelihood to succeed in their jobs. Video will not only help us to understand and analyse people faster, but importantly make a judgement about them as people.  

Top four consultancy PwC found that 77% of CEOs are struggling to find the people they need. They’re struggling to find the soft skills such as creativity, innovation, adaptability, problem solving and leadership. The report refers to ‘uniquely human capabilities’. Video allows us to do just that, to delve deeper into these vital characteristics that are unique to us all and can add so much value to an organisation’s bottom line.

Human beings are visual creatures!   

I’d love to know your thoughts, so please leave your comments below. If you’d like to find out more about how Fidio’s video interviewing platform can help your business, you can call me direct on 0203 418 8085.


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