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Recruitment Guide - Choosing Between Virtual and In-Person Interviews

22 Apr 2024 |

By Sophia Voce

Interview Comparison 100

Over the past 35 years, as recruitment experts, VWA Consultants have conducted countless interviews both face-to-face and online. Whilst there has been some decline in popularity of virtual interviews post-pandemic, this format can still have a place in the hiring process. In-person and online methods both have their unique advantages and drawbacks, and the decision of which to use can significantly impact the hiring process.

In this article we’ve put together a comparison of the two techniques to help you decide between the two:

Face-to-Face Interviews

The face-to-face interview has long been the gold standard in hiring processes. This method involves candidates physically coming into the office or meeting space for a direct interaction with the hiring manager or interview panel. Here are some key points to consider:

Personal Connection: Face-to-face interviews allow for a more personal and direct connection between the interviewer and the candidate. This can often provide valuable insights into the candidate's personality, communication skills, and overall demeanour.

Body Language: In-person interviews enable the observation of non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. These signals can offer nuanced insights into a candidate's confidence and sincerity.

Professional Setting: Conducting interviews in a professional office environment can create a formal atmosphere that is conducive to assessing a candidate's suitability for the role.

However, face-to-face interviews can be time-consuming and costly, especially for candidates traveling long distances. Insisting on in-person meetings may also pose a risk of missing out on top candidates who require extra planning time to arrange time off or notify their current employers.

Virtual Interviews

With advancements in technology, virtual interviews have become a convenient alternative to traditional in-person meetings. Virtual interviews are conducted remotely using video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. Here's why they have gained popularity:

Speed: Embracing virtual interviews, such as through Teams or other online platforms, offers greater flexibility and efficiency. This allows for quicker scheduling, reducing the chance of missing out on excellent candidates due to logistical challenges

Accessibility: Virtual interviews eliminate geographical barriers, allowing hiring managers to interview candidates from anywhere in the world without the need for travel.

Cost-Effective: Virtual interviews can significantly reduce costs associated with arranging face-to-face meetings, such as travel expenses and venue hire.

However, virtual interviews may lack the personal touch of face-to-face interactions, and technical issues such as poor internet connection or audiovisual problems can occasionally disrupt the flow of the interview.

Choosing the Right Approach

As a hiring manager, selecting the appropriate interview format depends on various factors, including the nature of the role, the urgency of the hire balanced with the preferences of the hiring team, and logistical considerations. This is something your dedicated VWA Consultant can help you to assess, however here are some guidelines to also help you decide:

Nature of the Role: For roles that require strong interpersonal skills or client-facing responsibilities, face-to-face interviews may be more appropriate to assess the candidate's suitability. However, consider whether it is possible and more efficient to interview virtually at the beginning stages of a process to maximise the speed at which you can meet with candidates.

Logistical Ease: Consider the logistics involved in arranging face-to-face interviews versus conducting virtual interviews. Opt for the method that aligns with your budget and scheduling constraints.

Candidate Experience: Take into account the candidate experience. Some individuals may prefer the convenience of a virtual interview, while others may value the formality and personal touch of an in-person meeting.


In conclusion, both face-to-face and virtual interviews have their merits and can be effective tools for evaluating candidates during the recruitment process. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each approach based on your specific requirements and constraints. Ultimately, the goal is to select the interview format that best facilitates a comprehensive assessment of candidates while providing a positive and professional experience for all parties involved.

Why work with VWA?

Our expert Consultants and Research Team use sound judgement, honed over years of experience, and anchored in our strong interviewing and assessment skills, to find, identify and attract top talent for our clients. Whether it’s in person or online, you can feel confident knowing that we have already selected the very best pre-vetted candidates for you to meet. What’s more, we are always on hand throughout the recruitment process to answer any questions you may have.

If you’d like to hear more about our services or anything covered in this article, or would like to make an enquiry, please reach out to recruit@vwa.com.

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