Call Center Hiring Featured Article
Is the Virtual Interview Right for the Call Center Hiring Process?
February 25, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Staffing for the call center requires a clear strategy. Human resources directors must identify the right personality with the right skills to handle a variety of customer interactions while also meeting specific performance metrics. This process not only requires a review of applicants, but also a live interview to identify the best candidates.
How would the process change if the interview is live, but not in person? The technology exists to conduct a virtual interview, but will it meet the dynamic needs of the call center environment? More importantly, can the HR director accurately assess individuals in the call center hiring process if he or she is only measuring how they come across on camera?
The Benefits to the Virtual Interview
There are definite benefits to the virtual interview as part of call center. The HR director can streamline this step by eliminating the time involved in meeting an individual in person. It also eases the process for those qualified candidates who may not be in the same geographical area. The HR department may not have the budget to fly in the potential candidate or send the hiring manager around the country on an interview blitz.
In fact, according to this BBC News report, UK employers spent an average of 10 work days in 2012 conducting interviews and 16 percent of the work week completing the necessary travel to meet potential candidates. This time spent doesn’t factor in the travel costs, which can be a drain on corporate resources. If the call center has a high attrition rate, the interviewing process alone could break the budget.
For the candidate, the virtual interview eliminates the stress that can occur when traffic interferes with punctuality, or in-person sessions cause anxiety. The candidate can also take advantage of the fact that the interviewer can only see them from the chest up and dress accordingly. By reducing the amount of pressure surrounding the interview, the candidate may improve his or her performance.
The Pitfalls of the Virtual Interview
Cost savings aside, there are pitfalls to the virtual interview in the call center hiring process. The candidate does have the opportunity to manipulate the surroundings, giving the impression that he or she is organized when the rest of the room off camera is a disaster. Likewise, the increased relaxation he or she may feel while interviewing at home could mask the potential for poor performance when under the pressure of the job.
The virtual technology can also make some participants nervous. The interviewer may not be adept at using the technology and therefore may create an uncomfortable exchange. At the same time, the interviewee may not be used to Skype (News - Alert), for instance, and may spend time staring at his or her image in the small box on the screen instead of looking at the camera. This causes such a distraction the interviewer may read the behavior as something undesirable in the call center, when in fact the candidate may be a good fit.
Tools Can Help
Leveraging the virtual interview can be a challenge in the call center hiring process if the interviewer is not experienced with the use of the technology involved. Fortunately, InterviewIQ from HireIQ can help. This Web-based virtual interviewing application streamlines the hiring process, putting each step online and allowing the hiring manager to vet each candidate properly before the virtual interview by listening to recorded answers to standard questions.
A simple click of the mouse advances the candidate to the next step or eliminates them altogether. If a candidate is fortunate enough to advance to the virtual interview stage, the tools for conducting that interview are at the ready, eliminating the learning curve for the interviewer.
The call center hiring process is one demands special attention to find the right candidates for the job. While the virtual interview may not the right choice in every situation, having access to the tool can still deliver value.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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