Rachel Robins |

Virtual vs In-Person Interviews – The Positives, Negatives, and Differences

While being a feature that has been available for quite a while, virtual interviews only started gaining considerable global traction during the pandemic when attending an in-person interview was no longer possible for most. Today, virtual interviews are very much a part of the recruitment industry and a great asset to companies that interview a great many applicants for a role or are required to interview for many roles at once. While becoming more popular in recent years, how do virtual interviews compare to their in-person alternative?


Carried out over the internet or via telephone, a virtual interview uses technology to allow interviewer and interviewee to communicate.

Positives of Virtual Interviews

  • No traveling required – It’s not all that uncommon for an applicant to relocate having been successful in finding a new role, virtual interviews do not require them to spend time and money traveling for a job they may not get.
  • Perfect for remote work – Not every business has its own premises and it’s a very viable solution to work remotely in this day and age. If much of the work will be carried out remotely, applicants may be based within different cities or countries making in-person interviews very challenging.
  • Faster hires – Easier scheduling allows for expediting of the hiring process as well as interviewing of far more candidates in a shorter space of time.
  • Recording – While recording can also be carried out for in-person interviews, placing a camera in front of candidates is only going to make some feel uncomfortable. A recording can be carried out far more discreetly during a virtual interview and allows for sharing with decision makers as well as a subsequent review if needed.

Negatives of Virtual Interviews

  • Reliant on tech – either internet or telephone signal are required for a virtual interview; some candidates will not have access to either or may not have the required speeds to carry out an effective interview. Internet droppages and poor telephone signal can also play a part in derailing a virtual interview.
  • Impression – it can be challenging to get an impression from someone during a virtual interview and you may miss non-verbal cues such as body language.
  • Background noise – not everyone has a designated office space and as such may be carrying out an interview in their living room where family or pets can cause disturbances.


The classical form of interview, in-person usually has the applicant and interviewer sitting across from each other.

Positives of In-Person Interviews

  • Company culture – it’s a lot easier to demonstrate company culture to an applicant when they are actually present on the premises and an in-person interview allows them to get a better idea of the business’ daily goings-on.
  • Non-verbal cues – body language can tell you a great deal about a person and an in-person interview makes it easy to discern this information.
  • Commitment – if an interview is carried out in-person, the candidate has already placed commitment to the role; this means that the interview can frequently last longer and they are far more likely to be responsive to questions.
Negatives of In-Person Interviews
  • Travelling – Unless the candidate lives right on your doorstep, they’re likely going to have to travel for an interview. This takes time and costs money, something that can make them more reluctant to attend follow-up interviews.
  • Bias – Even though present in both in-person and virtual interviews, bias tends to be stronger when engaging in direct communication with a candidate.

You can find out more about Eploy's video interviewing toolkit in this downloadable guide.

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