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What is a digital interview?

Published: September 21, 2018 In: Remote Hiring

Digital interviews are essentially the technologically-advanced, time-saving and better planned version of traditional interviews. They are utilised as a screening process to determine a candidate’s response to standard interview questions with advanced proctoring mechanisms, hiring tools and Artificial Intelligence. Digital interviews replace age-old screening processes like telecalling screening and face-to-face interviews, that makes it the most viable and efficient procedure in the hiring market.


Types of digital interviews

Digital interviewing is a dynamic process with new, state-of-the-art techniques being implemented everyday. With a larger amount of business thriving in automated hiring, here are some kinds of digital interview methods that are used in the market today:

Automated Phone Interview (IVR)

Interactive voice response utilises computer-assisted technology for monitoring and recording of interview responses via telephone. With IVR, a human interviewer is replaced by a high-quality recorded script to which the interviewee responds. Responses can then be recorded using the keys on a touch-tone telephone, or with the help of voice recognition technology, the respondent can speak his/her answer directly using the telephone receiver.


  1. Telephonic interviews are notoriously cheaper than an in-person interview- especially where travel is involved.
  2. A phone interview is the perfect option for applicant screening, in cases where both the parties cannot commit to meeting in person.
  3. Automated screening filters out desirable candidates in a much shorter, faster rate than traditional implementations.
  4. Phone interviews act as a multi-testing assessment technique that also tests the candidates on their ability to make decisions on-the-go and their proficiency in customer rapport.
  5. Employers can now reach out to and recruit a large amount of talent across geographical borders. Knowledge transfer and information sharing is established first-hand.


  1. Though phone interviews test for the vocal insights in the procedure, lack of body language is a major disadvantage as compared to face-to-face interviews.
  2. Another major factor about automated phone calls are the probable glitches that can occur during the course of the call. This could be a one-way termination or network difficulties.
  3. It can be difficult to establish a good chemistry through a mere phone call. Due to the absence of vocal prompts as such, sometimes the two parties can be on different pages. It is suggested that the interviewer has a copy of all the information of the candidate beforehand.
  4. It is difficult for IVR machines to detect a fraud. A candidate can be assisted or replaced by different sources during the phone interview.

On-demand video interviewing

Video interviews are now part of the frequently-used-recruitment-strategy bandwagon. They are the best way to gauge the soft skills of the candidate and understand the thought process during the interview. Video interviews are beginning to make an appearance in most interviews that occur across different cities, states or countries. It eliminates the visual difficulties that are present in automated voice interviews.



  1. Video interviews are cost-effective for both the interviewer and interviewee as they do not require investment for travel and lodging as face-to-face interviews.
  2. The proceedings of the video interview are recorded. This gives an added advantage as the recruiter can revisit the interview for more insights, thus guaranteeing a more effective screening procedure.
  3. Recruiters who are looking to widen their talent pool find video interviews extremely effective as they can screen and hire remote candidates with ease.
  4. With AI-influenced techniques like proctoring that calculates the facial expressions of the candidate, background noise, etc., it is very easy to determine the authenticity of the answers provided and assess communication skills accordingly.
  5. Video interviews are relatively more comfortable than in-person tests. The candidate can take up the test at the comfort of their home, which leads to lesser pressure or nervousness during the interview.
  6. Via video interviewing, the candidate can simply take up the interview anytime, anywhere.


  1. Connectivity issues can play spoilsport to what can turn into a potential job offer. It is important that all the parties involved have a working internet connection to execute the process seamlessly.
  2. Lack of IT savviness can also be an attributing factor to failed video interviews. While the candidate would have succeeded in an in-person interview, lack of knowledge on how the platform works can be a dampener. It is important that the interviewee is educated on all the required aspects of the platform before the interview.
  3. Most of the video interviews are programmed to record the candidate’s response within a stipulated time limit. This can lead to time constraints in response time. If the candidate isn’t quick on his/her feet or isn’t tech-savvy enough, they might lose precious time in logging in and other such.

Chatbot-based recruitment

The evolution of chatbot intelligence and the increase in use of conversational recruitment methods has caused recruiters to use it over traditional communication like email, SMS and push notifications. However, with automated hiring disrupting the market, chatbots can also be used in recruitment. Recruitment agencies could utilise chatbots to increase the candidate experience and maximise efficiencies.


  1. The biggest advantage perhaps, of chatbot-based recruitment is the 24/7 availability. Candidates can have a larger chance at having their questions answered at any time of the day.
  2. Due to its instant-reply nature and natural language processing techniques, chatbots are designed to provide responses in a more “humane” way. A good, instant response from a chatbot can go a long way in improving the candidate experience.
  3. Chatbots also effectively eliminate hassles of sustained communication between the recruiter and the candidate. This effectively means that the required reminders, scheduling and following up takes place consistently and smoothly throughout the recruitment process.
  4. Though chatbots are not designed to replace humans, the efficiency of a chatbot can be used to quickly complete high-volume and repetitive tasks like scheduling interviews, ranking CVs, following up and other such.


  1. Though chatbots are efficient, they cannot be counted on to replace instances where human empathy and reasoning is required. There is thus a lack of “humanness” in chatbot conversations.
  2. Chatbots draw their responses from to their previous interactions with candidates. They have limited capacity when it comes to ad-hoc decision making and problem solving, which can be disadvantageous in crucial stages of the interview.
  3. “Standardisation of language” can also be a problem in chatbot recruitment. It is not common that all of the candidates have the same way of communication. Thus, effective communication across linguistic barriers and personal jargons is limited in chatbot based hiring.

Learn more

Gamified assessments

Millennials are fundamentally distinct from any other generation. Having grown up in the expanse of stark technological improvement, they seek innovation and excitement everywhere. The job market isn’t exempt from this norm. Gamification requires the use of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as a technique to encourage a candidate to engage with an assessment.



  1. Gamified assessments are entertaining, in the real sense. The excitement of executing tasks in a fun, yet productive manner is what makes it so desirable.
  2. Games help candidates establish a certain intimacy with the process. Overall candidate experience is improved through gamification. This gives the candidate a reason to remember the interview process, and this is the best form of employer branding.
  3. With millenials expected to take over 75 percent of the workforce by 2023, it is no surprise that gamification resonates well with the current generation. Hiring millenials is the need of the hour and gamified assessments are expected to catch the eye of aspiring jobseekers.
  4. Gamification offers flexibility in location; it can happen online or in-person, providing recruiters with a blended approach to communicating with talent.


  1. Measuring ROI from gamification is difficult and can cause a dent in the budget. Making sure you have the allocated funds to have the process up and running is essential.
  2. Since gamification fosters creative approach, it requires constant updation in order to keep up with the current practices. This can cause creative challenges at times.
  3. Games do not guarantee a personal, bespoke experience that is achieved from face-to-face communication which can result in lesser user engagement.

AI-based Interview

While looking for talent in modern age, it is important to understand that candidates are not hired on the basis of skills only. The right candidate is a perfect amalgamation of the right skills and the right personality required for the role. To assess this, personality tests are conducted. Some of the common types of personality tests include:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Situational reasoning
  • Cognitive ability test

Talview's response to AI-led assessments is Talview Behavioral Insights (TBI), which is based on Big Five theory where each personality type is mapped to a skill that the job demands. Based on the responses from the candidates, the test reveals the likeability of the candidate to the job.

While looking to hire in bulk, it is easy to overlook the quality of candidates who are hired. AI-based interviews assist in filtering out the right fit based on deeper insights into cognitive, behavioral and personality abilities of the candidate. Talview’s intelligent platform maps the requirements of the job to the abilities of the candidate in the shortest way possible, thus making it efficient, yet scalable.



  1. AI-based interviews help you identify the right talent for long-term basis. This is especially useful for high-stake designations.
  2. One of the significant positives for TBI is that it runs on sentient analysis. This means that they are designed to function autonomously up to junior/mid-level hiring, which can save a significant amount of resources as compared to traditional methods.
  3. These AI-based interviews help in curbing impersonation and also effectively eliminate any bias


  1. AI can be limited to a few languages, thus making it non-compliant to other languages or slangs.
  2. An AI-based assignment which is receptive to people with speech disabilities is yet to be developed.
  3. AI-led software training is not as widely prevalent as it should be. Hence, the full potential of the product is not explored by recruiters.

Advantages of digital interviews:

  1. Hiring process is unbiased as all candidates are exposed to a standard set of questions, for which their responses are recorded.
  2. Saves time, money and the stress of conducting multiple levels of interview for selecting the right candidate.
  3. The flexibility of the process is perhaps the biggest advantage. Video interviews can be taken up with any device (PC, tablet or mobile phone), ideal for recruiting candidates on-the-go.
  4. Offering anyone the chance to take up an interview, regardless of schedule on any device.

That ends our guide to digital interviews and why you should implement them. We hope this helped you!

A leading consulting company decided to adopt AI-based strategies for recruitment. Watch what they have to say here!



"We used Talview and its TBI module to interview candidates for our three key roles from various campuses across India. We saw a match of about 90% in the human and machine interviewing outcomes, during the pilots and that’s when we incurred that this concept is superbly powerful and should be introduced in the mainstream ZS interview process. This technique has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of our interview process manifold, and we are looking to evolve it further in the coming few months"

Rahul Mitra, Head Talent Acquisition at ZS Associates

Tags: Remote Hiring, HR Tech & AI, Online Exams & Proctoring

Written by: Abenaya Gunasekaran

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