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Accurate Candidate Selection In The Age Of COVID

CoronaVirus has substantially changed our lifestyles in an incredibly short time frame, and the disruption looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

With the majority of companies working from home and social distancing guidelines becoming stricter each week, it is no longer appropriate to bring candidates into an office for a face-to-face interview.

In response to this, those companies that need to recruit will move their interviews online. Online video interviews can be effective selection tools when used correctly, however, to ensure you get the best results, you should be mindful of the following:

+ The interviewer is less able to pick up on body language and may receive less insight into the candidates’ personality as a result

+ Older candidates or those not used to using video conferencing software could be disadvantaged. There is already proven bias against older candidates in recruitment[1], and the move to online interviews could exacerbate this as they may be less adept with the software than younger candidates.

+ Internet connection issues. There is always the chance that a candidate or employer’s internet connection may drop out or slow down, hindering the quality of the interview process. Think about how many times you have accidentally interrupted your conversation partner over video chat due to a lag in the connection, or had their voice cut out halfway through a discussion. Now throw in the stress of a job interview and consider how this would make quality responding more difficult for a job candidate!

+ Video interviews typically take longer than face-to-face interviews, and it is harder to cut a session short if a candidate is obviously unsuitable for the position[2].  This will become more of a concern as the unemployment rate rises, as you will have more candidates to interview for each open position.

Failing to control for these risks will decrease the quality of information you receive from the interview process. This will make it more difficult to select the right candidate, and in these uncertain times, you don’t want to be hiring a poor performer!

The best way to control these risks is to incorporate Skills and Psychometric testing into your recruitment process to deliver validated, objective, and reliable candidate information. This testing is designed to be administered remotely, so you can rest assured that you are not losing any quality of information while recruiting externally.  

Skills testing assesses whether a candidate has the appropriate skills and knowledge required to work in the open role. It can assess this more objectively and accurately than the interview method, and can also be used in the place of work simulations which may no longer be feasible. It represents a far more efficient method of candidate screening; with one click you can send out the desired test to the entire pool of job applicants and screen out unsuitable candidates.

Psychometric assessment provides a comprehensive measurement of a candidate’s cognitive styles, personality traits and work-related interests, and then assesses their results against high-performance role benchmarks to identify how well they ‘fit’ the position. This provides you with information you can’t receive from interviews. It predicts each candidate’s future job performance and ensures objective decision making which isn’t influenced by the candidate’s age, gender or race. You can also use the detailed interview guides to ensure you ask more targeted questions and receive more insightful candidate responses.

Incorporating skills and psychometric assessments into your recruitment process ensures you counter any potential loss of reliability and validity incurred by moving your interview process online. The resultant interview guides will help you to structure your online interviews to gain quality candidate insight, and the additional information provided by the testing will bolster selection accuracy.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact the author at

[1] Cohen, P. (2019, June 7). ‘New Evidence of Age Bias in Hiring, and a Push to Fight it’. The New York Times.

[2] Rupert, S. (2014). Video Interviewing and Its Impact on Recruitment. Strategic HR Review, 13(3). DOI: 10.1108/SHR-11-2013-0109


Written by Michael Mancinone

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