Is an In-Person or Virtual Interview Best?

According to HireVue’s 2022 Global Trends Report, 37% of more than 1600 hiring leaders surveyed said they have moved to a combination of both in-person and virtual interviews.

Both types of interviews have their pros and cons. 

If offered the choice, consider these factors:

  • Virtual interviews are more common for screening and first-round interviews, while in-person interviews are more likely for final interviews.
  • Take the cue from your interviewer — if they seem to be leaning towards one or the other, consider deferring to that option. 
  • If the position is a work-from-home or hybrid position, a virtual interview may be the best choice to showcase you have the skills to work remotely.
  • If technology may be a barrier (for example, your Internet connection isn’t always reliable or your interview environment has a lot of background noise or distractions), eliminate any potential glitches by interviewing in person.
  • How difficult will it be for you to get to the interview in person? If you’re taking time off from your job to interview, consider the time it will take you to get to and from the interview (in addition to the time the interview itself takes). Also, will you have to change clothes if how you dress for the interview is substantially different than what you normally wear to your job? Factor in that time as well.
  • If you will be relocating for an in-person role, an in-person final interview is important. You want the opportunity to see where you will be working — and living — for yourself.

Questions to Ask When Scheduling the Interview

There are some questions you can ask before you select your interview time and date. Some of these include:

  • How many candidates are you expecting to interview?
  • Are all the interviews being conducted on a single day, or over multiple days?
  • (Once you find out the day of the week): What times do you have available that day?
  • How much time should I set aside for the interview? (30 minutes? An hour?)
  • Will this be an in-person interview or a virtual interview? (Be sure to find out what platform is being used — for example, Zoom — so you have a chance to test the technology before the interview)

The Most Important Thing to Consider in Job Interview Scheduling

The most important factor for success in a job interview isn’t the time of day or day of the week — it’s your qualifications for the role, your preparation for the interview, and the connection you make about your suitability for the position.

The ideal situation, of course, is that you interview when there are few distractions, after a couple of weaker candidates, you and the interviewer both have high energy levels, and you are the best applicant in the bunch. But you can only control a few of those factors, so take the best time, date, placement, and format and make the most of it!

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