Should companies record interviews with candidates?

Hello Elphers! I'm hoping to get some different perspectives on a rising trend I've noticed where companies are using video recordings throughout the interview process. Although I can see some positive use cases around training, from a candidate perspective, I've felt uncomfortable with my interactions with this in the past and would like to broaden my view. I have primarily seen this in technical interviews for engineering roles. Some specific questions:

  1. Is it acceptable for employers to record the first interview between a candidate and recruiter/hiring manager? Why?
  2. Would this requirement change your perception, as a candidate, of the role/ company if the recording was mandatory?
  3. What barriers (if any) does this create in the interviewing process, especially around inclusivity and diversity?
  4. Have you experienced this in the past? If yes, what was your experience like?
  5. Does the size of the company and type of role impact your opinion on when this tool should be used?

Appreciate any and all thoughts on this! Thank you

RebeccaStevenson's profile thumbnail
I suppose it could be useful if the interviewing company wants to examine how the interviewers' unconscious biases are affecting their interview process. Or maybe it's just that fewer people have been trained in how to take notess these days?
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
@RebeccaStevenson great point on unconscious bias especially for training purposes. From a candidate perspective, if it's required that you opt in to being recorded for the interview, would this impact your perception of the company/ role/ ability to perform during the interview?
RebeccaStevenson's profile thumbnail
Would depend on what they said the reason for it was. :)
iynna's profile thumbnail
I actually think it can be helpful particularly for others on the team to listen too and make their own minds up (without biases from the person who attended the interview live).It can put a candidate off a little though so I'd expect the person interviewing to set that expectation from the beginning (ie. in the email inviting to interview, the person interviewing should clearly state that the interview will be recorded and the reason behind)
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Hi @iynna love your point on using the recording to bring in the perspectives of others on the team. I also agree that there should be some prior notice that the interview would be recorded. Do you think this is appropriate for the first screening call with a candidate?What are your thoughts from a candidate's perspective if you had to opt into being recorded to continue with the interview process?
stephaniecn's profile thumbnail
I also think it could be useful for all the reasons already mentioned by others. I’ve thought about how sales teams have tools like Gong and to record their sales calls and learn from the feedback. I’d be surprised if recruiting and hiring teams don’t also eventually take advantage of this kind of technology since recruiting is basically sales.It could also put companies more on the hook for any kind of potentially inappropriate behavior in interviews.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
I like your approach to looking at this from the perspective of a space where recording has generally had some positive impact in improving sales, but I'm wary of comparing recruiting to just sales. While there are learnings to be had from sales, I don't think people should be sold and that recruiting has a bi-directional matching process that is often missing from sales. For the recorded sales calls I've been on for B2B products I was often shocked by how little warning I was given that a call would be recorded. It seemed from my perspective that these recorded calls dehumanized the experience a bit i.e. sales reps were wary of deviating from the script, I was a bit thrown off by being recorded, it added a big brother effect as I wondered what would happen with these videos/ who would be watching, I was not given access to the video to share with my team members who could not attend the meeting. I do think the positive aspects of using recordings for training and oversight could be interesting to explore but have yet to see a company execute this well.
stephaniecn's profile thumbnail
Just came across a platform that is doing the thing I mentioned above that sales teams are already doing, essentially leveraging AI and recording to gather 'interview intelligence'. do you think of this @CindyTong?
anemari's profile thumbnail
I would not like to be recorded in an interview process being on any side of the table.
I also would not like to be recorded during an interview regardless of side. I've never experienced this in real life before the pandemic, so why should it change now? It's one thing if this is a customer service interview to collect feedback to be used for improving an experience, but for job interviews I expect interviewers to be able to take/make mental notes during the process.And just to add, I recently asked a current employee about company culture issues during an interview and they were very candid with me about challenges and shared some personal details as to why it was challenging specifically for them. If the call had been recorded, an employee would absolutely not share honest feedback about company culture that could be seen as negative.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
A wonderful point on making space for the interviewers to also feel comfortable genuinely answering any questions that come their way.
RebeccaJones's profile thumbnail
I've done quite a few recorded interviews and I fully support their use from the candidate perspective and as a hiring manager. It really helps get the right people in on the decision making process, for example it can be a nightmare to get calendars aligned, especially across global teams, so this is a great way to broaden the interview review panel. Where companies use three question mini video interviews the candidate usually has the questions in advance so this is a good way for a potential candidate to gather their thoughts and prep their answer and really shine.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Thanks for sharing your positive experiences! I like the idea of having recorded responses to interview questions. In your experience, are the recorded interviews you've been involved in typically a 1st or later-stage touchpoint in the interview process?
RebeccaJones's profile thumbnail
Earlier. usually part of the first or second interviews.
tanmayisai's profile thumbnail
I've been recorded in some interviews , especially in a remote world where interviews are on Zoom, people just record it. I am ok/not okay with it depending on how they use it. One interviewer wanted to record so their team could watch it, which made sense so I didn't have to schedule time with everyone. BUT this doesn't allow me to interview the team. In this case, I wasn't okay with the recording.One interviewer did it for HR purposes, which was fine. I think it could slowly lead to candidates not meeting all the team, and interviews should be 2-sided.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Really well said. Interviewing should be an opportunity for candidates to interview the team as well. Can you elaborate on what "HR purposes" were for the recorded interview you attended?
It is not legal to record anyone without their consent in an interview setting. If you have not up front given your consent to be recorded either on audio or video then you must sign a waiver or they cannot do such a thing. I have worked in HR/Recruiting for many many years. DO NOT DO THIS.
Jannay's profile thumbnail
Right on! And if you do consent, why not able to record the meeting for your own benefit? What if I want to record how I did on an interview, to find ways to improve.
I can see the value to the HR team but this is a privacy nightmare. How long are these recordings kept? Who has access to them? Even in our Instagram culture most people are very uncomfortable anyway on camera. If you want to drive away good candidates, (unless they are in acting or politics) this is an excellent way to do it.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Agree! I get anxiety just at the thought of recording an IG/Tiktok video
missystrong's profile thumbnail
I've never been recorded in an interview but would in general, feel uncomfortable. I would want to know are these recordings being kept indefinitely. I appreciate the views regarding the benefits for recruiting and training however, interviews are two way communications and I think candidates aren't afforded the opportunity to gain perspective on future team members with recorded interviews. Thank you for asking this really great question.
priscillaaddison's profile thumbnail
I think we should zoom out and ask ourselves some slightly different questions: "what is the ultimate goal of conducting the interview?". Majority of the time, it is to find a person with the right sets of skills and abilities for the unique job. If this is the case, then it begs another question: "does recording the interview help me achieve this ultimate goal?".(1) Being able to watch the recording later [by others who weren't at the interview] to make a decision, and (2) recording for HR purposes, may both be superficial interim goals. Therefore any action taken to meet these interim goals that prevents us from meeting our ultimate goal should be trumped. Now, going back to the question of whether or not recording a video helps us meet our ultimate goal, I'd say the answer is a resounding NO most of the time. Ideally if you could observe someone do a job for a time and then determine they can efficiently deliver the desired results for the role would have helped both companies and candidates make better informed decisions. However, we don't have the time nor the resources to do this so we substitute the interview process. An interview is like an experiment conducted in a "clean room" to determine whether someone will be able to perform the responsibilities of a job when they are "thrown to the wolves" (real working environment). Do you want to further compromise your ability to find the best fit candidate by making the room even cleaner? Most people would be in an even more performative state when they know they are being recorded. Because of legal reasons these video recordings are also so intrusive, with blinking red lights, or some form of feedback letting people know they are being recorded the whole time. This may benefit the actors among us and severely harm the shrinking violets. Permit me to be facetious here: it is like interviewing a group of animals for a job by assessing their ability to bark. If the job you are interviewing for is a guard dog, then by all means do that, but if not, you have effectively biased your sampling to dogs alone. Plus, there are lots of people with issues of anxiety on either side of the table who the thought of such a recording will be very distressing to. During an interview there is an imbalance of power, which usually goes against the candidate, hence a candidate might agree to be recorded for fear that their saying no might put them in the bad books of the company.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
"It is like interviewing a group of animals for a job by assessing their ability to bark" => this is GOLD. Thank you for this very thoughtful response.
RosalieDay's profile thumbnail
People who do well in a job interview situation are not necessarily people who do well at the job. Conversely, people who perform poorly in a job interview situation are not necessarily a poor performer in a job. When it is recorded, it is memorialized, potentially following them wherever they go.While recording may help audit of interviewer bias, the interviewee sets a baseline - at least within that company/organization, and maybe within a professional network or industry. I had a CEO installed by the venture capital board of directors (replacing the founder) who gave a dynamite interview. He was a fella that had failed-up. He performed poorly at his last two positions which he was able to explain away in the interviews. The startup had a positive trajectory when he came in and a negative trajectory when he made all his changes. He ended up being fired by the BOD after 2 years and told to vacate the premises immediately. This would be a perfect case study of how to interview - if you never looked at how he performed. The recording of his interview would not be associated with his performance outcome but would impress all those who viewed it.A candidate that has job interview anxiety, speaks more slowly or quickly, doesn't answer the question as concisely as they might have, is memorialized with poor interview performance. Presenting to executives about an issue/product of work is not anything like a job interview. If the interviewer perceives the company and it employees to "not be like them." the diverse candidate (gender, race, age) is disadvantaged at the start in the rapport building process because of the power differential.
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing this anecdote. I also love this point "the interviewee sets a baseline."
I had one interview that was recording with big company at on-site stage (HM was taking it from home and this was back in the normal times where you actually go in-person for on-sites), they didn't ask so not sure if was because their Zoom is automatically recorded or it was on purpose, but rest of the real on-sites weren't recorded. It was literally the worst one I performed earlier in my career and I hope that will never surface anywhere lol. Yikes
CindyTong's profile thumbnail
Yikes! I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I get nervous about posting videos of myself to Instagram, can't imagine what I would do if I saw a video recording of an interview I did resurface. Also, it's terrible that they didn't ask you about being recorded or even share motivations behind it/ purpose. Thanks for sharing your experience.
ilanabroad's profile thumbnail
I'm not sure how I feel about it, personally, but it does raise some interesting legal issues. Consider whether or not you live in a state that allows 1 party to consent to a recording (as opposed to requiring consent from all). Regardless, you'll probably want a release from all parties involved.From a human perspective, that release should include a good reason for the recording.Ultimately, consult your attorney!!