Missouri professors are researching how employers see candidates through virtual interviews

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A new study shows job candidates are rated lower in virtual interviews than during in-person interviews.

Without the handshake and normal in-person body language of an interview, it can seem difficult to land a job.

Companies are hiring but for a lot of them, the interviews with potential employees are moving online.

Which prompted three Missouri professors, at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, to research how employers perceive candidates they meet with through video platforms like Zoom.

“We had people observing an interview and when they observed it in the room the ratings were higher or more positive than when they observed the exact same action through video,” Dr. Denise Baker an assistant professor of psychological studies said.

The study used a ten-point scale and asked the participants questions like how likable the person was and if they would hire them.

“Between being rated a seven or a five that’s a big difference I’ve found so far in my scientific career,” Dr. Devin Burns an assistant professor of psychological studies said.

However, the professors say this doesn’t mean video interactions can’t be successful.

“They need to be standardized and do all Zoom or all in-person interviews, and especially now that means even if the candidate is nearby or could hop in for an in-person interview they should still probably do it via Zoom if they’re interviewing other candidates via Zoom,” Dr. Clair Kueny an assistant professor of psychological studies said.

The professors say their next goal is to see if in-person observers are better at distinguishing between good and bad job applicants than video observers.

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