Posted on 25th July 2016 by Jon Terry

Are Email Interviews a Deal or a Dud?

Are Email Interviews a Deal or a Dud?

At Wright Solutions we can get frustrated about how difficult it is to get people to pick up the phone and talk to us and we are known to moan about how some people just seem to want to write an email rather than talk face-to-face.

We are pretty sure we are not alone. But you can’t uninvent email.

It is an invaluable business tool and whilst some of us can remember a time when we did business without it, none of us could imagine doing business without it now.

So how come no one's ever asked about their email skills at an interview? How come we have never been told to ask a candidate to show evidence of their emailing skills as part of the interview process?

We are often arranging for candidates to deliver a ten minute presentation for a role where they are unlikely to ever have to do a presentation. It is also very common for us to arrange a telephone Interview (and not just because of ease but because the interviewer wants to see how they can communicate over the phone, given that they will be doing a lot of it in the job).

We are also used to arranging numerical tests for individuals who won’t be doing any spreadsheet work.

BUT those same candidates are never tested for a skill that they will need to use all the time Emailing.

So the questions need to be… Should you be thinking about arranging email interviews as part of your interview process? Or is this a ridiculous idea? Should we all actually be using email less and talking to people more?

What are the Advantages of Email Interviews?

Emails have existed for the past twenty years and by now, it is as second nature as picking up the phone, maybe even more so. Emails are a busy source that don’t rely on being available at a specific time, like in-person or telephone interviews.

What are the Disadvantages of Email Interviews?

On the contrary email exchanges lack the spontaneity of in person or telephone interviews and conversing through emails and writing may become confusing to keep track of.

Another pitfall of email is that the candidate receives a large list of questions all at one time and will need to keep flicking back and forth between emails. Also, the interviewer will have no clarification as to whether the candidate is truly sending the email responses or if they have gotten someone else to email on their behalf.

We really should be picking up the telephone or meeting candidates in person in order to see what they really have to offer. However, we definitely feel that its is worth trading emails with a potential candidate to see if they are able to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

Wright Solutions have over fourteen years experience in the HR sector and work personally to provide high-calibre candidates for specialist roles in human resources and learning and development.

Please feel free to call us on 0121 222 5599 for an informal discussion or send us an email to

Jon Terry

By Jon Terry

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