Technology options for interviews

There are many ways for search teams in the early stages of candidate engagement to interview ministers. Here are just a few. (Note that this page is merely informational. Searching for the Called does not endorse any of these services.)

Audio calls:

Speaker phone – Almost all phones (mobile and landline) have a speaker button so that multiple people can talk and listen. This option should only be considered if your search team is small and everyone can gather closely around the phone. Even then, it’s important for everyone to speak clearly and to identify themselves when talking.

Video call options include but are not limited to:

Zoom – Zoom offers a free plan for up to 100 participants, though group meetings are limited to 40 minutes. (There is a $15/month plan that removes this time restriction.) Both plans allow up to 25 video feeds per screen with active speaker view, offer chat and recording options, and feature desktop sharing if the search team and/or candidate would like to present a website or file.

Google Hangouts – This platform is free for users with Google-based email accounts. Up to 10 participants can video chat, and screen sharing is available. One of the upsides to this platform is the option to move relatively seamlessly between devices (e.g., tablet, phone, computer) during a call.

Skype – Most people may be more familiar with one-on-one uses of Skype, but Skype can also be used for group calls. Group calls can include up to 25 people, though the number of video feeds will vary based on the participants’ devices. (Participants will all need Skype handles to make the call free and to allow everyone to see the video.) Screen sharing is available. Skype also offers a more professional platform called Meetings, which can accommodate up to 10 participants for the free trial period and offers additional presentation options such as a whiteboard.

Always try out technology platforms in advance of using them in interviews.

Note that with video calls, the entire search team can participate in a single video feed, or each person can call in from a unique phone number/handle so that every individual has a video feed.

Pros for search team using a single video feed:

  • Calling in is simpler for the search team.
  • The whole search team can be in the same room.

Cons for search team using a single video feed:

  • It’s difficult to position the webcam so that the candidate can see all search team members well.
  • Depending on the placement of the microphone, it might be difficult for the candidate to hear all the search team members well.

Pros for search team using multiple video feeds:

  • Candidate can see and hear each search team member better.
  • If there is a need for screen sharing, each search team member can see the screen better.
  • Search team could potentially conduct interviews with team members in different locations, making it easier to find interview times that work for everyone.
  • Each video feed would have the person’s name on it, making it easier for the candidate to learn and remember search team members’ names.

Cons for search team using multiple video feeds:

  • The search team could likely not all be in the same room due to interference and noise overlap.
  • Each search team member would need a smartphone or computer with webcam to be able to participate.