Application and job interviews online: Success factors and pitfalls

During the last few weeks, HEIs have been and continue to be faced with special challenges in their operational processes. This also applies to recruitment and appointment procedures when these cannot take place locally. Various digital formats are now being tested. However, digitally mediated discussions and appointment processes may develop their own dynamics. Technical, organisational as well as psychological aspects must be taken into account. These aspects were discussed by around 45 interested parties in the second online dialogue of CHE Consult.

The following questions were at the centre of the discussion:

  • To what extent are online procedures already being used to select applicants?
  • How do psychological interaction characteristics affect job interviews?
  • Will there be hybrid formats - analogue and digital - for selecting applicants after Corona?

At the beginning, Mrs. Rogalla (Head of the Department of Finance, Human Resources and Communication, Medical Faculty OWL, University of Bielefeld) and Prof. Dr. Hauck (Professor of Communication Psychology and Organizational Consulting, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences) presented theses on this topic. They also reported on current research results as well as practical experiences.

Some aspects would be different with digitally supported procedures than with analogue formats. For example, the media competence of the applicants is much more apparent and has an effect on the overall perception of the candidates. A preliminary technology check is also indispensable for a successful interview.

However, there are similar aspects to be considered for both digital and face-to-face interviews. These include ensuring comparability (in terms of form and content), drawing up a competence profile and clearly defining the formal requirements.

For future application and appointment procedures, the two input providers conclude that a dialogue process must now be initiated at the universities on how to take advantage of both variants and develop hybrid processes in line with the motto "Get the best of both worlds! There is still one drawback - digital formats enable comparability, but do not replace direct and therefore social-personal exchange.  

Julia Klingemann, initiator and moderator of the Online Dialogue, expressed her delight at the renewed great interest and announced that the series would be continued: "We are delighted about the large number of participants in this second Online Dialogue. The next Online Dialogues are therefore already being planned and will cover topics such as Virtual and innovative leadership and On- and Offboarding".

If you are interested in participating in upcoming exchange formats or have any further suggestions on the topic, please feel free to contact us and send an e-mail to elisa.himbert(at)


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