The 68th Annual Conference of the Japanese Group Dynamics Association
Presentation Report
"A Comparison between Candidate and Interviewer Focus in Online Interviews"

The 68th Annual Conference of the Japanese Group Dynamics Association was held online from September 17 to 18, 2022. Although COVID-19 situation seems to be settling down recently, many academic meetings are still held online. This conference was also held online following last year.


I have been studying on “skill development for online interview” with researchers, Sawaumi and Sumigawa, and I gave a presentation about some of the outcomes of our study at this conference.


COVID-19 has impacted recruitment and job-hunting styles. More and more companies are conducting online interviews. According to the White Paper on Employment (Research Institute for Graduate Recruitment, 2021), which shows the data of their research of the companies that recruited students graduated in 2021, of the 1,398 companies that responded to the survey, 74.7% had online company briefings/seminars, and 69.8% had online interviews. As the COVID-19 impact still remains in the FY2022, it is expected that many companies will conduct online interviews going forward.


Unlike traditional in-person interviews, candidates must prepare all settings for online interviews by themselves. Some of the how-to books show the tips such as to clean your room before the interview, to ensure that your computer works properly, to watch the camera while speaking and to speak with more pauses than usual, etc. However, these are primarily based on the writers’ experience and there seems to be a small accumulation of data by empirical research.


We once conducted a survey related to this and published our paper in the FY2022 Annual Report of the Center for Research on Educational Testing (Inagaki, Sawaumi, Sumigawa, 2022.) We asked candidates and interviewers who experienced online interviews, open-ended questions about the points they think would affect the outcome of the interviews related to “the preparation for interviews" and “interview attitude” of the candidates. As a result, about the preparation, 6 points were extracted such as “to have an adequate outfit and hairstyle” or “to examine the reason for applying and your strengths.” About the attitude, 8 points were extracted such as “to pay attention to the way of speaking (with a smiling face, in a positive expression, clearly, etc.) and “to give the right answers to the questions.”


In this study, we showed those points extracted from the previous research to the candidates and interviewers who had online interviews, then asked them to select the articles that they think would influence the results of the interviews. The difference from the previous research was that they have to pick the top three points out of many items. As a result, only in “interview attitude,” we found the difference between the answers of candidates and interviewers. Specifically, candidates place more emphasis on “paying attention to the way of speaking” and “giving appropriate responses in the conversation.” Alternatively, interviewers focus more on “giving the right answers to the questions” and “listening attentively” compared to candidates. In this way, there seems to be a gap between what candidates and interviewers focus on.  In the future, taking this gap into account, we will provide online interview training to candidates and will examine whether candidates have a better assessment in the actual interviews.


As I mentioned earlier, this conference was held online following last year. It was helpful for participants to have a part of the symposium broadcast on YouTube for a limited audience. Incidentally, the typhoon No.14 was approaching the Kinki Region where Ritsumeikan University, the designated venue if it had been held in person, is located. Because it was held online, participants could avoid the problems of not being able to go to or leave the venue.


However, unfortunately there were hardly any comments on every presentation. We didn’t receive any feedback either. Nevertheless, I am pleased to have presented the results of our research as CRET, since all presentation papers will be published online.


I want to continue my study with researchers Sawaumi and Sumigawa, hoping that we will be able to have face-to-face meetings in the next year.


(Tsutomu Inagaki, CRET Researcher)


Tsutomu Inagaki (Fujii)

CRET Researcher / Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies


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