Digital Interviews Are Here to Stay: An Interview with Paul Bailo

Today is an exciting day at the RIVS headquarters. Not only is the sun shining in an otherwise freezing Chicago, but we’ve also had the opportunity to chat with a true leader in the digital interview landscape.

Paul Bailo, CEO of Phone Interview Pro, not only granted us early access to his latest book, The Essential Digital Interview HandbookLights, Camera, Interview, but he also spoke with us at length about the importance of embracing technology as it applies to the interview process.

What inspired you to write this book?

There’s no greater gift in the world than to help others to be successful. My overall goal was to help others to perform well on their digital job interviews, global digital meetings, and executive conferences.

Also, I have been thinking about digital communication for quite some time and my background as a digital marketing-technology executive gave me a solid foundation on the subject. I just had to convince my book agent and publisher, Career Press, to “see what I see,” – that is, a massive market of people not leveraging the power of digital communication to make them successful.

What benefits do you think digital interviewing provides?

To name a few, they are:

  • Cheaper
  • Faster
  • Require no travel
  • Allow you to gain a face-to-face experience without actually being there
  • Very convenient

Why do you think this area hasn’t been addressed before?

I am still asking myself the same question. I was truly shocked when I started to research on this subject of digital communication. There hasn’t been a single book on this subject until right now.

I know it sounds crazy but my marketing senses were on high alert as I discovered this untapped market (even though it was right in front of millions of people). At first, no one believed me that everyone missed the chance to write about digital communication. I wasn’t necessarily shocked about this  – it was just a re-run of the experience I had with discovering the untapped market for phone interviewing which lead me to research and write my first book, The Essential Phone Interview Handbook.

Why do you think it’s important to embrace new technology?

I think it is important for people who want to be more efficient and effective in the world of digital communication. People need to truly embrace this new technology not for technology sake, but to increase efficiency, reduce cost, build great relationships and save money on T&E.

Digital communication is here to stay and stay in a big way! The dollars are on the digital side.  Since 2011, the use of video interviewing has risen 49% and data shows that 6 in 10 HR managers use video to interview candidates (as per

What would you say to people reluctant to embrace video interviewing?

Fear not! Have fun with digital communication. Get excited about what you can do using digital communication: land a new job, make a high quality recruiting videos, sell products and services, conduct global meetings – the list goes on and on and on.

What advice would you offer someone who is getting ready to take a video interview?

Some key items I cover in the book and that I believe people should be aware of are as follows:


Software is your friend. The heart of your operation for your personalized digital interviewing studio lies in the software. Know how to use!


“Can you hear me now?”

“Testing, testing, one-two-three.”

This is exactly what you do not want to happen during your digital interview. You need to sound as great as you look.


Let there be light! And the right kind of light! Soft natural lighting is the way to go. For example, three lights (two lights on to your right, one to your left) can create a wonderful and inviting environment.

Get the Right Angle

It is extremely important that you understand the correct position of the camera and the best angle shot. This is critical to performing well in a world-class digital interview. Your camera angle needs to be at eye level. Not high, not low, but eye level.

Don’t Be A Diva

Hollywood is filled with actors and actresses who think they are bigger than they really are. Don’t be a diva during your digital interviews. Employers do not want to hire people who think they are better than everyone else, especially if the interviewer is the person who is going to be your boss.

No Bling

Costume design is an important part of any motion picture production. It communicates essential character traits. Likewise, you need to have a well-assembled “costume” that includes jewelry. Nice, sharp, professional looking jewelry. Not jewelry that will be sparkly like a disco ball and become a distraction.

No Skin

Show skills, not skin. This is not a day at the beach. Showing too much skin on a digital interview will not help your chances obtaining a rewarding position or having a productive global digital meeting. Showing too much skin can be a distraction.

Don’t get cancelled

Be interesting and engage in productive conversation. The first 5 seconds will make or break your digital interview. It is those few seconds, when the hiring manager sees you and you see the hiring manager, that the digital chemistry is created.

For more of Paul Bailo’s tips and tricks for successful video interviews, pick up a copy of The Essential Digital Interview HandbookLights, Camera, Interview, available for pre-order now.