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7 Deadly Sins of Video Interviewing

Are you ready for your video interview?  If you have not been invited to take one, chances are you soon will be.  More and more companies are integrating the technology into their hiring process at a rapid pace.  As with a phone interview or in-person interview, there are dos and don’ts but because many video interviews are automated, you the interviewee likely won’t be speaking directly to anyone therefore not all the same rules of etiquette apply.

Below are 7 hiccups that may derail your video interviewing success.

1.       Dressing inappropriately – While you may get away with wearing sweats during your phone screen, you must take better care to look your best during a video interview whether it is a live interview or one-way automated interview.  The person reviewing your interview will see you from at least the chest up so dressing professionally is important.  Please consider too that your interview may be shared with several other individuals thus increasing your exposure.

2.       Sitting in an untidy area – Be aware that the camera will be recording the room where you choose to complete the interview. Backgrounds are often overlooked during video interviews because they generally don’t come into play during a phone screen or in-person interview.  An unkempt background provides a good opportunity to leave a bad first impression. 

3.       Knowing nothing about the opportunity – Video interviews are employed to filter out unknowledgeable, dispassionate candidates prior to a face-to-face interview.  Don’t be surprised if during your video interview you are asked how you heard about the opportunity, what you know about the company or why you want the job?  Your fumbled answer may be shared with several decision makers not to mention viewed repeatedly.

4.       Cheating – Generally questions are not presented to candidates in advance.  Avoid trying to skip ahead through the interview process to get a glance at all the questions.  The technology likely won’t allow you to go back to the beginning, the interviewing platform will submit your empty responses, and the hiring manager will know what you tried to do.

5.       Skipping the instructions – Many candidates skim through the instructions and then appear lost once the interview begins, not fully understanding what is expected of them.  They appear unaware the application has begun recording and blankly stare into the camera.  They usually catch on around question three but by then the damage is done.  Others do not properly test out their camera and microphone and proceed through without one or both devices not working.  This results in an interview without audio, video or both!

6.       Rambling – Candidates may be provided 90 seconds or more to provide their response but often continue speaking even after they have provided a brief but sufficient answer.  Why?  Because they feel it behooves them to fill the remainder of their time.  Be succinct and to the point!

7.       Waiting until the last minute – You’ve been given five days to complete the video interview but wait until 11:30 p.m. on the last day to begin.   Unfortunately if your webcam isn’t responding, your computer has crashed or your internet is down you may miss your chance.  And can you believe it, tech support isn’t answering the phone at mid-night?  Don’t procrastinate!  Get it done!

Granted, these seven deadly sins have nothing on Kevin Spacey’s and if violated you won’t lose your head, but you may lose the job!

Video Interviewing: What To Expect As a User.

You have heard all about video interviewing and its potential benefits to your hiring process. You may have read blog posts and reviewed the websites of several vendors trying to get a better sense of what to expect but still are a bit confused.  Here is where I break it down for you.

Users/Administrators:

As a user of a video interviewing product you will be given access to a portal from where you can access a number of functionalities.  Within most vendor portals you should be able to do the following: web-cam-796227_640

  • Access candidate interviews.
  • Invite candidates to take live or automated interviews.
  • Create custom questions which your candidates will answer.
  • Share completed candidate interviews with colleagues or clients.

Eighty percent of your portal usage will either be in setting up candidates or in reviewing and sharing candidate interviews. Video interviewing vendors will each offer their own bells and whistles but the majority, if not all, will offer the basic functionality listed above. Other common features are scoring candidates and the ability to compare interviews of a set of candidates side-by-side.

Inviting candidates to complete a video interview generally takes less than a minute.  When you share a completed interview with a colleague or client, they will receive a link to that candidate’s interview.  In most cases, videos cannot be downloaded and stored locally.  They are hosted in a secure environment on your vendor’s servers.

Vendors are required by U.S. law to store your video interviews for a period of up to one year (and 2 years in California).  Even if you cancel your subscription, those interviews should still be available to you.

Job candidates:

Job candidates for the most part will receive an email invitation from you to complete a video interview. You may set the expiration date by which it must be completed.  Candidates may log in on a computer or on a compatible mobile device.  Most vendors provide apps with versions for Android and iOS devices (ipads/iphones).

After logging in, your job candidates will be provided with basic instructions and then will be taken through a brief process that tests your candidate’s camera, speakers and microphone to ensure they are working properly.

Once your candidate begins the interview, the questions generally will appear one at a time on the screen and your candidates will have one chance to answer them before moving to the next question.  The length of time your candidates have to respond will depend on the parameters you established when you first setup the interview.  Response time may vary from sixty seconds to an unlimited amount.  Some vendors provide options that allow candidates to re-answer the question.  Once a candidate completes the interview they can log out.

If a candidate is taking part in a live interview with you, they will log in and meet with you online through your vendor’s interface.  Once you have concluded asking questions, you and the candidate may exit the interview.  Some providers offer the option to record or not record the live interview.

If you have any further questions please ask us.  Hire-Intelligence has been a pioneer in the world of video interviewing.  We are happy to assist you with your needs.

Cheating College Applicants Trumped by Video!

Cheating and fraud is pervasive today and no culture or industry is off limits. Many individuals’ desire to get ahead or at least get even, overwhelms their moral compass and so little white lies are told or minor beauty-718825_640transgressions are committed.  Last week for example I wrote about job candidates who misrepresent their abilities during phone interviews by looking up the answers to the questions that the interviewer poses.  Research also shows that more than half of hiring managers have caught lies on a job candidate’s resume.  Recent news now indicates that fraud in the college application process, particularly among international applicants, is growing.

By far the largest number of international students arrive from China.  Their ranks in the U.S. college system have grown to 300,000, far more than the 67,000+ enrolled a decade ago. A U.S. college education is very attractive to Chinese students and employers because with it comes the promise of English-language fluency. Lack of English skills is why the fraud begins. Compared to China, the U.S. college application process is far more complicated and non-English speaking families engage the assistance of third party consultants to complete the process and ensure their child’s application is on par with those of America students.

How deep goes the fraud? One Chinese student paid three consultants who wrote her personal essay and created the teacher recommendation letters for her. In her words, “I did feel slightly guilty but all my friends did the same thing.” Unfortunately most of these students are unaware that their applications could be considered fraudulent and result in expulsion. Their consultants often fail to disclose that little disclaimer. Additionally the students fail to consider that misrepresentation of themselves hurts their chances of finding a campus that truly suits them.  As Timothy Brunold, the University of Southern California’s Dean of Admission suggested, “They [admissions consultants] are attempting to game our system and subvert our attempts to select students who present the best fit for our institution.”

An estimated 8,000 students have been expelled since 2013 for poor grades, academic dishonesty or having others take their English-language proficiency test for them.  What many students don’t understand is that once they set foot on campus they are required to take an additional English-language test and if any part of it is failed, the students’ graduation will be delayed in order to accommodate extra language classes.

How are U.S. colleges starting to combat this level of fraud which comes from many countries, not just China? With video interviews.  Viewing a student applicant’s recorded video allows schools to better assess a student’s English speaking ability in addition to getting a feel for the candidate’s personality.  “If you believe in all the fraudulent claims, and there certainly has been some documentation out there, then the one true equalizer is getting an unscripted interview with a limited English speaker. That will put anyone’s mind to rest,” remarks Kregg Strehorn, an assistant provost at UMass.

In much the same way that video interviews help you identify candidates who may be misrepresenting their abilities on paper or during a phone interview, video reveals college applicants fluency in English. Unless applicants are desperate enough to hire an English speaking imposter, video will uncover a student’s true colors.

Video Interviewing: Let’s Get Technical

Blog posts preparing you for your video interview are popping up online more and more often now that the technology has gained greater acceptance among recruiters and hiring managers who wish to improveWeb Cam their hiring processes.  As a job candidate preparing for an interview, tips offered to improve the way you appear and sound are valuable but what about the technological challenges for which you should also be prepared?  If you aren’t just new to video interviewing but to the Internet and computers in general, here are a few things you should know.

What browser are you using?  Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari are examples of browsers so if you surf the web at all then odds are you are using one of these four.  If you have technical issues and need to call a support line, you will need to know which of these you are using.  Most will work fine with a video interview but if your browser isn’t up to date then you could have a problem.  Most video interviewing systems use Adobe Flash Player to facilitate the video interview.  If your interview won’t work because of a Flash incompatibility error, I recommend downloading Google Chrome since Flash is built into that browser. Continue reading “Video Interviewing: Let’s Get Technical” »

Video Interviewing: 2014 in Review

As 2014 winds to a close I want to review the notable events that occurred in the world of video interviewing.  The events below paint a picture of video interviewing’s growing popularity and increasing adoption in the hiring process.

More and more video interviewing providers have appeared.  Though many Word Cloud - video interviewlaunched prior to 2014, many in the past year have been more capable, partly due to funding, of announcing their presence.  Five years ago perhaps a half dozen players in the space could be identified.  Today, even with the increased number of vendors, the market has barely been tapped.  In 2015 more vendors may appear on the landscape while more established providers will continue to grow. Continue reading “Video Interviewing: 2014 in Review” »

5 Real Life Instances When Video Interviewing Saved the Day

Most of the positive social chatter about video interviewing comes from the video interviewing vendors while most of the negative chatter comes from those who don’t want to change their hiring process.  As someone who has worked closely with video interviewing on both the development and recruiter side, I’m going to give you 5 real life instances of how video interviewing helped save someone in the hiring process. Continue reading “5 Real Life Instances When Video Interviewing Saved the Day” »

Video Interviewing: 50 Years Have Passed and You Still Don’t Use It.

Nixon-Kennedy debateVideo Interviewing usage continues to increase but still one could easily argue that we haven’t yet entered the early majority phase of adoption.  Still though, all of us have at one time used video to make a hiring decision and probably didn’t even realize it.  Every four years when we select the President we use video interviewing.  No of course we don’t sit and chat with the candidates over Skype or use a fee-based video interviewing service. We do however essentially watch the presidential hopefuls on video being interviewed and we as a nation collaborate on which candidate is best for the job.

In 1960, 70 million Americans watched the first televised Presidential debate.  Each one of those seventy million with the right to vote essentially had the role of hiring manager as they evaluated the candidates for the position of U.S. Commander in Chief.  Nearly fifty-four years later, companies have the option to replicate this process and gain many of the same advantages secured by the televised debates.  As I discuss these advantages below I wonder why a hiring process fit for a U.S. president hasn’t gained universal adoption more than a half century later.

Finally we can see the candidates! – After the debates concluded the media outlets at the time commented more on how the candidates appeared than how they answered.  Of course they did and why not?  So much of our determinations on whether a candidate can or cannot be successful are based on appearance and body language.  We know recent research suggests that viewing a candidate on video can help determine their likely success on the job.  Honestly would you want to hire the president based only on a voice recording you heard of him?  This is why many organizations today are foregoing the traditional phone screen in favor of a more revealing video interview.

Finally we can compare candidates! – “Sennator Kennedy, how do you feel about those darn Russkies in the Kremlin?”  “Vice President Nixon, same question.”  Of course this question wasn’t asked but you get the point.  How did candidate “K” and candidate “N” respond?  Did they have enthusiasm, poise, confidence, all the attributes I want to see in a candidate?  If you are a hiring manager and have chosen two resumes how do you efficiently and affordably ask the same question of both candidates and later compare their responses to one another?  With video of course.

Finally we can collaborate on candidates! – Perhaps the biggest benefit of the televised debate was that the country now had the means to collaborate with one another in a way that radio and newspapers could not allow them.  Clips of the televised event could be replayed for viewers and reanalyzed so that a more thorough evaluation could be conducted.  So even if you were unable to view the broadcast due to a scheduling issue, you could still watch the replay.  Of course today with the internet one can watch a recorded video interview online any time of day that is convenient for them.  Think now about the power that video interviewing affords you especially if you are part of a decision making team.  With video you can comment and collaborate on video interviews at your convenience.

Do you know how much hosting a Presidential debate costs?  The minimum commitment for a university is at least $1.5M but generally runs closer to $5M.  For the mere price of a nice dinner you could review four job candidates with video interviewing and still have all the benefits fit for deciding how to choose the next President.  Honestly, why has your company taken over half a century to adopt this practice?

Video Interviewing: Will It Kill the Face to Face Interview?

Imagine a scenario where a recently graduated college student in search of employment Explosion1begins applying here and there hoping to land a job interview.  After several months of no success, she decides to set up and complete an automated video interview and send it in to employers in whom she is interested.  A hiring manager receives the email, watches the three minute interview online and makes a job offer without even bringing the young woman in for a face-to-face.

As astounding as this may sound the scenario above did indeed occur.  Is this one of those “canary in a coal mine” kind of signs that video interviews will end up replacing face-to-face interviews?

According to a 2012 study by Office Team, a division of staffing company, Robert Half, six out of ten HR managers interviewed said their company often used video interviews during the hiring process.  As this survey is a year and a half old, this number probably has increased since then.

Why are so many organizations turning to video interviewing?  Because it is more revealing and saves time during the hiring process.  Why is a revealing interview so important?

  • Recent research suggests that viewing a candidate’s video interview can help you predict a job candidate’s likely on the job success.
  • A three year study by Leadership IQ shows that 46% of employees fail within the first eighteen months on the job and of those who fail, 89% fail for attitudinal reasons.  Video interviews can help discern attitude.
  • According to a survey by Careerbuilder, 49% of hiring managers say they know within the first five minutes of meeting a candidate whether they are a good fit for their organization.  Yet courtesy dictates that they continue spending valuable time interviewing them.  Video interviews will virtually eliminate these interview mistakes.
  • A 2013 study by the Aberdeen group shows that video interviewing decreases time to hire and the costs associated with it not to mention it increases hiring manager satisfaction.

So will video kill the face-to-face interview?  No.  On the contrary the video interview will serve to enhance and strengthen the in person interview.

In fact, the greatest advantage of using video to screen candidates is that video will help you find the best candidates while avoiding the “false positives”, those applicants who only look good on paper.  Even better, you’ll discover the hidden gems, the “false negatives” who often get cut during the resume screening.

And video interviewing brings other benefits to the face-to-face interview.   Allowing job candidates to answer basic interview questions via automated video interviewing prior to the face to face interview enables hiring managers to more effectively use their time to ask more probing follow-up questions related to the candidate’s responses first seen on video.  This enables the hiring manager to focus more intently on the candidate during the interview.

Additionally if the candidate is brought in after a video interview has been conducted they now understand that interest in them is more significant than if their resume alone had been screened.  As a result they are more likely to prepare and research the position for which they are interviewing which contributes to a more effective interview.

No, video interviewing won’t replace the face to face any time soon but we may actually see fewer face-to-face interviews being conducted as the candidates being interviewed get better and better.