From Virtual Interview

Video Interviewing…An Abomination or Enabler?

I read recently an article on Forbes.com entitled, “A New Recruiting Abomination: One-Way Video Interviews” by Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace.  Obviously as the title suggests, she is not impressed by this growing recruiting technology.  Here are a few quotes.

“It is disheartening to me as a long-time HR person to see how badly some HR and Staffing folks damage and degrade the recruiting function by building in talent-repelling processes like one-way video interviewing.”

“The emergence of one-way video job interviews in recruiting speaks to incompetence at a high level…”

“Great candidates will not stick around to be treated like dirt — nor should they!”

“Making your job applicants sit in front of their laptops smiling at the camera and answering questions asked by a machine is the loudest possible sign that your company does not value talent in the least.”

“There is no better way to signal to talented candidates ‘You mean nothing to us’ than by assigning them to sit through an oral exam led by a piece of code…”

I’m going out on a limb to suggest that Ms. Ryan sees little if any value in one-way video interviews.  Before I begin my defense I want to make known that I work for a video interviewing vendor and as a former search consultant have used with great success one-way video interviews in the past. Here are a few experiences I would like to share where video interviews have helped candidates.

An individual applied to a position and he was rejected by the employer because his resume indicated he was in a particular age bracket. The search consultant had the candidate complete a recorded one-way interview which he then sent to the hiring manager. The candidate was brought in for an interview after the hiring manager saw the candidate’s charisma and energy level.

An unemployed college student completed a mock interview and emailed it to employers. She received an offer without even going in for a face to face interview.

A candidate working on an oil rig in the North Sea was able to get an interview with a company operating in Romania after I (sitting in Virginia) forwarded a link of the candidate’s recorded interview to the VP of HR in Romania. This happened because the video interview allowed everyone to work on their own schedule when convenient for them.

I sat in a board room with a company President and VP of HR.  On their monitor we were reviewing the video interviews of five candidates.  The fifth candidate, who had conducted his interview at 1 a.m, the only time convenient for him, so dazzled the president that the president called him on the spot and offered him a job!

As a video interviewing provider we in no way advocate using automated interviews to replace the face-to-face interview.  Rather we suggest using video interviewing as a screening measure, superior to phone screening, which allows recruiters to better evaluate candidates with a structured interviewing process that better eliminates subconscious biases which creep into unstructured live interviews.  The candidate is better served, not only because they may complete the interview at their convenience, but also their recorded interview can be evaluated repeatedly and shared with decision makers so a more informed evaluation can be given.  Candidates, especially top talent, are severely inconvenienced by a phone screening process that relies upon note taking and which provides an inadequate device to make a true apples to apples comparison between subjects.

Not too surprisingly the Aberdeen Group’s research into video interviewing shows that among best-in-class companies which employ such technology, hiring manager satisfaction has improved while time to hire and cost to fill has decreased.

In short, video interviewing was not designed to be abominable to candidates but rather to free them from inconvenience and discrimination.

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.

Interview4 Video Interviewing Reduces Customer Turnover Six Percentage Points

Calling Interview4 video interviewing “a life changer”, a large retailer finds the service not only reduces turnover, but also saves time and money by allowing the screening of more candidates in the same amount of shopping-centre-1003650_640time that used to be devoted to phone screening.  Eliminating the agony of the phone interview has resulted in happier teams and a better corporate culture.

The quality of job candidates brought in for live interviews increased markedly.  Each candidate who took a video interview could be evaluated easily in just ten to twelve minutes, putting more time into each recruiter’s day.

Before Interview4, picking candidates to be advanced in the hiring process was hotly contested because only one person actually spoke to each candidate via phone.  Everyone else just saw the written summaries of the calls.

Now, the recorded video interviews can easily be shared with team leaders, program managers, and other decision makers.  They can review, grade and comment on each candidate.Virtual video interviews are also convenient to schedule for both the employer and the candidates.

Finally, the Interview4 team got high marks for their customer focus and willingness to cater to customers’ 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.

Phone Screening: Can You See Your Candidates Cheating?!

Here is a list of commonly asked phone screen questions designed to reveal your job candidates’ goals, strengths and potential fit for your organization. road-sign-464641_640

  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are you currently earning?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your career goals?

Nothing too surprising there.  These questions while sufficient to whittle down your pool of candidates won’t trip up too many.  Seasoned job candidates will have canned responses all ready to answer those questions.  “Why should we hire you?” another commonly asked question, won’t tell you if your engineering candidate has any experience with metrology equipment or if your software programmer possesses knowledge of mobile web development. Naturally, specific job-related questions must be asked but if you can’t see the candidate, how can you tell they aren’t cheating?  How do you know the candidate is not looking up the answers?

According to a 2014 study by Careerbuilder, 58% of managers have caught a lie on a candidate’s resume with the candidate’s skill set being the most often embellished fib.  Candidates willing to lie on their resume might also be willing to pull a Pinocchio during the phone screen by searching online for the appropriate response, especially if you have asked a technical question.

Recently our company had the opportunity to screen a PHP software developer candidate who was referred to us and highly recommended.  Since the candidate lived three hours behind our time zone, we chose to set the candidate up with an automated video interview rather than phone screen the candidate at an inconvenient time after hours. We uploaded a number of PHP developer questions for the candidate to answer which would give us a feel for the extent of their knowledge.  Additionally the video would provide the hiring manager with a greater sense of the candidate’s energy level and personality.

The candidate completed the video interview overnight and in the morning we eagerly logged into the system to review this “highly recommended” candidate’s interview.  Unfortunately the candidate was stumped by the first programming question asked.  With furrowed brows we stared at the screen waiting for the candidate to say something. Several awkward seconds passed and we knew the candidate had nothing.  I momentarily felt for the candidate and then they went for their smart phone and our jaws dropped. The highly recommended candidate whose resume reflected a skill set that would surely enable them to answer our first question, tried to search for the answer online!

The candidate ended the first question without a response but the nightmare was just beginning.  Aware they were on camera and robbed of their opportunity to research the answers, the candidate proved unable to respond to several of the remaining interview questions.  A follow-up phone interview confirmed what the video already exposed.  The candidate confessed that they often Googled the necessary answer when stumped during a phone interview.

We avoided a potentially bad hire by using video.  Today’s culture in many ways encourages embellishment and in some ways, cheating.  How will you protect your organization?

5 Employer Pain Points That Video Interviewing Addresses

Recruiters, HR Professionals and Hiring Managers are all involved in the hiring process but not all share the pains of the other.  Each faces challenges in their position the other does not fully understand or appreciate.  Video interviewing offers a one size fits all solution to handle the difficulties faced by those in the hiring profession.

Pain Point #1: Scheduling Hassles – HR Professionals and recruiters both feel this pain.  Scheduling and rescheduling phone interviews with candidates can take as long as the actual phone interview.  Takingache-19005_640 just minutes to set up, automated virtual interviews allow the candidate to interview on their schedule no matter what time of day or night.  HR professionals/recruiters are free to focus on other responsibilities as a result.

Pain Point #2: Discrimination – Everyone involved in the hiring process wants to ensure their company’s hiring standards are fair and diverse but the HR professional has the greatest concern of all for this.  Video interviewing is seen by some in this role as a tool that further facilitates bias however automated interviewing’s use of a structured interview process where all candidates answer the same questions, ensures no prejudiced questions creep in.  Video interviewing is also able to screen candidates back into the process who might have unfairly been dismissed solely on the basis of their resume.  Through a recorded video interview, minorities are able to dismiss pre-conceived biases surrounding their race, gender, age and so on.  Additionally recorded video interviews provide a great record of an organization’s non-discriminatory hiring practices.

Pain Point #3: Too many candidates, so little time – Organizations receive around 120 resumes for every open job position which leaves recruiters and hiring managers little time to screen them all.  In fact, according to the Ladders.com, recruiters spend an average of only 6 seconds reviewing each resume.  Even when whittled down to a manageable number, recruiting professionals might still need to conduct a dozen phone interviews and from that the hiring manager may select up to five candidates with whom he/she will spend hours interviewing.  Video interviewing decreases time wasted on numerous phone screens and unnecessary face to face interviews.

Pain Point #4: Inadequate collaboration – Panel interviews are conducted so hiring managers may collaborate on their interest in a candidate because collaboration can’t adequately be achieved with phone screen notes.  In-person however, the panel’s time is greatly burdened especially if they determine in five minutes that the candidate is not a fit but are forced for etiquette’s sake to continue with the interview.  Some video interviewing vendors allow you to compare candidates’ video responses side by side so that a more accurate picture develops and the hiring managers can save time by targeting candidates who best fit their organization.

Pain Point #5: Shallow candidate pool – Despite the increased number of resumes per position, hiring managers continue to complain that they can’t find adequate talent. Video interviewing allows managers and recruiters to interview job candidates outside their geographic region and for less expense than phone screening.  This not only expands the candidate pool but reduces travel costs associated with flying in candidates.

If you are involved in the hiring process and a big ole Excedrin headache manifests, I suggest you pop a few video interviews instead.

Video Interviewing: 5 Candidate Red Flags Employers Need To Observe

Employers must be on the lookout for candidate red flags during a traditional face-to-face job interview but what red flags might be detected during a video interview?  Here is a list of red flags gathered from several human resources professionals.  These warning signs can also be uncovered earlier in the hiring process by way of a video interview.

Doesn’t know the company: Your video interview, whether live or virtual, should contain questions which expose the candidate’s knowledge of your company or products.  A candidate should have an red flagadequate understanding of your product/service and your company.  Via video you will be able to identify earlier in the process whether a candidate is passionate about the position or just a pretender.

Speaks ill of past colleagues: As a recruiter or hiring manager, I’m sure you love candidates who bad mouth their previous boss or colleagues.  “Why are you leaving your current job?” or “Why did you leave the job?” are questions that often reveal how a candidate feels about his past co-workers.  Candidates who express negative opinions about their previous employers are potentially demonstrating an inability to work well with others. Continue reading “Video Interviewing: 5 Candidate Red Flags Employers Need To Observe” »

Hiring: How Quickly Can You Identify Success? How Quickly Can You Demonstrate It?

As a hiring manager how quickly can you determine the potential success of your job candidates during an interview?  As a job candidate how fast can you demonstrate your potential for success?  The answer hillary clinton stylized for both parties is “pretty quickly”.  That is if you determine success with the same measuring stick American voters use.

Continue reading “Hiring: How Quickly Can You Identify Success? How Quickly Can You Demonstrate It?” »

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” »

Recruiting: Do You Have Time For The “Maybes”?

As a recruiter you probably sort your job candidates into three piles; “yes”, “no” and “maybe.”  How would you feel if one of the “maybe” candidates you dismissed as not good enough was presented and hourglass-708574_640successfully placed by one of your competitors?  You might lose sleep over it.  Well one such recruiter experienced this and in his post he explains why recruiters are reluctant to take chances on “maybe” candidates. Continue reading “Recruiting: Do You Have Time For The “Maybes”?” »