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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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 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.
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 time 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.
Looking for a new job can be a daunting, draining, soul crushing experience. However if you establish realistic expectations you can approach the rejection and struggle philosophically rather than personally and hopefully not succumb to depression.
Please consider the following before you start pounding the pavement so that you don’t start pounding your head against it.
You might suffer through a long application process – So you’ve just found a great job online you feel is perfect for you? You apply and find that you’ve entered an arduous process that little helps your job seeking fatigue. Fifty-four percent of HR professionals report that their organization’s application process takes over 20 minutes to complete! Keep in mind that on average every online job posting receives about 200 resumes. Before you enter into 20 minutes of online hell and compete with 200 other blokes, ask yourself, “Do I really want this job?” and “Am I really qualified for this job?” If you can’t answer “yes” to either of those, then don’t waste your time.
You probably won’t find a job online – The majority of open positions aren’t advertised online and according to a 2014 survey by CareerXroads, only 15 percent of jobs were filled through job boards. Most candidates are sourced from within or from referrals. Networking therefore may be a better use of your time.
You probably won’t hear back from the employer – A Careerbuilder survey suggests that three-fourths of job candidates never hear back from the employer after applying or they receive no more than an automated response after hitting “submit”. Yes, though this lack of employer action may be unprofessional, you should not take it personally. If you are holding your breath with crossed fingers and refreshing your inbox repeatedly, you will be disappointed if not frustrated.
You weren’t rejected because of who you are – Automated systems often filter out about 75% of the candidates who apply through them and much of this rejection is based solely on the lack of keywords in your resume. If a company shows no interest in your online application, don’t take it personally. Chances are a human never saw your resume to begin with and even if they did, they spent on average only six seconds getting to know it.
You may not have been rejected for lack of skill – You may have all the skills in the world but today, as unfair as this sounds, cultural fit is given more consideration during the hiring process. A study of 500 organizations found that 82% felt cultural fit was an important measure in the hiring process while seventy-five percent of respondents believed cultural fit was a good predictor of success. Understand though that fit is a two-way street. If they don’t feel you are a fit for them, they may not be a fit for you either. Learning that up front is perhaps best for your career.
Hiring managers barely look at your resume – Hiring managers and recruiters look at your resume, as mentioned above, for a mere six seconds. During that time they only look at your name, current position, previous position and education. Make sure your resume is formatted in such a way that this information can be accessed quickly to best maximize the time they spend on you.
You may be requested to take a video interview – Dozens of video interviewing providers now litter the hiring landscape as employers seek to hire more efficiently and effectively. If you are invited to take a video interview, do not panic and certainly do not feel slighted you weren’t immediately invited into the office. You have been invited because your resume interests them. You have passed the skills audition and the video interview is your chance to let your personality shine. Read, “4 Reasons Why Job Candidates Should be All Over Video Interviewing.”
A job search is more a marathon than a sprint. Understand these six points and you just may have the endurance to make it to the finish line.
Here is a list of commonly asked phone screen questions designed to reveal your job candidates’ goals, strengths and potential fit for your organization.
- 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?
The advantage of the exit interview for departing employees is that you can learn so much more about the current state of morale at your company than from present employees who are too fearful to vocalize their criticisms. True, ex-employees who are disgruntled may be overzealous with negative feedback, but overall exit interviews can provide valuable input. Continue reading “If Exit Interviews Are So Important, Why Not On Video?” »
“Ugh, I’ve been invited to complete a video interview,” whined the job candidate.
As a recruiter or HR professional have you been putting off or ignoring video interviewing? As a job candidate, does your stomach twist and turn when you’re invited to complete a video interview? Relax, here are a few things you may be worrying over needlessly and why you should not. Continue reading “Video Interviewing: 8 Unwarranted Concerns” »
I have reviewed thousands, if not tens of thousands of video interviews, and in addition I have helped numerous job candidates setup or prepare for their interviews. Here are the top five candidate blunders I have encountered. Continue reading “Video Interviewing: Naked Candidates and 4 More Epic Candidate Blunders” »
“How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year?”
“Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?”
“How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?”
“If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?”
“A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?” (Huh?)
These questions are not asked by mom and pops organizations but by major hedge funds, retailers and internet giants. A couple of the questions above have since been banned by the company that asked them as they were deemed ridiculous and useless. Continue reading “Weird Interview Questions: Why Are They Asked & How Should You Ask Them?” »