As the client relationship manager for a video interviewing provider, I have spoken with many candidates over the years prior to their interviews. Most candidates are un-fazed they have been asked by one of our customers to complete a video interview, however a few cannot hide their anxiety and some openly state how nervous they are. Candidates who are camera shy or technologically unsophisticated prefer phone screens or face-to-face interviews versus logging into a website or conducting an interview using a mobile app on their phone. Many, unfamiliar with video interviewing technology, question the point of it.
Quickly I will explain for job candidates reading this why video interviews have gained in popularity. Recruiters and HR personnel are pressed for time. Scheduling a phone screen takes much longer than inviting a candidate to complete a video interview. Conducting a phone screen obviously takes longer as well. If a recruiter has five phone screens scheduled in a day and commits twenty minutes of their time per screen, they have invested more than an hour and a half. This time is not consumed when candidates complete a virtual interview. At the completion of the phone screens the recruiter must adequately present to a hiring manager the notes taken during your phone screen and sufficiently compare them with the responses given by other candidates. This task is more easily accomplished with recorded video interviews. Overall, video interviewing saves a tremendous amount of time and effort but also provides you, the candidate, an opportunity to show off your personality and charisma.
Saving time for recruiters also means that they can screen more candidates. Your chances of being seen are higher if the recruiter is using video interviews to screen candidates.
Despite the benefits to you and employers, concerns still pop up here and there. Here are a few of the common fears.
Video interviewing is difficult: Those who would rather pick up a phone than turn on a computer may worry they are not tech savvy enough to even start the interview. Not to worry. Most providers have a simple process in place that will test your camera and microphone to ensure they are working backed up by technical support teams that can walk you through it if you get stuck. Beyond the setup process, your video interview is simple. Your questions will appear on the screen, you will read them and then provide your responses into the camera. Upon completion the recruiter or hiring manager will be notified. Also, you can complete the interview day or night at a time convenient to you.
Your interview will be shared on social networks: Most providers store your interview on a secure server. Downloads to a local machine by the hiring company are not permitted. Therefore your interview will not appear on YouTube.
Your phone or tablet is a poor device to use: Many candidates who own perfectly good smart devices are hesitant to use them for a video interview. Truth be told, candidates who use the mobile app often run into less technical problems with their cameras and microphones than those using a pc or laptop. Additionally, the camera built into a phone or tablet provides greater quality than a webcam and the touch screen interface with the app is often easier to navigate for less savvy users.
You worry you look terrible: If you have been invited to take a video interview, you have time to prepare yourself and your background. You are conducting this interview on your turf in your comfort zone. Take advantage of that! Relax, smile and provide the interviewer with the enthusiasm you can’t show over the phone.
Remember, video interviews are not trying to take anything from you, they are trying to give something to you; time, convenience and an opportunity to put your best foot forward.
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 transgressions 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.