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Providing a good ‘candidate experience’ is on every respected employer’s radar, so why create unnecessary stress?

Job interviews are understandably stressful for candidates. But should the pre-screening version – ie talking to camera on video – be the same?

One-way recorded video interviews save time in the early stage recruitment process and are supposed to help an employer decide who to put through for a face-to-face interview.

Video can provide a lot more insight about a person than a text CV. Candidates can introduce themselves, showcase their soft skills – personality, how they communicate etc.

Unfortunately, most video interview systems provide exam-like conditions for users – eg candidates are given only one chance to answer ‘blind’ questions. Some employers may feel that’s fair:

That’s how it is in a face-to-face interview, isn’t it?

Well no, not really. If you want to provide a good ‘candidate experience’, it’s important to recognise the different interview environments.

Talking to camera for 2 or 3 minutes with no interaction from an interviewer does not come naturally for many, particularly if candidates are experiencing the asynchronous (one-way) video interview process for the first time.

By contrast, in a live meeting, candidates have the opportunity to engage with the interviewer. If they’re not getting a good vibe whilst talking it’s often possible to get back on track by adjusting the answer, perhaps adding further explanation to what they are trying to get across.

Then, why bother with video interviews, you ask.

There are many benefits to video interviews. They save hours in the recruitment process and are convenient for employers and candidates. But to make this innovative process work successfully, there needs to be a great user experience.

Here are just a few reasons why video interviews should be treated differently to face-to-face interviews:

  • Body language – In a live meeting interaction, non-verbal behaviour is two-way. The interviewer assesses non-verbal behaviour, but so does the interviewee. Whilst answering a question, the interviewee is usually able to gauge if the interviewer is interested or bored, and can up the tempo if necessary.
  • Understanding the question – Candidates in a live interview sometimes start their answer with a question: ‘Do you mean…’ Most of the time, it’s not due to a language barrier, but a tactical way to find out more from the interviewer what answer they are looking for. It’s also a delay tactic so that the candidate has more time to think about how he will answer the question.
  • Technophobia – As intuitive as the video interview process may be, some people will always feel uncomfortable with computers and gadgets, and their unease will show on the video.
  • Camera shy – Some people just are!
  • Disruptions – You are at home and in the middle of recording your video interview. The dog starts barking, someone walks into the room and interrupts – It happens!

So, should a video interview be rigid and exam-like? Or should there be some flexibility so that if something does go wrong during a recording, the candidate has the opportunity to re-record an answer in their video interview (rather like modifying an answer in a face-to-face interview)?

Having researched and developed Compact Interview over the last 4 years, we feel video interviews are most useful for providing quick insight on candidates and showcasing soft skills – a fairly stress-free process for candidates. Offering flexibility with our system and the opportunity for users to re-record answers if they wish, are attractive benefits to optimise the candidate experience.

It’s these small details which help to engage candidates and prevent them from ‘dropping-off’ from the interview process.

Does that mean candidates can cheat? I wouldn’t call it cheating. It depends what you want to achieve from the video interview process. If you make it too rigid, you may find that candidates will not complete the interview. This could result in good candidates being eliminated for the wrong reasons.

If video is used in the right way, it can be very beneficial in the hiring process for both candidate and employer.

As more and more candidates embrace video interviewing, it’s great to review these feedback comments which were submitted immediately after completing their online interviews:

The following are also recent feedback emails from candidates using the Compact Interview system. All are genuine and unedited:

“An easy format that makes a video interview a pleasurable (as much as it can) experience. Easy to set up, follow and complete.

Thank you
Ben”

No technical know-how required:

“Amazing innovation and simple user interface. Does not require any technical know-how to operate.

Highly commendable tool.

Cheers”

Slightly scary but…

“What a great idea. Slightly scary to start off, but with practice becomes easier. Interesting to see one’s mannerisms as one talks as well – I’ve not recorded myself before.

Thank you”

Great for candidates abroad:

“To Whom It May Concern:

First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity given. It has been my first time to record an interview and I must say it was a great experience. As I mentioned in one my answers, it is a great form of interview, especially for candidates abroad, which is my case.

I look forward to hear back from you soon, as I will be delighted to be part of (company name).

Best Regards,”

First time but would recommend again:

“I thought the video interview was very useful. It is the first time I have ever used this technique but would recommend using it again.

Many thanks”

Looking at the camera takes getting used to:

“This was a very different experience from what I am normally used to. However it was a good experience for me. One of the drawbacks which I have seen is that it is not easy to look at the camera as your eyes are naturally drawn to the screen. Otherwise from this, I think it was ok, it only needs getting used to this. Thank you.

Regards,”

If you would like to find out about Compact Interview and experience a free trial, please get in touch with us and we will be pleased to assist.

 

 

Article by Brian Westfall, Market Research Associate – Software Advice

Research shows that candidates who have done a video job interview before embrace video more than a phone interview.

More and more employers are using video interviewing software for their remote interviewing needs, which can be daunting for job candidates used to the classic phone interview. So Software Advice, a company involved in video interviewing software research and reviews, conducted a survey of nearly 400 random people who have applied to a job in the last two years to find out how they feel about interviewing for a job through video.

It seems any trepidation among potential job applicants with video job interviewing stems from them never having done one before. Those that have never done a video job interview before (46 percent of respondents), say they would prefer to do a phone interview instead of a video interview (67 percent for phone versus 19 percent for video). The rest of our respondents who have done a video interview before are the opposite, preferring video to phone (47 percent for video versus 36 percent for phone).

Remote Interviewing Preferences

This goes to show that once a candidate does a video interview, they warm up to it. But getting a candidate comfortable with their first video interview can be tricky.

When it comes to drawbacks with video interviews, respondents say the most significant ones are possible connectivity issues (27 percent), and being uncomfortable on camera (21 percent). There are a number of things that candidates can do to secure their connection, including using wired internet and closing any other bandwidth-eating programs. Some video interviewing platforms even include features for users to test their connection.

If interviewees are uncomfortable on camera, it can be hard to fix, but practice is key. For a pre-recorded interview, hiring managers could allow candidates to re-record their responses to get them right. Some systems also allow for practice runs before recording a real response.

Interviewers would also be wise to keep video interviews under an hour by saving some questions for a follow-up in-person interview. Thirty-four percent of respondents say after an hour, they would consider the video interview to be too long.

All of this knowledge is important, as a negative video interviewing experience could be detrimental to the employer. If they had a self-described negative interviewing experience, 86 percent of respondents say they would be more likely to not accept a job offer and 68 percent would be more likely to tell others not to apply.

Knowing how to create a positive video interviewing experience can help employers find their ideal candidate.

View full article from Software Advice