Wondering what this technology is all about? Undercover Grad Recruiter is here to de-mystify. Video Interviews are a relatively new thing and only some companies are using this style of interviewing. To make is simple, it’s an online interview you undertake on your computer or device, whether it be video or voice recorded, either live in real time or recorded by you and then watched/ listened to by the recruiter. You will typically be asked to undertake the interview early in the recruitment process, often coupled with or straight after an application form and before testing. Otherwise, you may receive it in place of a phone interview which happens about half way through the process. There are usually between 1-5 questions which will be presented to you.
The questions are typically behavioural or motivational based and are chosen by the recruiter in line with the competencies and corporate values of the company which you are applying for. (Refer to UC Grad Recruiter blog Undercover grad recruiter- Have you mastered STAR? for tips on these type of questions).
Alright, so let’s talk about what to do when you receive this interview request:
First, you will receive the link to the interview via email from the company to an external provider, a few of these providers are called Sonru, Montage or Vieple. Ensure when you are applying for graduate programs, you check your emails daily, especially your spam. Make sure your email address is professional and not ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or ‘email@example.com’, trust us we have seen some crazy embarrassing ones before & yes it leaves an impression.
Once received you will be asked to log in and create a profile and then it’s time to start. Before we go ahead however, don’t forget our motto of PREPARE, PRACTICE & PREPARE some more. You CANNOT jump straight into a video interviewing without preparing, knowing what you plan to say, having examples ready and finally that you feel ready enough to undertake it. We will 100% state that you should not undertake this stage if you are not ready.
Below are facts, tips and insights from us as recruiters and graduate managers about video interviewing. Read the below and then prior to any video interview you have to do, come back to this and review again as just the smallest tip may help you get through.
- You will usually have 24- 48 hours from time of email sent to complete the interview, once this time is up, your link will expire and you cannot undertake the assessment. Some companies are flexible and will re-send the link, some aren’t and therefore you have missed your opportunity simply because you weren’t diligent and quick to act. Prioritise every stage of the process and don’t use excuses like “I’m busy with an assignment, or I have work” because everyone else does as well, so if your fellow students manage to, so should you! Prioritise what’s the most important to you and your future.
- Most companies ask you to complete a short introduction after you register. This is the chance for us to get to see the real you, your personality, what drives you. It’s a quick and insightful opportunity for us to get to warm to you and feel like we know you a little before we hear your answers. A great introduction will get your recruiter in a relaxed and prepared mood, a poor one with no effort and ill-prepared will certainly alert the recruiter they may be about to see/ hear some very average answers- don’t let an introduction set you up poorly!
- Be creative, some providers allow you to attach presentations, ‘write’ on the virtual screen, edit settings to show colours and pictures, however companies are not going to instruct you to do this, this will be entirely up to you to figure out yourself. Two of the top ones we have seen in an introduction section is when a student attached a go-pro, recorded a ‘minute’ in their life and spoke to it so we could see what they were passionate about. The 2nd student ‘wrote’ on the virtual screen with diagrams and images about their career path, what drove them and closed with how the company they applied for would get them there. Needless to say the rest of their answers were well constructed, logical and excellent. Both students clearly prepared and put effort into their interview.
- Some companies will allow you to re-record your answersanywhere from 1 to unlimited times. Some may not, and you will only get 1 timed chance at answering each question. Each has pros and cons, but it’s simply worth knowing. Often when you get the chance to re-record, you end up doing too many tries and once you decide to try again, the last one is automatically lost, so we recommend to re-record no more than 3-4 times before you submit your answer.
- Just because you are doing this in the privacy of your own home or similar, you MUST not forget to act professionally as if you were in a face to face interview. The amount of times we have seen people dress in track suits looking unkempt, phones ringing and people in the background is such a poor reflection on a potentially really outstanding interview.
Therefore ensure you check:
- Ensure you have passion and tone in your voice- let them hear why you want to work for the company not only through your words but through the excitement in your voice. Ask your friends/ family about how you sound and put some effort into adding change of pitch into your voice and your answers if required. Trust us, it makes a BIG difference.
- Ensure you are wearing business attire and present professionally.
- Lighting- if you are in dark room with the blinds closed, it can often be extremely hard to see you. Ensure you are in a well lit room with no glare on the screen, no mood lighting either please.
- Ensure you maintain eye contact similar to a face to face interview. Look at the recording device directly and not at the roof, at your notes, at your reflection in the screen or elsewhere too frequently.
- Ensure you are in a quiet, private place where your phone is off and your parents won’t come in and disturb you half way through an interview. It’s a good idea to tell anyone in the house or around you not to interrupt until you are complete.
- Speak loud, clearly, slowly and be concise. Many a time those who speak softly are so hard to hear and sometimes people have been asked to re-do their interview because it’s impossible to hear the answers. Ensure you test the volume play back feature at the very start, record a practice sentence and ensure you can hear yourself clearly before you start recording. Also ensure you have not recorded the whole interview on mute! This has happened more times than we can count and the poor student has to do their whole interview again.
- We understand that you may want to have notes in front of you, but don’t fall for that trap! It’s like an open book test, it often hinders more than it helps you. UCGR recommends to have some key hint words or short phrases if you really feel you want to have notes. Don’t look down and read off your notes for extended periods- this is really obvious. The other option you have is some providers have an on screen note panel on the side or top of the page, if you have this function, write your notes into the system so you can use it easily and efficiently during the interview. These notes will never be seen by the recruiter and is for your use only.
- Let us see your persona, passion and why we should hire you. In a video interview this is much easier than voice recorded only, but do ensure you keep this front of mind and plan exactly how you are going to do this and what you can say to help you. When recruiters feel they can see your personality, understand your passions and realise they have got to know you a little more in every stage, that goes a long way to helping you be successful in the process. This goes for every stage in every process, so please don’t forget it.
- Ensure you answer any behavioural questions using the full STAR methodology as mentioned earlier in the blog Undercover grad recruiter- Have you mastered STAR?. As there is no one on the other side of the line to probe you, if for example you do not provide the Results section in as much depth as required or at all, you will not get a strong score. That is why practice is essential for this stage, to ensure you don’t leave anything out that you wanted to say.
- Once you submit, the company will receive your answers and assess you based on your answers. There are many different ways it can be scored. It could be a 1-5 metrics ratings, below average- excellent rating etc. As mentioned earlier, the scoring methodology will be based on if you meet the competencies they have set out to measure you against ie: customer service, leadership potential or technical knowledge so it will be a good idea to keep note of what different companies are asking for on their website and also what they ask you on their application form. This can give you a good insight into potential competencies. An answer is scored on more than just what you have said, it’s also on how you have presented.
The final part to this blog is to let you know the pros and cons for you with this technology integrated into recruitment practices.
- You can do your interview in your own time 24/7 around your existing schedule.
- It’s less stressful as there isn’t a real person in front of you or on the other side of the phone, so those who don’t deal well with nerves this is a real advantage for you.
- Often, you have the chance to re-record your answers from 1 to multiple times, so you can pick the answer you prefer the most. (Note some companies do only allow 1 recording).
- You have plenty of notice and time to practice prior.
- Often, people forget that you have to treat this as a formal interview, you must dress like you are going for an interview, speak clearly and be effective… these are the top reasons why people get made unsuccessful within the first minute of their interview being watched.
- As there is no one asking you questions on the other side of the interview, often people do not answer the question in full and omit key aspects of an answer. Therefore ensure you prepare and practice your answers.
- People don’t prepare their examples and often end up submitting something that isn’t of as a high a quality that if it were a face to face interview.
- It is easier for a recruiter to compare you to another candidate as recruiters can re-play your answers as many times and won’t forget anything. This is GREAT for recruiters, but for you it means you must take into consideration everything we have covered off in this blog.
UC Grad Recruiter.