THE GAME IS ON! Five Steps to Acing the Video Interview, plus the Latest Challenge – HireVue
In today’s competitive job market, employers are continually trying to find ways to shorten the time between posting a job opening and hiring the desired candidate. They use Applicant Tracking Systems to sift through resumes; they use a variety of tests to objectively determine skill levels; and, with increasing frequency, they use video interviewing to observe communication and presentation abilities.
According to an article from Talent Now, in a survey of 506 companies, 47% said they use video interviewing to shorten the time it takes to make a hire. The video interview is especially attractive to companies trying to decide whether to bring a candidate in for a face-to-face interview who lives in a distant state.
How to optimize performance during a video interview.
Here are five tips:
- Pick a location with a neutral background. You don’t want your personal movie set to be cluttered, unprofessional, controversial, or weird. Bookshelves often make a good background, unless the book titles indicate an unsavory predilection. Also, avoid that plant or wall sconce that appears to be growing out of your head.
- Good lighting is crucial. Make sure your face is well lit with natural or soft lighting that doesn’t cast bizarre shadows. Backlighting will erase your features completely.
- Adjust the height of your computer so that the camera is at your eye level or slightly higher. Looking up at the camera somewhat as you answer questions will cause you to raise your eyebrows, minimize a saggy neck, and give you a look of eagerness that is very appealing.
- My favorite tip: cut out a picture of a smiling face from a magazine and tape it next to your computer’s camera (not OVER the camera). Direct your gaze and your answers to that face.
- Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview; it will help you feel more confident. Down to your toes, no pajama bottoms.
- BONUS TIP: Need reminders of points you want to make or keywords you want to include in your responses? Put them on post-it notes around the periphery of your screen. You can see them, but the interviewer cannot.
After all that, have a practice interview with a friend on Zoom, Facetime, or Skype. Have your friend ask you interview questions and you practice answering. Ask your friend to evaluate your background, lighting, microphone sound level, eye contact, confidence, poise, and your answers.
Now, on to a new video interview platform that is gaining traction globally—HireVue
HireVue is a video interview software that enables employers to screen large numbers of applicants through a combination of mobile games (3-5 minutes each), video responses to questions posted on the screen, and an analysis of the applicant’s face (smile, eyebrows raised, an upbeat, positive countenance).
Questions appear on the screen; the applicant has 30 seconds to think and three minutes to answer. The applicant can review the answer and have unlimited do-overs before hitting Submit.
Game-based assessments were added to HireVue’s video interviews in 2018. HireVue asserts that game-based assessments are six times more predictive of job success than formal education and four times more predictive than work experience.
A new feature, Team Chat, was added recently to test leadership skills. Applicants take part in a few short conversations with fictitious co-workers (peers) shown in text on their phone. The conversations consist of a series of critical work incidents/dilemmas. Applicants choose their responses from a multiple-choice menu; the conversations unfold depending on their selected answers.
HireVue is being used by an ever-increasing number of companies around the world. Forty percent of Fortune’s Most Admired firms currently use HireVue. Most companies use HireVue to do the initial screening of hundreds of job applicants. They feel the combination of game-based assessments, facial analysis, and video interviews is a better way to evaluate and filter applicants than the resume analysis done by Applicant Tracking Systems.
The system scores
- Work with People (soft skills) – Emotional Intelligence, assessed by games and other skills that are assessed by video interviews and Team Chat
- Personality and Work Style – includes things like persistence (assessed by games) and other skills assessed during the interview process
- Work with Information – measures cognitive ability and problem-solving, assessed by games
- Technical Skills – assessed separately by job-specific tests
HireVue claims its system will decrease time-to-fill up to 90%, quality of hire up to 88%, and new hire diversity up to 55%.
The Top Five HireVue Interview Questions are:
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Tell me about a time you failed.
- Tell me about a time you had to make a very fast decision.
- What would you do if someone on your team was not pulling their weight?
- How would the weather affect financial markets?
After the candidates have gone through the various HireVue stages, with unsuccessful applicants being eliminated along the way, the final 50 (or whatever number was predetermined by the company) are passed on to the hiring company’s HR team who review the interview videos and resumes and decide whom they want to bring in for an in-person interview.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against HireVue for violation of job seekers’ privacy and livelihoods. It is particularly critical of the facial analysis component. EPIC has complained that HireVue’s results are “biased, unprovable, and not replicable.” Time will tell whether EPIC or HireVue will prevail in the courts. In the meantime, more and more companies are using this new technology. It behooves job-seekers to understand how the system works so they can work the system.
This was written by Kathy Lansford. After several years of different career paths, Kathy unexpectedly fell into something she loves to do — helping people find jobs. Kathy is an award-winning trainer, skilled in the design and presentation of seminars and workshops that have helped thousands of job seekers secure excellent career opportunities. She is the creator and facilitator of LaunchPad Job Club, Austin’s largest nonprofit networking and support group for job seekers, through which members are informed, motivated, and entertained through the job search process.