7 Tips for Managing High Applicant Volume with Video Interviewing

March 12th, 2018
Jon-Mark Sabel
Video Interviewing

High volume recruiting is uniquely challenging. 

On one hand, you’ve got a high number of qualified applicants. Other departments and organizations (tech, healthcare, etc) would love to have that problem.

On the other hand, the roles you’re hiring for at high volume are the same roles your competitors are.

The problem faced by most high volume recruiting departments is one of speed. Since you don’t know how far along your candidates are in any of your competitors’ hiring processes, quick, accurate evaluations are essential.

Why Video Interviews Work at High Volume

It might seem counterintuitive that watching recorded video interviews takes less time than, say, screening resumes or CVs.

The reason we see such drastic drops in time to hire (often between 50% and 90%) is because the video interview isn’t just replacing a CV screen, phone screen, or group interview. It’s replacing all of them.

These are 7 tips to fully optimize your hiring funnel for high volume video interviews.

1) Identify the Prerequisites You Actually Need

Does an applicant really need 2+ years work experience to have success in this position? Is a college degree really required? These are the sorts of questions you need to ask in order to identify the prerequisites you actually need. 

In some cases, this might just be proof of eligibility to work in your country.  

You should build your job application around these mission-critical prerequisites and cut out the fluff. Most high volume roles don’t require 10+ years work history, and your application shouldn’t either. This doesn’t just give your candidates a better experience; it opens up your hiring funnel to untapped talent pools that are conventionally screened out. 

2) Use “Must Know” Interview Questions

When building your question sets, design one or two questions to be “must know.” 

This means that if a candidate does not adequately respond to the question, they can be screened out immediately, without needing to watch the rest of their interview. 

Be careful when designing “must-know” questions. You don’t want to do away with overly-broad application screening only to replace it with overly-broad video interview screening. 

What a good “must know” question looks like depends a lot on the role you're trying to fill. For example, the airline Cathay Pacific asks certain Flight Attendant applicants - those who must be multilingual - questions in the languages they need to know. Applicants who clearly do not understand the questions can be filtered out.

Other examples of “must know” questions include “What does [company name] do?” or “How comfortable are you with frequent travel?”

See How Cathay Pacific Cut Time to Hire 90%

3) Test for Other Relevant Skills

You can use an OnDemand video interview to test specific skills. When relevant, consider evaluating:

  • Software proficiency: candidates share their computer screen and perform a specific task. Make sure candidates know they’ll be required to do this so they have the appropriate software.
  • Writing proficiency: candidates type out responses to writing prompts.
  • Language proficiency: as mentioned above, Cathay Pacific assesses language proficiency by asking candidates questions in the languages they are required to know.
  • Literary & mathematical proficiency: candidates read and answer specific reading or math prompts. This is usually done via multiple-choice test from the video interview interface.

Since candidates can speak to their responses in later questions, assessing skills from a video interview gives better insight into their performance and provides a better candidate experience. 

4) Take a Scientific Approach to Question Design

Not all interview questions are created equal. 

These question types provide more reliable insight into a candidate’s ability to perform on the job: 

  • Situational Judgment: Candidates are asked what actions they would take when confronted with a hypothetical situation.
  • Role-Play and Simulations: Candidates “act out” how they would respond to a given situation. This is a little different than a situational judgment question, in that candidates role-play what they would do, rather than describe what they would do.
  • Past Behavior: Candidates are asked to relate past experiences and on-the-job behaviors.

Situational judgment and role-play questions are a great opportunity to give candidates a realistic job preview with a video scenario. 

5) Give Candidates a Chance to be Open

Your final question should let candidates speak to anything they did not get a chance to address in previous questions. This is as simple as asking:

“Is there anything else you would like to tell us?”

Often, the skills and experience candidates think you want to hear are different than what you actually need. You’ll be surprised at the relevant skills and experiences your candidates share with this question. 

6) Watch Interviews on 2-3X Speed (or whatever works best)

Most people talk at a rate of around 125 words per minute. But we can understand up to 400 spoken words per minute. 

You can watch video interviews at any number of speeds; recruiters and hiring managers can see a large number of candidates in a small amount of time. 

7) Watch Interviews Wherever & Whenever Makes Sense

This is a well-known benefit of video interviewing, but it deserves a mention here. 

Compare how the ability to evaluate candidates anywhere compares to more conventional methods:

  • Resume/CV screen: requires ATS access, usually via desktop.
  • Phone screen: requires scheduling a time that works for both recruiters and candidates.
  • Group interview: requires scheduling a time that works for both hiring managers and candidates.

Watch video interviews wherever it's convenient; they can fit anywhere in a recruiter or hiring manager’s workflow.