How To Turn a Video Interview into a Realistic Job Preview

October 17th, 2019
Jon-Mark Sabel
Candidate Experience,
Employer Branding
Young Man at Coffee Shop


Realistic job previews are just like what they sound: a way for candidates to “preview” the job during the hiring process. They have benefits for both candidates and employers:

  • Candidates can choose not to proceed in the hiring process. Candidates typically have an idea of what a job will look like when they apply. Unfortunately, those expectations often don’t match with reality. With a realistic job preview, and insight into the broader scope of the role, candidates can choose not to continue in the hiring process, saving both the candidate and the employer time.
  • Employers get more insight into candidates. Since realistic job previews are designed to mimic a job’s actual duties, they give great insight into a candidate’s potential. This is especially true when the realistic job preview is done with a video interview.

If you’re already using on-demand video interviewing, or thinking about using it, you can design interviews as realistic job previews. Here’s how:

1) Show Candidates Realistic Job Situations with Video

Video is a great way to give candidates a realistic look at the role they’ve applied for.

You can depict the daily activities of almost any job with a video. From warehouse workers to accountants, video does a better job of showing work expectations than written instructions, clunky descriptions, or simulations.

For example:

  • For call center representative roles, you can show candidates typical, though challenging, calls that they will be expected to handle on a daily basis.
  • For retail service roles, you can show candidates the duties they’ll be expected to perform, like stocking shelves, interacting with customers, and manning the cash register.
  • For sales representative roles, you can use video to illustrate typical day-to-day challenges: making outbound sales calls, tracking leads, and common customer objections.

Of course, for each of these examples your organization might have other activities you’d like to illustrate. And that’s what makes a video-based realistic job preview so great: you can customize them to your organization’s unique needs.

The point of a realistic job preview isn’t to glorify the workplace. It’s to give candidates the opportunity to leave the hiring process if they think the job will not be a good fit for them.

Watch Keurig Dr Pepper's breakout session from HireVue Horizon to learn how they create realistic job previews with of video interviews.

2) Ask Candidates Relevant Questions About What They Just Saw

Once a candidate sees a scenario in their on-demand interview, ask them how they’d handle it. There are two different question approaches you can use here, situational judgement questions and role-play questions.

Situational Judgment Questions

In a situational judgment question, candidates are asked to explain how they will tackle a given challenge - to display their judgment in that situation (thus the name).

A classic example is: “Based on the situation you just saw, describe the steps you’d take to [solve that problem]”, where you replace “solve that problem” with whatever challenge is shown in the video.

Role-Play Questions

These are similar to situational judgment questions, but require a bit of a different approach on the part of candidates. Rather than describing the actions they will take, they act them out.

A role-play question looks like this: “Based on the situation you just saw, act out how you would [solve that problem].” 

This gives you and the hiring manager a different sort of insight into candidates’ approaches to solving problems. Situational judgment questions do a great job of digging into candidates’ thinking styles and revealing the way they understand their own problem-solving. Role-play questions are more similar to the way a candidate will actually act on the job, since they’re virtually acting out how they will perform the job duty.

The type of question that  works best depends on the job. In most cases, a mix of question types is ideal due to their complementary strengths.

3) Leverage AI to Assess Critical Competencies at Scale

HireVue Assessments can also act as a realistic job preview. Just like in a video interview, you can use video to give candidates insight into the sorts of activities they should expect on the job. And just like a video interview, candidates respond to questions that are highly relevant and designed to quantify job-critical competencies.

This means you can lean on HireVue’s AI to assess candidates’ job potential at scale, while keeping all the benefits of a realistic job preview and on-demand video interview.

Learn more about HireVue Assessments

Video-Based Realistic Job Previews: A Simple, Powerful Tool for Employers and Candidates

Realistic job previews don’t need to be an extra step for candidates. They can be part of the candidate’s initial screen. And they don’t need to be onsite interviews or virtual simulations. Building a realistic job preview into an on-demand interview (or even HireVue Assessment) combines their complementary strengths:

  • Recruiters uncover critical job skills, demonstrated through responses to job scenario-based questions.
  • Hiring managers can further validate candidates' demonstrated skills, when interviews are shared with them by a recruiter.
  • Candidates can choose not to proceed in the hiring process if they don’t like what they see.

If you’re already using video interviewing, turning interviews into job previews is a relatively straightforward process. And if you’re considering realistic job previews, consider building it out as part of an on-demand interview to get the best of both worlds.