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Video interviewing is so widespread these days it would not be entirely incorrect to call it the norm. But despite the wide adoption of one-way video interview, materials on how to prepare for them are sparse.
Most interviewing guides are designed with one-on-one interviews in mind, and while these can provide general tips for their on-demand video counterparts, they fall short in critical areas. Here is a comprehensive guide to both one-on-one and one-way video interviews.
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A one-way video interview (also called on-demand, pre-recorded, or asynchronous interviews) is when pre-determined questions are facilitated by technology, rather than a traditional interviewer. Candidates will record answers to questions that are then submitted to a company.
One-way video interviews are often used to accelerate the hiring process, remove scheduling barriers, reduce hiring bias, and provide a more flexible interview process for candidates. By allowing interviewers and interviewees alike to participate on their own time, one-way video interviews allow more candidates the opportunity to explain why they are right for a role. This standardizes the process, so every applicant is asked the same questions, making the hiring process fairer than traditional early-stage interviews.
If you have received an invitation to take a video interview, there are several things you will need before accepting it.
You will need two things in order to take your video interview via computer:
Ensure that your microphone and webcam are setup properly prior to accepting the interview invitation. You can do this easily at www.onlinemictest.com.
Most video interviewing platforms now offer their own app. To take a video interview with your smartphone, simply download the app and input your interview code.
If you receive an email invitation to interview on-demand, you should know what to expect going in.
On-demand interviews are not like one-on-ones, they do not have a live interviewer on the other end. Typically, you can think of these as one-way video interviews. Expect to respond to on-screen prompts, either through text or pre-recorded questions, rather than questions from a live recruiter or hiring manager. There are several different methods companies use to deliver questions for one-way video interviews, so it's best to be prepared for any of the following:
Preparation is key to success for one-on-one, structured, and one-way video interviews. Know the ins and outs of the position you’re applying for, and understand where it fits into the big picture. Recognize the value it brings to the company - if you know this, it will be much easier to explain the value you bring to the position.
Dress appropriately. If you are unsure of what level of formality is expected, err on the side of caution. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Know your resume. You would be surprised at how many job candidates struggle to recall their duties in past positions, and how they are relevant to the position applied for. In the case of a video interview, you won’t be handing your resume to an interviewer, but you should still expect to answer questions related to past work experience.
Anticipate off the wall questions. Companies are using video interview technology to gauge skills and attributes they can’t with a resume. They want to see your personality and how well you can communicate and process your thoughts. Off the wall questions can give them insight into how well you can think and respond on the fly to unexpected situations. Here are a couple examples:
While these sorts of questions are not the norm, they are not unusual either - be prepared to think on your feet.
Practice speaking to your webcam. While you will be given the opportunity to practice in the interview, it may take longer for some to become accustomed to seeing themselves on camera.
While I really hope you’re not reading this while taking your interview, make sure to do these four things while taking a video interview:
HireVue aims to enable your authentic self, not squander it! Take a look at this introduction to HireVue for more help.
Interview questions can often seem like trick questions, and properly navigating them is a crucial job-hunting skill. These are the most common "trick" interview questions and how to answer them:
Of course, this list is not all-inclusive. If you're looking for more interview questions and how to answer them, check out these articles.
Five of the Most Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Tips for Answering Six Sticky Interview Questions
Many companies are turning to on campus on-demand video interviewing, and even one-way video interviewing, in order to cut travel costs and hear from as many student applicants as possible. Not least of these is Goldman Sachs, who recently turned to on campus video interviewing as a way to identify strong candidates who do not attend one of their “target schools.”
For the average student, this is good news: it allows more organizations to visit each campus, increasing job opportunities across the board. So what should you do to prepare for an on campus video interview?
Register ahead of time. While video interviewing allows a great degree of flexibility when it comes to scheduling, job fairs can be hectic. If the organization you would like to interview with offers registration for a specific timeslot, don’t hesitate to sign up. Most of the time each organization will have its own interview booth (though some will simply have an iPad).
Video interviewing on campus can be live or on-demand. While most of the same rules for on-demand interviewing apply to these, be prepared to answer specific pointed questions by a live interviewer.
It might be difficult to concentrate at a bustling, on campus job fair. Be prepared to make yourself heard above the noise (both literally and figuratively). Your peers are just as nervous as you are - displaying confidence and poise in a busy career fair environment will help you stand out.
If you interview at a video interview booth, anticipate quick feedback. Recruiters often watch video interviews immediately after you take them.
If you are a yet-to-be-employed, recently graduated (or soon-to-graduate) college student, the job search probably doesn’t bring you a whole lot of joy. Resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter - it can feel like each application is quickly sucked into a black hole.
With most job descriptions requiring “2+ years related experience,” it is easy to wonder if most of these applications are a wasted effort. Perhaps, like most recent grads, you didn’t graduate with a stellar GPA or an Ivy League degree - what chance can you have against those that did?
On-demand video interviewing gives the average grad an advantage in a couple ways. We’ve already touched on the first: it gives employers insight into your personality and ability to think on the fly. While you might have no direct experience in the workplace, you can still display competitive attributes. The second is perhaps more important for the recent grad: it signifies the employer is willing to take a chance and hire “outside the box.”
Think about it this way: if an employer cared only about past experience and academic pedigree, they would only need a resume for their hiring decisions. By investing in a technology that provides a platform for candidates who don’t look great on paper to display their skills, they show that they are willing to invest in less experienced applicants.
Here are some tips to make the most of the opportunity an on-demand video interview provides:
If you feel this way after completing your first one-on-one or one-way video interview, don’t worry: everyone else feels the same way. Since there is no interviewer to provide nonverbal feedback after the interview’s completion, second-guessing yourself is very easy. Video interviewing is an entirely new medium for most applicants, so it is only natural to feel a little awkward. Don’t let it get you down, and know that every other applicant is in the same boat.