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Recruitment Strategy, Video Interviewing

Video interviewing on demand is gaining traction across industries as a better way to identify top talent. In this article we'll cover how to leverage video for the best talent, faster.

Interviewing with an on demand video is different than interviewing one-on-one. Since it happens earlier in the hiring process, tips and tricks associated with good interviewing are generally not applicable.

What do you want to learn?

When considering what questions to ask candidates in an on demand video interview, you need to establish what you want to learn from each candidate’s answers. Here at HireVue, we’ve identified five metrics you should consider when creating your on demand video interview:

1. Personality

Personality is critical for customer-facing roles. In the age of social media, a single bad experience with a disgruntled employee can result in long-term customer loss. The organization that provides an engaging customer experience with a highly personable workforce holds a great advantage over its competitors.

But personality is not only important for customer service positions, as is becoming evident with research on "cultural fit". Employees that “mesh” well with their organizations are:

  • More satisfied with their job.
  • Less likely to quit.
  • More committed to the organization.
  • Higher performing.

On the other hand, if you're looking to add to your company culture (rather than create an echo chamber) and leverage the advantages a diverse workforce brings, gauging each candidate's cultural identity from the get-go is vital.

Either way, gaining insight on each candidate’s disposition as early as possible is critical for finding the applicants most likely to succeed in your organization.

2. Communication Ability

The ability to communicate is consistently rated as the most valued “soft skill.” Employees who who are able to effectively organize their thoughts and succinctly present them will be valuable in any role.

Identifying the best communicators with on-demand video interviewing allows you to fast-track them through the hiring process before your competitors know what they’re missing.

Many organizations are also starting to tackle the issue of data “siloing,” a problem that arises when departments do not share data with one another and are unable to make comprehensive decisions as a result. New hires without pre-existing departmental bias and stellar communication skills will play a huge role in dismantling these data silos.

3. Thinking on the Fly

Crisis happen; they are an unfortunate fact of life. Filling your talent pipeline with candidates who are able to quickly react to these situations as they occur will do wonders for the long-term health of your organization.

At the end of the day, organizations need problem solvers.

4. Interest in the Position

It should come as no surprise that applicants with only a passing interest in the position probably won’t be the best performers. Applicants who do their research, digging into the responsibilities of the role and where it fits in the structure of your organization are far more likely to produce results.

Gauging interest is also beneficial when it comes to ranking applicants for pursuit. Candidates who are already employed and are only passively looking for work should be prioritized below those who are actively searching (and will be off the market quickly).

5. Passion for the Industry

An employee who is passionate in their work is almost always preferable to one who is not. Like the other metrics on this list, industry passion is not something that can be learned from a resume, but is critical when predicting a candidate’s long-term performance.

Evaluate these metrics with strong questions

Since there is no interviewer to ask follow up questions, each question must be strong enough to stand on its own. When putting together your on-demand video interview, consider these questions to measure the metrics that matter.

1. Off the Wall Questions

Mercedes Benz’ internship ranks among Vault’s Top 25 Most Prestigious. So when they continue to ask their internship candidates questions like: “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” you know they must be onto something.

Entirely unexpected questions like these are great gaugers of personality and the ability to think on the fly. If an interviewee relishes the opportunity to examine the intricacies of the ostrich, chances are you’re watching a candidate who would thrive in a customer-facing role. But if the interviewee shows palpable disdain for the experience, how well do you think they would handle incidents in the workplace?

Unexpected questions like those used by Mercedes Benz offer another unexpected upside: they provide much-needed breaks in the monotony of candidate screening.

2. Applied Reasoning (scenario-driven) Questions.

Questions that present a candidate with a given scenario and ask how they would respond are incredibly useful for measuring their ability to communicate and think on the fly.

During on-demand interviews, HireVue provides each candidate with thirty seconds to prepare their response. Interviewees who put together comprehensive solutions in those thirty seconds and communicate them in a way that makes sense are going to be your star achievers.

When asking questions like these, many organizations use video to present each scenario. Providing a visual element to these questions makes each scenario seem more realistic, and helps more visual learners align their thoughts.

3. What does our company do? Or: What does this position do?

If a candidate chuckles when they see this question, it means they’ve probably done their research - and are very interested in the position. On the other hand, if a candidate starts to sweat (or blows it off entirely), you’ve caught an applicant with only passive interest in the opportunity.

To the prepared, passionate candidate, this question is a walk in the park. They will relish the opportunity to show off their experience in the industry or depth of research in your organization. The unprepared, aloof candidate won’t fare so well.

4. Why do you want this position?

This question is a passion-magnet. The easy answer is something along the lines of: “I have a great deal of experience in similar roles.” And while this answer is not bad, it probably doesn’t tell you anything new: chances are you have their resume.

A passionate candidate will not only use this question as an opportunity to explain past experience, they will also explain what drove them to the industry (or why they’ve stayed).

Putting it all together

Let’s be frank: passion, personality, and interest can’t be wholly ascertained by the content of an applicant’s answer. But that’s what makes video interviewing so great - there’s so much more to work with. Emotion, intonation, smiles: you can’t see these on a resume, cover letter, or text-based response.

The content of an applicant’s answer is a fraction of the insight gained from a video interview. It’s the recruiter’s job to take all the additional, non-textual cues and identify the most passionate and personable.

None of this is to say that passion, personality, and communication ability should be given greater weight than years of related work experience. Sometimes the best candidate isn’t the most personable or intellectual. But more often than not, they are - and the ability to gauge the above metrics is a powerful advantage that the video interviewer should not ignore.

Gauging soft skills with video interviewing doesn't have to be a long and arduous process: 

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