Next generation interviews: recorded videos

Do you remember the Brady Bunch episode where Cindy is on television? (Most millennials probably won’t get this reference). She thinks she’s ready but as soon as the red record light goes on she’s struck with stage fright. She can’t speak a word and just sits there staring at the little red light. Her ability to communicate was affected as soon as she knew she was being recorded.

Some companies now use video interviews where candidate responses are recorded and sent to the employer to be played back. This isn’t a live video or chat.

How it works. Candidates are given a series of questions. As each question is asked, candidates are allowed a minute or so to think about their answer. Once they’ve had a minute to consider a response, their responses are then recorded. And once the recording starts a candidate may not start over.

Companies like recorded videos because they’re a way to hear and see a candidate speak, without having to schedule an interview. They’re faster than a phone screen and are often used as a first step for “weeding out” candidates.

However, from the candidate’s perspective recorded interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. Like Cindy from the Brady Bunch, candidates can feel the pressure of recording a perfect response because of the inability for a do-over.

Tips for candidates:

  • Prepare just as you would for an in-person interview. Wear professional attire – or at least from the waste up.
  • Have the job description and other pertinent information in front of you. You can refer to this documentation as you prepare your responses.
  • Relax. Try to speak your responses just as if you were chatting live with an interviewer. For some this is easier said than done. Again, just relax. If you make a mistake, just keep going and get back on track.
  • Smile. A candidate that smiles is a more likeable candidate. This alone won’t get you the job, but it may help.
  • Find a quiet place that’ll present you in the best possible light (literally and figuratively). I heard about a college student who recorded his interview from his dorm, which had piles of laundry and empty beer cans as his backdrop. Do you think he got a call back?
  • Test your video equipment and connectivity prior to recording the video.
  • See here for some additional suggestions.

For more on video interviewing services, try SparkHire, Montage or Interview4.

Happy interviewing and good luck!

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