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  • ltozer

When your interview isn't an interview...

It’s a thrilling part of the recruitment process when you are invited to an interview. You’ll probably picture yourself having “a meeting of people face to face”, which is the definition of interview. But what if you’re the only person there?

Automated video interviews are becoming increasingly popular as an initial step in screening candidates. I admit, I was horrified at first to hear that people were being removed from this essentially human encounter. Now, armed with evidence and some personal experience, I can see the benefits of this technology. It saves time and money and can even reduce bias.

Are you applying for jobs in the retail, hospitality, or government sectors, in an entry level or graduate role? Then listen up, because an automated video interview is likely to be in your future!

What is an automated video interview? Unlike a Skype interview, where you talk to a person over a video link, an automated video interview is recorded. When you are invited to complete one, you’ll be sent a link and given a length of time to prepare and record the interview at a time of your choosing. Typically, you’ll have several days to complete the process, which takes less than an hour to record. This means you can choose the time, place, and device to complete the task.

If it sounds easy, it is. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Just because it feels like recording on Snapchat doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Whoever is reviewing your video will be taking note of the attention you have taken to all the details, not just your answers.

Here are some tips for success in recording your automated video interview:

Review the technology:

You’ll be sent some instructions and some links for tech support. Carefully review the information, do the practise exercises until you are comfortable with the format. Usually you’ll get to answer some test questions which will appear on the screen and you’ll be able to see your recorded response.

Set the stage:

You can use a PC or iPhone/iPad in most cases. Turn off notifications.

Choose a room where you can set up your device with a plain background behind you. Banish pets and remove clutter. Natural lighting from behind your computer is ideal. Have some water and a pencil and paper handy.

Get yourself ready:

It’s an interview, so dress to impress, exactly as you would for a face to face meeting. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and wear a smart top over gym shorts and flip flops; you’ll feel better if you’re looking professional from head to toe!

Research the organisation:

This is vital for any interview. Assure you have thoroughly researched the organisation you are applying for. Have they been in the news lately? Who are their competitors? What challenges are they facing? And most importantly, can you articulate why you want to work there? Employers want to hear about your motivation to join their team.

Understand the role:

It’s crucial for you to understand the role in order to anticipate likely questions. Does the role require attention to detail? Expect a question about that. Do they need people with experience in customer service? Think about concrete examples you can share.

Practise and get feedback:

One of the main ways automated video interviews reduce bias is that each candidate gets the same questions, the same amount of preparation time, and an equal amount of time to answer the question. If you haven’t prepared, you may fumble and miss your chance. Practise with someone who can give you experienced feedback and refine your answers.

Know your point of difference:

Be ready in case you are asked to make closing comments about your interest in and suitability for the role. Practise saying it out loud, to assure your message is clear, concise, and genuine!

Good luck! Give me a ring or drop me an email if I can help.

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