Used by over 40% of corporations and particularly beloved by investment banks and large multinationals, video interviews give employers a low-cost solution to the challenges of high volume recruiting.
Depending on which interview software provider the employer is using there are two ways in which your video interview can be assessed and scored.
Employers who use video interview platforms provided by software companies including Sonru, SparkHire, Tazio and InterviewStream will use a human (!) usually from the aptly named Human Resources department to watch and assess your answers. How very reassuring!
Another leading provider – HireVue will feed your video through an AI algorithm. This will generate an overall % score which estimates your fit to the role – known as an Insight Score. This measures how closely you map in your interview to their best performing employees currently doing a similar role to the one you are applying for.
Candidates usually have a good idea of how to deliver effective answers when they know they will be viewed and assessed by humans but what about when an AI robot is calling the shots? What are they looking for and how can you maximise your Insight Score generated by the algorithms?
What are they looking for?
They are analysing and scoring verbal and non verbal content – i.e. what you say and how you say it. They use speech and facial recognition technology to track and assess your choice of words-use of powerful and desirable key words, your eye and facial movements, your body language, your tone and your intonation. They are all under scrutiny and are winning or losing you points as you proceed through the interview.
They are checking for inconsistencies in what you say and how you say it, For example: if I tell them in the interview “I have extremely strong analytical skills and I am very keen to use them to work on transactions in MegaBank Inc’s M&A department and I know that I can hit the ground running” the algorithm will expect that this is delivered with a high level of upbeat enthusiasm. If I deliver this line in a monotone “I am so bored” kind of way this will be flagged as a inconsistency and I will lose points.
How to maximise your chances of getting past the AI screening
1. Be Seen
This is SO BASIC but if you get this wrong then no amount of dynamic power words and varied vocal tone will pull you over the line. They have to be able to see you and read your micro-expessions. Facial recognition software will not work if it can’t “see” your face due to bad lighting, shadows being cast on your face or just sitting too far away from the screen. Do a trial run and invest in a webcam if your device’s built in camera isn’t delivering a sharp picture.
2. Look me in the eye
Eye contact means looking at the camera – not looking at yourself on the screen and definitely not looking at any notes you may have written and placed beside you. You cannot gain points for an appropriate level of eye contact if you never or rarely look at the camera. Imagine that the green dot on your laptop is a person – and focus on them when answering. If you think you will need some notes stick some post-its on your laptop screen close to your camera so that you are not turning away from the camera every time you look at them.
3. Target keywords by repeating the questions
Increase the probability of you scoring points for using key words by repeating the question they have asked you back to them before starting to answer it. For example if the question is : Describe a time when you used your analytical skills to solve a problem then chances are that the words analytical skills and problem will be on their list of desirable keywords – use them! We are often asked by video interview training clients “Is it ok to repeat what is already in my cover letter? Won’t they be looking for new information?” Our advice here is that if your cover letter managed to get you an interview then it is definitely ok to use some or all of that content in your answers!
4. Pitch and tone
Match your tone to what you are saying. Yes we know you are nervous and sometimes nerves can hijack your ability to sound enthusiastic and eager. The outcome of this is that your description of what you can bring to the role is delivered with noticeably low levels of enthusiasm – and that can be interpreted as lack of interest. Practise varying the tone and pitch of your voice before you start the interview. Before starting the interview use the sample questions the employer gives you and play back your attempts to see and hear how you look and sound.
5. Smile like you mean it
If you want to ace the interview smiling isn’t optional. No-one – not even a robot – wants to work with someone who can complete a 15-20 minute interview without once cracking a genuine smile. Many of our video interview training clients tell us that when they are doing video interviews they are so focused on answering the questions within the time that they forget to smile and are amazed when they play their video back and observe this. Given that the interviews are assessed and scored on content AND delivery, smiling and connecting with your “interviewer” i.e. the green dot – will increase your scores.
Hilt works with clients to prepare them for interviews including video interviews. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.