Along with everything else, COVID-19 has changed up interviewing. AI-driven digital or virtual, on-demand video interview platforms, which entered the scene years back, are now embraced and gaining traction more than ever because they allow en-masse interviewing and eliminate the need for multiple in-person interviews.
This interviewing technology popularity has spread to the medical sales world. HireVue, a leading digital video interviewing software provider, already lists pharma giants Pfizer, GSK and J&J in its client roster. It stands to reason that others will follow suit.
For those new to this digital, one-way interviewing platform, here’s what you need to know as you encounter them in your job search.
One-Way Video Interviewing 101
The solution providers with the lion’s share of the market right now are HireVue, Spark Hire, Modern Hire, HackerRank, Jobvite, and BreezyHR.
Video interviewing software allows companies to interview candidates 24/7. Unlike a Zoom call, neither HR, a recruiter, or the hiring manager is present in this one-way interviewing method. Instead, the candidate receives a link to the interview containing behavioral or situational job search questions. Interviews usually are around 10 questions, so wrap up in 30 minutes, but to be safe, allot 45 minutes.
The decision-maker pre-selects the questions with each candidate receiving the same questions. As the interviewee, you have a few minutes to read and gather your thoughts, then another couple minutes to answer it while your computer camera or phone records you.
The software then passes the video to the hiring manager to review your video later — with some software assessing and scoring your responses.
Acing a One-Way Video Interview
Candidates have a tall order – they must get to the point quickly and succinctly while aiming for prepared versus scripted, warm and friendly versus overly excited or monotone.
The bottom line? Aim for natural, not overdone. Slow down your speech a bit more than seems your normal pace, remember to smile, and follow these steps:
#1 Research Likely Questions
A quick visit to Glassdoor or these leading providers (HireVue and Spark Hire) contains lists of common questions. YouTube is also chock-full of videos with folks sharing tips on nailing digitally recorded virtual interviews.
Generally speaking, the questions you’ll receive are not meant to be “gotcha” or curveballs. Expect questions common to traditional or face-to-face first-round interviews – designed to learn a bit about you, gauge your interest, demonstrate how you might respond to a future scenario, and how you reacted in the past to certain scenarios.
Here are some sample questions:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why do you want to work for us?”
- “Why would you be a good fit?”
- “XYZ happened. Can you describe what steps you would take and why?”
- “Tell me about a time when you . . .”
#2 Get Your Stories Ready
Prepare your C-A-R (Challenge, Action, Result) stories to respond to the most common behavioral or situational interview questions in advance that showcase a CHALLENGE you were presented with, the ACTION you took to address it and the outcome or RESULTS of your action.
#3 Work on Response Time Management
Unlike a live in-person or even Zoom interview, recorded videos use timers, and when the timer runs out, so does your chance to answer your question. Practice will ensure you’re able to respond in plenty of time without getting cut off. If you’re not sure of the amount of time you’ll have (most software will inform you), check-in with the tech-support of the designated platform or your hiring manager.
Even though the only live person present during the interview is you, a decision-maker will be watching you eventually. Be sure to dress as you would for any other video interview.
Choose attire that is camera-friendly — this means avoiding clothing that is all black or all white, or tops with busy designs or patterns. Also, ensure you have ample lighting and a clutter-free background.
#5 Practice Under Pressure
Before you hit record, rehearse your responses. Then, record them. Better yet? Have someone else watch them and weigh in. By practicing your speech in front of a camera, you’ll get used to making eye contact with the camera and feel more at ease come interview time.
#6 Do a Tech Check
Now that we’ve all been doing the work-from-home saga for a bit, it’s known that glitches can, and will, occur. It’s more important than ever to make sure your mic, camera, and the platform work BEFORE you hit record!
In addition, be sure to mute any normal computer/phone notifications so all the listener hears is you.
Bonus Tip: It’s OK to Be Human
Even though it might not feel that way, human beings are involved in this process throughout, and the powers that be get that this format can be challenging and feel unnatural.
If you get off track or feel like you are rambling, it’s perfectly acceptable to admit you’re human and say, “Sorry, I think I’ve veered off course. What I meant to say was . . .” or “Sorry, I feel like I’m stumbling over my words! What I meant to say was . . . “ Some platforms even allow you to re-record, so again, know your technology options beforehand, take a deep breath, and press record again.
Remember – just like with other interview formats, one-way virtual interviews are another opportunity to showcase your knowledge and let your personality shine through.
With prep and practice, you’ll do great!
– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW