Video interviews are the latest interview trend to hit the recruitment process. And it makes sense. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become the norm in many organizations (read my article on how to optimize your resume and LinkedIn for ATS) as a way to get through the hundreds of applications without using too much manpower.
So logically the interview would come next. And just like the how the ATS changed how we submitted our resumes and cover letters so does Video interviews change how we present ourselves.
Interviews are already nerve wracking, and for most of us just figuring out how to create connections over the phone and in person is enough to make our heads spin. So to throw it yet another screening process can seem overwhelming! That is why I came up with 10 tips on how to sell yourself and Ace the Video interview.
What are Video Interviews?
But first, I want to define the video interview. There is a lot of confusion as to what they are exactly. I’m not talking about a SKYPE or video conferencing video where you and the interviewer are both “live”. I’m actually talking about a video interview where you answer a predetermined set of questions on video, sometimes you’ll hear it referenced as a one-way video interview or a recorded video interview.
How do they work?
You will be sent a link to their video interview platform and you will record your answers to a series of questions. The great thing is that you can do it on your own time with your own device (laptop, phone or tablet).
Each interview set up is different but some common options is to allow you to have some preparation time before answering, a note taking section for talking points (don’t worry they aren’t saved!) and the ability to keep recording your answer until you are happy with it!
How are they evaluated?
Each video interview platform evaluates the videos differently, as does each company so the evaluation options are endless.
Some recruiters will watch the recorded video and assess it themselves and then share the top candidates’ interviews with the hiring team to decide on next steps.
The more sophisticated video interviewing platforms utilize artificial intelligence in its screening including the analysis of facial expressions, vocal intonation and body language. On top of that are the language and semantic processing tools to evaluate the answers in alignment with the needs of the job, company culture and organizational fit. It works similarly to an ATS that uses keywords to match a resume up with a job. Which means that a person may never even watch the video!
10 Tips for Video Interview Success
So what does all that mean for you. And how do you prepare for an interview as unique as this? Well, in so many ways you will treat it like a normal interview. There will just be another added layer to your preparation work.
Here are my ten tips that cover all the things you NEED to do to make sure you shine in this newest recruitment trend:
Have you had a video interview? How did it go? Remember to reach out if you need interview help – you can schedule a Discover Your Career strategy call to discuss or book some interview coaching so that you create connections to get that job.
The weakness question. One of the most feared and misunderstood questions. Yes it is cliché, but that doesn’t mean it is going to go away. In fact what I have seen throughout my 15 years of recruitment is that the weakness question has evolved and that also means the expectations of a candidate and their answer have evolved too.
Just to clear the air, the weakness question is not meant to get you to show how you are NOT the right person for the job, it isn't a trick question meant to trip you up! It is a question to figure out your ability to recognize a weakness, problem or obstacle, come up with a plan to mitigate or overcome the issue and then move forward successfully.
It is a self-awareness question.
And right now the work world is changing drastically. The need has increased for management to focus on high level strategic thinking and not hand holding their employees. Employees who more and more are working from home. Therefore, organizations need to know that they can count on you to notice a problem before it grows into something that has wider ramifications. That is why this question is so important.
I want you to improve your interview skills and show you the key answers to avoid giving so that a recruiter is not rolling their eyes at your answer (it happens, trust me) and eliminating you as a potential fit for the role.
1. Strength wearing a Weakness Mask
The weakness that is not really a weakness. This was what we used to coach individuals on how to answer this (and how some still coach – but please DO NOT listen to them!). Like I mention above, recruiters, hiring managers and organizations want MORE now. And this answer doesn’t tell them how you actually deal with the difficult times that are sure to come and that are a normal part of a career. What it does tell them is that you are either a “smooth talker” always trying to talk your way out of situations or someone who lets others do the fixing for them.
2. “I’m a perfectionist, a workaholic, scared of public speaking”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of the above I would be one rich lady. These are so overused! So even if these are your weaknesses, you can’t use them. Well, you can’t use them with these words, there is another way to handle it but that is a recruiter secret for next week. Using one of these common answers tells the interviewer that you are unimaginative and that you just googled a answer.
3. A Hard Skill
Hard skills are something that anyone can learn and overcome. Yes it may be easier for others but think about it, how easy to realize you aren’t good at a technology or a hard skill! Does it actually take some self-awareness? Not really. So what it tells the recruiter is that your Emotional Intelligence is low and that you would rather look at easy things to fix instead of the hard work required to overcome a soft skill weakness.
4. Not My Fault
This type of answer is rage inducing as a interviewer. It is defensive, it puts the blame onto others, and it makes you look bad. Make sure you aren’t using the words “it wasn’t my fault”, “it seemed to my boss that I”, “I was surprised that my manager had that feedback as…” – all of those mean that someone else’s perception is faulty, not you. It tells the hiring manager that you don’t take accountability for your actions, that you will always point fingers and that you are clueless.
5. I don’t really have a weakness
Major eyeroll. Honestly this was so annoying as a recruiter to hear this, even if it was a joke! I couldn’t help but think I was dealing with someone who was truly delusional. Everyone has a weakness. Everyone.
So if you can’t use any of those to create an answer well then what can you use?
An honest answer.
One that talks about an obstacle you faced in your career. Maybe you received feedback from a boss on how you handled a client, or maybe you made the wrong choice in a key decision or maybe you failed in some way.
Tell them about that time. And then about what you did to overcome it. Finish with how this helped mold you to become the person you are today.
That is a formula that is sure to show that you are self-aware, that you own up to your own actions and are willing to do what it takes to succeed, even if it means doing a lot of work on yourself.
If you need more help, schedule a Discover Your Career strategy call with me or think about Interview Coaching - your dream job is worth the investment.
Sara Curto helps people find a career they love by teaching them a new way to job search.
The Secrets to finding a job you love
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