As companies adjust their hiring processes to be more efficient, more and more candidates are getting requests for pre-recorded interviews. These interviews are different from virtual interviews because you don’t actually come face-to-face with any individuals throughout the duration. In fact, platforms like HireVue have been created in order to record your answers to questions for the company to review at later dates and times.
This can be an intimidating process, especially because it can feel awkward. There’s nobody to gauge reactions from. You have to speak directly into a computer, without any response. This means figuring out exactly when and where to pause in your sentences, and also how to work under the pressure of time (while a timer is counting down back at you). This is very difficult, even for experienced interviewers.
Shameless plug to Bentley’s BigInterview resource – an incredible way to practice and get feedback on metrics such as your eye contact with the camera, which will propel you to succeed in both pre-recorded and virtual interviews.
Here are 11 ideas on how to make the process a little less stress-inducing.
- Do some efficient research to have good potential answers for HireVue questions. HireVue questions aren’t always behavioral and they can be technical, so make sure you do enough research on the company, industry, role, while also practicing basic behavioral questions!
- Take notes to have near you. An advantage of HireVue is that you can have papers or sticky notes by you with random tidbits of information that may help you if you get stuck. The downside? If you depend too heavily on notes, it will be absolutely obvious that you are reading something or speaking robotically, which can really hurt your chances.
- HireVue questions for particular companies can sometimes be found on Glassdoor or Reddit, so make sure that you look at threads or reviews thoroughly. You might find information that will give you an advantage and allow you to prepare answers in advance.
- Practice! Along with looking for HireVue specific questions on the internet (for your particular company), find some other interview questions that you think would be hard to answer and practice those during your preparation.
- Always listen to pre-HireVue videos from the company and do the practice questions if allowed. Pre-HireVue welcome videos from the company can give you a lot of useful information, such as why the company participates in HireVue for recruitment, hints at what kind of questions may be asked, and what the company most values in a candidate. The primary video is the closest thing you will have to see a company representative during the HireVue process, so pay close attention to it!
- Do the practice questions! This is so important that it is mentioned twice. Usually, HireVue will give you an opportunity to practice a few (practice) questions without sending your recorded answer to the company for review. These questions allow you to look at your lighting, recording quality, sound, and body language so that you can make adjustments if needed before beginning the real interview. The practice questions given won’t be your actual questions during the interview but can help soothe your nerves and give you a look into the process prior to having to record real answers.
- Note whether the HireVue will let you re-record or pause. Some companies choose to only let candidates submit their first recorded version of an answer, even if a mistake was made or an interruption occurred. Other companies may allot one re-record. Definitely check for this in the beginning HireVue instructions as to not be surprised later.
- Dress professionally. There are several reasons to dress business professional. It looks great and there is no danger of being “underdressed,” as you won’t be talking to anybody directly. It can only give you bonus points and will not detract from your answer in any way. Also, dressing professionally can make you feel prepared and certain during the interview, and give you an edge over candidates who don’t!
- Get technical issues sorted out before the HireVue. Make sure you have stable internet and that your computer screen and microphone (or connected devices) are all working correctly. This is especially important if the HireVue will only let you record once per question.
- Give yourself enough time. HireVue can take as long as a regular interview, depending on how many questions are asked. HireVue can have anywhere from 1 question to 20 (or more) questions, and while the company will usually tell you the number of questions in the invitation email, you want to be prepared and have enough time to complete your HireVue.
- Don’t re-record without a good reason or be too hard on yourself. A really good rule of thumb is to not rewatch your responses (if you’re given the option to) unless you know for a fact that you messed up or an interruption occurred. Rewatching an answer may stress you out and cause you to believe you did an inadequate job at answering the question. Then, when that answer is deleted and you begin to re-record, the re-recorded answer may turn out to be even worse and will auto-submit. Ideally, a company could give unlimited re-recordings for questions, but in reality, that option would greatly increase the duration that candidates take to complete their HireVue by trying to be perfect.
- BONUS TIP: Relax a little bit. It’s definitely a difficult experience, whether you’ve done it before or have not. However, it’s a good learning experience and opportunity to grow as a professional, as well as use some cool technology that will continue becoming more and more relevant!