August 16, 2016
Job interviews are stressful. While you’re waiting for the receptionist to call your name, your knees get weak. Your arms feel heavy. And if you are lucky enough, you didn’t get vomit on your sweater already. And while you might feel like this arduous process couldn’t get any more stressful, you are wrong. Because according to data from a number of serious job creators, video interviews are going to be a lot more prevalent in the world of tomorrow.
That’s right, firms like Goldman Sachs, Cigna, and International Business Machines are just a few of the many companies that have turned to a video submission process when it comes to job interviews. Rather than filling out a lengthy application where you attach your resumé and then fill out your job and education history, you simply record a video with your responses. These companies can then watch them over and over again to nitpick everything from room cleanliness to your ability to tie a tie correctly.
While this may seem like a fast track way for business to fire through the most candidates possible, it does make the process exponentially more stressful for candidates. Everyone already overthinks every little detail with the seriousness of a television reporter before a simple phone interview. Now it turns out that the stain on your favorite shirt might actually be your untimely downfall. Particularly when those checking the videos are looking for some intangible criteria.
During one such video interview process Mary Wilson, a Cigna hiring manager, remembered a particularly impressive submission. She specified that the interviewee stood out because her responses seemed like they were addressed to a human being rather than a camera.
“Others tend to fidget or look away, but she looked directly into the camera and answered the questions thoughtfully and completely,” she said.
While this may seem like the kind of person you want at your company, the ability to talk to a camera like it’s a person is hardly a requirement for any job other than video blogger. And while a video can help you get to know someone a little bit better than an application, writing someone off before you have a chance to talk to them in-person is hardly fair to those that get nervous in front of the camera. And I’m not the only one that thinks so.
“Our bias in the industry is that in-person is much better,” said Julia Zupko, the director of career development at the Yale School of Management.
Yes, video job interviews will make hiring new people a whole lot easier for companies. But what about the scores of people applying to these jobs? What about the perfect candidate that overthinks their submission and sends in a Real World applicant video instead? Simplifying a process with a complicated means of candidacy will likely have a number of personnel drawbacks. But for now, continue to dread job interviews as the in-person stress-inducing travesties they are. Because they might not be that way for long.
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