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HR Technology   | 16 Min Read

How Modern Tools Are Making Your Interview Process Structured, Efficient And Scalable

Written By Megha Singh

Personal interview is one of the most integral steps in the interview process. Hiring managers intend to assess the suitability of the applicant through interviews. According to Dr. Ann Howard, former president of Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, interviews help the candidate and employer make an informed, mutually beneficial employment choice.

Even though personal interviews are critical in the selection process, they have a few drawbacks. Hiring Managers face the following challenges during the process:

  • Lack of clarity on key competencies to evaluate the candidate leading to intuitive evaluation
  • Ratings by multiple interviewers leading to inconsistency in the evaluation process
  • Time intensive process that requires the interviewer to carve out time from a busy work schedule
  • No platform to track interview status of candidates applying to multiple job roles

To solve these challenges, organizations need to adopt technology that makes the interview process more streamlined and hassle-free. One way to do it is to implement structured interviews that make hiring decisions simpler by providing a platform that tracks bulk candidate details while providing data-backed insights, thus making the interview process simpler and faster.

Structured interviews can be administered in two ways- live interviews and pre-recorded interviews. Live interviews are highly engaging, let the interviewer conduct interviews remotely, enable live coding evaluation and incorporate collaborative tools to simulate face-to-face interviews. Meanwhile, in pre-recorded interviews, the job seeker's answers to preset questions are recorded for the employer to be reviewed later at a convenient time. They also provide the functionality of auto-grading, wherein what the candidate says and how he articulates gets transliterated and graded on various parameters like facial expressions, tone, pace, fluency and more.  Both of these methods have their perks. When implemented successfully by organizations, structured interviews have the potential to transform the whole interview experience as they save a lot of time, effort and can be conducted seamlessly on a platform irrespective of the geographical location of the interviewer and interviewee.

Common Challenges Faced by Interviewers

  • Lack of Clarity on Key Competencies
    To evaluate the candidate, leading to intuitive evaluation

  • Gut-based Ratings by Multiple Interviewers
    Leading to inconsistency in the evaluation process

  • Time-consuming Process
    That requires the interviewer to take time out from busy work schedule

  • Lack of Interview Dashboard
    To track interview status of multiple candidates applying for various job roles

Attending an interview is always nerve-racking for an applicant, at the same time a ticket to the new world in their career. From the employer’s perspective, it is a time-consuming process as well as the most responsible task as every single employee hired contributes to the success of the organization. However, the main purpose of the interview remains finding a perfect match for the organization.

In a generic personal interview, the interviewer has some predetermined interview questions to examine the candidate. More or less the whole pattern may get altered as per the conversation with the candidate. At times, the interview might even proceed according to the candidate’s response.  This kind of interview is more like a non-directive or unstructured interview. An unstructured interview is like a free flow conversation that is informal and open to discussion. Along the way, this approach tends to dissolve the purpose of interview as hiring managers and interviewers continue to face multiple challenges with this approach.

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Lack of Clarity on Key Competencies Leads to Intuitive Evaluation


Competency-based interviews involve shortlisting and interviewing against the skills, or competencies, that are required to be successful on-the-job. But, the problem arises when the competency mapping is not done properly. Without a defined and well-structured competency framework, organizations are left clueless as to what skills exist and are required for the business going forward. Even as 74% of organizations agree that a clear demarcation of job-role specific essential competencies is vital, only 7% of organizations have the means to predict these skills. Organizations do not have clear competency-frameworks when it comes to various job roles leading to an unstructured interview questions and intuitive evaluation.

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Ratings by Multiple Reviewers Leads to Inconsistency


Even as multiple interviewers provide better insights into the applicants’ skillsets, there might arise a difference in opinion when it comes to rating the applicants. 

Often, interviewers are unable to weigh or prioritize interview questions, so minor questions may receive the same weightage as the important ones in the final rating. In addition to this, every interviewer assesses applicants as per his or her competence instead of following a structured interview approach. Since multiple people are involved in the interview process where there are no set guidelines for them to rate the candidate, they end up judging the applicants on different parameters. This leads to making gut-based decisions. 

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Time-Consuming Process



Taking interviews becomes a lot of effort for the interviewer. Even as the HR schedules the interviews, it is up to the interviewers to take out time from their daily workday. Additionally, the timing has to be in sync with respect to the availability of other interviewers, else it results in increasing the timeline. The interviewers and interviewees need to be available at a mutually agreed time. This becomes difficult especially when the interviewee lives in a different city or country. The geographical boundaries further adds to the issue. In a fast-paced environment where hiring managers are expected to close the openings faster, an unstructured recruitment process becomes an impediment.

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No Single Platform to Track Candidate Progress



Once the interviews get over with, next in line comes collating all the scores. But what if the interviewers do not have scoresheets to do so? How will the interviewer one know if interviewer two rejected a certain candidate and what basis? Do you see the issue here? Since there is no single place where all the interviewers can jot down their comments along with the scores, it leads to ambiguity in decision-making.

How Can Structured Video Interviews Solve These Problems

A structured video interview is a standardized way of comparing job candidates where the hiring manager creates interview questions focused on the skills and abilities the company is seeking. The HR manager also creates a standardized scale for evaluating candidates according to which the interviewees are ranked. Since the questions are mapped to competencies, there is little chance for unfair or subjective assessment. With questions focused on specific skills, this interview style is often considered a more effective way of testing a candidate’s potential performance on the job. This interview format also allows employers to assess hard-to-measure skills, like interpersonal skills and oral communication. From hiring entry-level candidates to experienced professionals, video interviews are making it easier and more convenient for organizations. Structured video interviews enable employers to more objectively evaluate a candidate’s skills and personality.

Define Key Competencies

Defining competencies in the  interviews can give valuable insights into an individual's preferred style of working and helps to predict behaviours in future situations. A competency-based interview question bank can make the interviewing process easier the next time a position needs to be filled. From time to time, HRs want to update interview questions to reflect the role and skills they need in the future. So, using key competencies serves as a benchmark to evaluate candidates against each other. When competencies are defined and implemented in the interview process, employers are able to identify applicants who will be able to fit in the company’s culture. 

Data-Backed Insights

The final judgment call is completely data driven, objective, easy and fast to make as structured video interviews reduces the possibility of human bias. The competencies, their weightage and related questions are already set-up by the hiring manager in the beginning of the interview process in consultation with the subject matter experts. So, when the interview is being conducted by multiple interviewers, they have some parameters to judge the candidate.This eliminates the gut-based evaluation for the interviewer becomes accountable for giving a certain score to a candidate. The scorecard records all the scores of the candidate and finally generates the consolidated reports, candidate performance and rating on various competencies. Additionally, it informs the hiring manager about how the candidate will perform in the future by providing data-backed insights on the candidate’s learning agility to keep up with the ever-evolving skill demands and leadership attributes to grow and take care of future roles.

Time-Efficient Process

The preliminary phone interview takes an average of 30 minutes while the personal interviews tend to be longer as per the availability of various interviewers. The time is wasted if hiring managers realize a candidate won’t work out early on. This is where pre-recorded video interviews can really shine for employers. Employers can watch candidates answer their tough questions wherever and whenever they want. Realize a candidate isn’t right for the position early on? Now you are not trapped either on phone or personal interview.  Meanwhile, live video interviewing is great for far-flung and passive candidates. Now you can save 100 percent of your travel costs by just booting up your webcam. Plus, scheduling interviews with passive candidates can often be difficult. While you want the best candidates in front of you, they are often times busy if they’re currently employed. Now both hiring managers and candidates can schedule a bonafide face-to-face interview without endless back and forth on scheduling. Video interviews can help you cut down on the traditional hiring process and save your company time and money. They are effective in the hiring process because they build a better bridge between weeding out resumes and meeting the candidate of your dreams.

Comprehensive Dashboard

Structured video interviews have a job role dashboard that displays how many candidates completed the interview process for each job role vis-à-vis the job openings. It helps the hiring manager in making the decision call regarding which top candidates to finally select. This is important at times, as the number of candidates that have achieved grades above the set benchmark are less than the required openings. In which case, the top contenders among the available pool move to the next step or another round of interivew is carried out to fill the unfilled positions. The dashboard provides full access to the proficiency level and grade of candidate for each competency. This allows them to see how many candidates have scored past the benchmark and meet the skill demands and quality standards of the organization. It also indicates the hiring manager if the candidate is a good organizational fit in terms of stability, workplace behavior and more.

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How It Works

Define_Key_Competencies_how_modern_tools_are_making_your_interview_process_structured_efficient_and_scalable Define Key Competencies

 In a structured video interview, you begin by defining key   competencies for the roles you want to hire for. The   competencies can be defined by hiring manager by   seeking help from subject matter experts.

Choose_from_a_Library_of_Questions_how_modern_tools_are_making_your_interview_process_structured_efficient_and_scalable Choose from a Library of Questions

 The video interview platform then provides a rich library of   questions mapped to competencies.This helps the hiring   manager in framing the right set of questions to evaluate   job applicants for a particular role.

Gather_Competency_Based_Ratings_how_modern_tools_are_making_your_interview_process_structured_efficient_and_scalableGather Competency-Based Ratings

 Based on candidate responses, interviewer can rate the   candidate against each of the competencies   systematically, thus ensuring evaluation is data-backed   and consistent across multiple interviewers.

Make_Data_Backed_Decisions_how_modern_tools_are_making_your_interview_process_structured_efficient_and_scalableMake Data-Backed Decisions

 Data from multiple interviewer ratings for multiple   candidates can be collated in one dashboard and a data-   driven decision can be taken to hire the right candidate.

Benefits of Structured Video Interviews:

  • Make hiring fair since all candidates answer the same questions
  • Give candidates the chance to describe in detail their skills and experience
  • Provide a hassle-free platform to take interview on any device
  • Enable interviewers and interviewees to take interviews anywhere anytime as per their convenience
  • Remove interviewer bias and brings consistency to interview process
  • Reduce time and cost to hire
  • Improve the quality of hires

Structured video interviews can be administered in three ways

  • Pre-recorded Interviews
  • Virtual Video Interviews

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Pre-Recorded Interviews


Pre-recorded interview, also known as one-way interview or asynchronous interview enables   prospective employers to conduct online video interviews via internet-enabled devices.

The job seeker's answers to preset questions are recorded for the employer to be reviewed later in a pre-recorded interview. Usually, this interview happens at the beginning of the recruitment process, often before the telephonic interview round. One-way interviewing is becoming a standard practice for first round of screening by providing interviewers with an efficient, fair, and structured method for conducting interviews. It utilizes technology to equip hiring managers to sift through a pile of applications and interview candidates to save time that goes in a traditional face-to-face interview. These kinds of interviews make the recruiting process more efficient and hiring top talent easier.

How to Seamlessly Execute a Pre-Recorded Interview

Executing a pre-recorded interview in the organization is a simple process and can be easily implemented by the hiring manager. It follows the same approach of structured video interviews. In a pre-recorded interview, the interviewer creates questions basis the required competencies and invites candidates for the online interview via email.  Post this, the candidates open the link to the online interview in a browser and record their responses. The candidates then read and answer each question using a webcam, mobile phone camera or other device that gathers audio and video. The interviewers review the answers and grade candidates. Finally, the interviewer invites the selected candidates for the face-to-face interview if need be. Wish to know how to effortlessly execute a pre-recorded interview? Read on!

The pre-recorded interview platform ensures that the applicant's voice quality is clear. So even before the candidate begins the recording, the screen prompts him/her to test the quality. During the video recording, the face outline feature ensures that the face is always centre aligned making it easier for the interviewer to evaluate. 

This is how the screen appears to the candidate. The candidate sees questions along with the recording screen. The video recording may be timed by the employer. As the candidate is ready to reply to a particular question, he can start recording the video. The start and stop button is placed right below the recording screen. On the side of the video, a timer is set to let the candidate know how much time is left, an indication the candidate needs to wind up the response within a certain time limit. 

Once the candidate has taken the interview, the interviewer gets an e-mail indicating the same. Whenever it deems convenient, the interviewer can open the link to the video to review the candidate response. Clicking on the re-evaluate button, the interviewer is taken to another window where he has a list of weighted competencies to rate the candidate on. 

Benefits of Pre-Recorded Interviews

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Virtual Video Interview


Conduct Interviews Remotely, Simulate Real-Life Business & Coding Challenges

Also known as two-way video interview, live video interview allows employer and candidate connect face-to-face through a webcam. Emphasizing on the importance of live video interviews, The Energists Chairman and CEO Jon Hill, says, “Live interviews give you a good sense of who a person is and how they behave in professional settings. You have the opportunity to assess their body language and determine whether they are confident in themselves.” He further adds, “ If you use a structured interviewing method, you may want to include confidence or professional conduct as one of your data points.”

There are certain qualities that you must asses in person. If you’re hiring salespeople, for example, you have to be able to sit down and look at how they conduct themselves. Even if you’re using a structured method to collect data, their body language will tell you a lot about their competency.

According to 2018 Recruitment Trends, live video interviews are 6X faster than phone interviews. A 5-minute live video interview is equal to a 200 question written assessment. With over 60% of the workforce being Millennials and Gen Z, written assessments do not appeal to all demographics. Live video interviews allow candidates to show more their skill set, conduct real role-playing and increase the candidate experience. Live video interviews reduce cost per hire up to 2/3 and 70% of hiring manager resources. Additionally, around 54% candidates believe that scheduling an interview at a convenient time is paramount. This allows you to reach candidates who are employed and can video interview with you during their breaks or lunchtime.

Conducting a Virtual Video Interview

Conducting a live interview enables your team to have the same experience of an in-person interview without the hassle of coordinating a time when everyone can be in the same location. The platform not only reduces costs by eliminating travel, but it also gives the interviewers additional tools to help them make better hiring decisions.

The live video interview platform gives all the necessary information that the interviewer requires. The hiring manager can go through the applicant’s resume basis which he can cross-question and evaluate job applicants on the go in form of competency-based feedback. Being a mode of a structured interview, live video interviews also make use of weighted competencies to measure the skillset of the prospective employee. 

The live interview feature offers an integrated diagram board to the candidates in order to evaluate the business acumen. 

The live coding feature in the virtual video interview platform is a user-friendly and easy-to-use interface. It gives the liberty to code in over 20 languages and provides easy-to-follow questions with the proper description. The interviewer can detect code similarity, be it outright or partial, based on identical lines, code structure and other parameters through an automated system. Collaborative tools like notepad and whiteboard simulate the real face-to-face interview. Compilation errors can be overcome and issues in default cases can be handled.  Additionally, Artifical Intelligence enabled advanced automated online proctoring offers a comprehensive suite of anti-cheating solutions that includes live monitoring, authenticity and a secure browser. It takes care of even the minute malpractices too. The complete video of code is recorded at each keystroke to know the thought process of the candidate and to know how he/she executed the program. t is tightly integrated with code editors like Emacs, Vims, and Sublime. The platform offers a great user experience while also assisting the interviewer to filter the candidate pool in order to find a star coder.

The Mercer | Mettl Way

Mercer | Mettl’s VidView lets you hire-on-the-go with structured video interview.  It helps you speed up hiring, streamline the interview process and eliminates interviewer bias. Our in-house team of product developers has designed a platform that provides all three means of effortlessly conducting structured video interviews.

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Topics: HR Technology

Originally published October 04 2019,updated October 12 2019

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