Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What to Expect and How to Prep for First Interviews

Being selected for the first round of interviews can be exciting and scary at the same time.  This is your first impression on the hiring manager or recruiter and even though it is typically over the phone, if you want a chance at the job you need to cross your t’s and dot your i’s.

While you’re thinking about the type of questions you may be asked and doing your research on the company, have you thought about how first interviews may have changed over the years? 

The Interviews We Know

If you’re like most job seekers, your initial thoughts on the first interview are based on the interviews you know and have experienced in the past.  Those first interviews have typically been one or two phone interviews, with the first phone call focused on your skills and what you are looking for.  The second phone call is normally more detailed, delving more into your past experience, the job requirements, and your interest in the position.

Today, many first interviews are still following this same process.  However, you may notice that some companies are veering a bit off the beaten path and trying something new.

Video Interviews

Today, companies are interested in staying up to date with technology and demonstrating their business’s progression with the times.  With that said, you will see more companies using video interviews in their consideration process.

One thing that you should be prepared for early on in the interview process is a one-way video interview in place of the initial phone screen.

I know you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to a one-way video and understanding what it’s all about.  When I had my first experience with a one-way video interview, I wasn’t sure what to expect either, but I was quite impressed with the experience as a whole.

When a company requests you to complete a one-way video interview, you need to understand that this is the company’s way of not only making the interviewing process simpler and less time consuming for them, but to also give you the opportunity to express your individuality in a way that allows you to clearly think about the interview questions before responding.

For example, when you accept a one-way interview request, you will receive all of the information needed to complete the interview via an online platform using your computer and webcam.  One of the best parts of the one-way video interview is the fact that you can complete this interview at your convenience.  That means that you do not have to schedule time off work or schedule a phone interview around your lunch break!  You can simply wait until you get home to complete the interview.  How convenient is that?

The first thing you will notice about the one-way video interview is that it’s all on you.  Instead of having a conversation with another person, you will receive typed questions through the video platform.  Once you read a question, you can take as much time as needed in order to think about your response.  At that time, you will then record your answer, typically having only a certain recording timeframe to do so.

My favorite thing about the one-way video interview process is the fact that I can replay my recorded answer and re-record if I desire.  Imagine that – you can see and hear your response AND have the opportunity for a re-do!

Once you are satisfied with your recording, you simply submit your recorded answer through the platform and carryon with the rest of the interview questions.

Preparing for First Interviews of the Future

Looking forward, I truly believe that we will see more and more companies use the one-way video interviewing process in place of the standard phone screen.  This means that you, as a job seeker, will need to prepare properly.

Just as any other first interview, make sure you have researched the company and the position you are interviewing for.  Keep a copy of your resume close by so that you may easily reference your past experience and how it relates to the position you are interviewing for.

Since the one-way video interview is an actual video recording of yourself, make sure that you are dressed professionally and that the background behind you is professional and neat.  Also, be sure to look at your webcam, smile, and be upbeat.

Have you had any experience with the one-way video interview yet?  Please share your experiences and thoughts below.

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.