Advice and tools to conduct successful video interviews

notepad and coffee to prepare for a video interview

The coronavirus is affecting the way we hire. Many HR recruiters are now working remotely and are reaping the benefits of video interviews. In fact, 67% of companies are now using video interviews to hire workers according to the recruitment company, Walters People. 

In this blog, we will explore how to successfully conduct a video interview and the differences between face to face and video interviews.  

How to set up a video interview

This interview may be a candidate’s first verbal interaction with your company. Here’s how to make a great first impression. 

Pick a suitable environment 

Select a room which will be quiet and free of disruptions. Once you find a place, look behind you, this is what the candidate will see during the interview, remove anything you wouldn’t want the candidate to see. 

Additionally, choose a place in the house where you have a strong internet connection. Lag, video freezes or the call dropping will disrupt the interview. 

Test your webcam and microphone

If your webcam isn’t built-in, place it on top of your screen so you’re eye level with the applicant. Most video call providers allow you to test your webcam before a call. In this mode, ensure that you can see your whole face and check if there is light obscuring it.

It’s also important to test the audio. If you wear headphones check if they have a microphone, otherwise the applicant won’t be able to hear you.

Why video interviews are different

Technical difficulties 

This study found that interviewees who have technical difficulties are often perceived poorly by the assessor. This means the best candidates may not get hired due to a bad internet signal. Instead, ask the candidates to record their answers to give everyone a fair chance and eliminate the possibility of a great answer being ruined by the call dropping.

 Lack of non-verbal communication 

Many interviewers may say they have a good gut instinct. Gut feeling is a great resource, but it is the imperfect and human equivalent of processing lots of data (such as the applicant’s body language and communication) and coming to a conclusion. However, a lot of these decision-making factors disappear in a video interview. 

Researchers at the George Washington University “analyzed 12 studies on technology and job interviews published between 2000 and 2007 and believe that the absence of body language, eye contact and rapport building in video interviews can hurt a person’s chance of landing the job.” For example, you may not be able to read someone’s body language if the screen only shows part of their face. 

This may seem problematic, but by using technology to enhance your decision making and assist you with these potential ‘blind spots’ will allow you to hire the most suitable candidates. 

The solution: Cognisess’ Video Analysis

By using our DeepLearnTM Video Analysis tool our technology will be able to detect a candidate’s true emotion, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel.

Each candidate records themselves answering several key questions that have been set by the company. Our Computer Vision technology is then able to analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame.

As Cognisess Pro isn’t human, so it has the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process, it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our tool isn’t programmed to see race, age or gender – it is purely assessing what an applicant is non-verbally communicating. This becomes a vital tool when companies are pursuing policies of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

A sample of the emotions the tool can identify 

  • Confidence and control. When customers are interacting with your business, they want to talk to someone who is in control of a situation and confident in their abilities. You can now measure this before you hire an applicant.  
  • Positivity. An upbeat employee not only improves morale in the workplace but their positive nature will help them successfully communicate with clients. For example, if a client sees a sales executive who is sincerely positive about a product, they are more likely to buy it. 
  • Expressiveness.  Some people make everyone they talk to feel like they are being truly listened to. A high level of expression (within reason) is seen in western cultures as a sign of high levels of engagement in the subject of the conversation.
  • Resilience and grit. This allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere, despite rejection and a lack of noticeable process over a period of time. 

As a result, HR professionals can draw conclusions from their expertise and the data presented to them. They can listen to the content of the answer (verbal communication) as well as understanding how candidates are feeling (non-verbal communication). 

Technology can help us navigate through the rapidly changing world of work. Using our video analysis tool will allow you to hire confidently and remotely. Knowing that you’ve given every candidate a fair chance, whilst finding the best fit for your company. Book a free demo today to explore how you can enhance your video interview process. 

How can Gamification benefit your recruitment process?

Gamification is a common buzzword in HR. However, what actually is it —and more importantly— how can it help your recruitment process? 

What is gamification? 

Gamification is more than just adding a game into your application process. These scientifically-backed games are an opportunity to truly assess a candidate’s behaviour, abilities and job performance. 

 According to our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer:

 “Gamification is great if it’s applied in the right way. But it should never come first. First of all, we need to define what we actually want to assess and then the gamification on top provides us with a new tool to generate better, clearer and truer data.”

Gamification is about understanding how people’s brains interpret information. For instance, assessing how well a person multitasks and prioritises. For years the ‘in-tray exercise’ has been a popular method of judging this. However, this task can be anxiety-provoking and competent candidates may underperform when they are fully aware that every decision they make will affect their job prospects. With gamification, we can build models that are very similar to daily tasks in a role without directly mimicking them. By engaging the candidates, they relax and forget it is a test situation. Test anxiety is common amongst applicants, and gamification can help combat this problem. We have even received feedback from past candidates surrounding this:  “This was a very unique and fun way to assess individuals. It allowed me to relax and was the first time I have ever enjoyed being assessed”. Because a candidate feels more relaxed, HR will get a lot more accurate data on their abilities. 

Candidates can’t second guess a game

Some candidates may try to reverse engineer their application. But with gamification, it’s difficult for a candidate to do this. For example, in our new Lens Pro assessment you choose between two options which are equally viable instead of two choices where it’s obvious what the ‘correct answer’ is. This helps an employer really get to know an applicant and the values they stand for. The process becomes about their true abilities, not the persona which they think will get them the job.  

Accessibility: more applicants, more talent

The games we have developed can be accessed anytime and anywhere in the world, which widens the talent pool. In the past, applicants who live in remote locations or have mobility issues wouldn’t have been able to physically attend assessment centres. Now they have an equal opportunity to showcase their abilities for a job. 

Breaking down cultural barriers 

It is also important to take into account the visual content of the games. Using shapes that have pre-existing cultural connotations may put candidates from those backgrounds at a disadvantage. For example, in a line up of shapes, they may choose the one that is perceived as lucky in their culture instead of the correct one. In our games, we use shapes that are universal and have no cultural connotations so everyone has an equal chance. 

More data in less time 

These games can also collect a large amount of data around how people make decisions and tackle problems in a short space of time. This means the application process can be much shorter. HR will be able to consider talent which may have otherwise dropped out of a longer application process, whilst using that data to enhance their decision making.

The future of recruitment? 

Gamification is a more engaging, accessible and less pressured method of collecting accurate data to get a fuller picture on a candidate. With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you use it in a recruitment process? In 2018, the global gamification market was valued at $5.5 billion. In the future, gamification may be a common part of most recruitment processes. On the surface, it may look simple but it is an expert skill. If you are interested in gamification, get in touch as we have experts who have been researching, testing and applying it extensively for years.

Book a demo with us to play our extensive library of scientifically-backed games or find out how you can use gamification in your next recruitment process. 

We’re sponsoring the Bath Digital Festival 2019!

Cognisess are excited to reveal that we are headline sponsors of the Bath Digital Festival 2019!

The Bath Digital Festival is the biggest and most inclusive technology festival in the South West. The festival aims to bring people and technology together in Bath. Now stepping into its seventh year, the Bath Digital Festival will guarantee an excellent display of technology to explore and aid your digital discovery. An event to truly explore, learn and develop your knowledge about our digital future.

As a software company that has developed its business using local talent, and benefits from a thriving digital ecosystem, we are pleased to be able to support the event and help position Bath as a place where people and companies can thrive. Our CEO, Chris Butt, commented:

“The world is becoming increasingly competitive and towns, cities and regions are under pressure to showcase their talent and potential. The Bath Digital Festival is part of demonstrating that the digital scene is real and thriving here and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, will also be attending the festival and discussing some interesting topics in the digital world. All details will be released closer to the date.

You can find all of the Cognisess team at the Bath Digital Festival this year. Keep up-to-date with all the talks and events you can attend whilst at the Festival. You can find out more about the event and how to get involved at the Bath Digital Festival website.

How HR and People Analytics can help manage Employee Wellbeing

As employees, we all want to perform well in our jobs and be recognised for our contribution. But when working late or not speaking up when you are overloaded becomes the cultural norm, it may lead to employees experiencing damage to their wellbeing and in the worst case, burning out.

With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem this year, a Gallup study found that around two-thirds of full time employees experience occupational burnout at some stage. This issue not only affects the employees, but the wider organisation. People who experience burnouts are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to be actively seeking a different job. And of course, if employees are constantly absent, this affect the business. In turn, this could financially impact the business due to high churn rate and funds needed for recruitment.  

By taking more responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees, businesses can create a more positive and productive work environment for their people to thrive in. Innovative technology like Predictive People Analytics is uniquely positioned to support HR to do this in an accurate and timely fashion.

Giving your employees a voice

Sometimes employees may lack the confidence to speak up in the workplace or ask for help. They may instead suffer in silence, which undoubtedly makes the problem worse. Using a platform like Cognisess Pro will allow these people to communicate how they are feeling directly to HR from the privacy of their desks, or at home. Our platform allows employees to log data regarding their mood and how many hours they slept, as well as providing a variety of emotion assessments including how hard they are on themselves in times of difficulty and pressure. These tools can provide HR with the insights needed to improve employees’ wellbeing and optimise the working environment to overcome these issues identified.

Relationships and teams are key

Relationships are key to nurturing a positive work environment; the most important working relationships employers have is with their team. Interactions happen daily making positive relationships and healthy dynamics key to a successful business. Therefore, creating an environment where team members work cohesively is important. According to Dr G. Ramesh and Dr K. Vasuki, in Addressing Employee’s Underperformance by Nurturing a Positive Work environment, one of the reasons why people under perform is due to conflict within a team and personality differences. In contrast, a meta-analysis by Kristof-Brown found that employees who fit in with their company, coworkers and managers perform better in their job. Therefore, implementing a software which understands the current team can help HR Managers to enhance the team with the addition of new candidates which align with the current culture and attributes.

In the past, creating a great team was a process of trial and error, backed up by a manager’s knowledge on each person’s unique abilities. However, a new hire can change a team’s dynamic positively or negatively and it may seem like there is no way to predict the outcome of this. Our Team Fit feature is able to eliminate this risk. Managers are more able to reveal how an individual will fit into an existing team dynamic, allowing them to maintain a conflict free environment. It collates and maps an individual’s results, like how they work and communicate, via a user-friendly graph against the attributes of others in any defined team or group. The team and individual don’t need to meet for the HR manager to understand whether a person would fit well into that team. This scientifically valid assessment not only increases resource efficiency for managers, but also prevents any loss in productivity derived from the wrong individuals working together – or worse, accelerating churn.

Creating a supportive culture for employees

It is also important that employees fit into a company’s culture. Although employees have different skill sets, workers who collectively share the same set of values may feel more united and motivated when working towards a business’s goals and objectives. Meta analysis by Kristof-Brown also found that employees who relate to their company culture are satisfied in their role.

One of Cognisess’ clients recently used our culture fit tool to ensure they recruited people who would fit into their very distinctive culture.  

Our analysis uncovered that the company’s employees demonstrated a high level of emotional intelligence. This is a useful attribute to collectively possess in regards to mental health. This ability allows them to be aware of how they are feeling and know when they need to take a break, which can prevent them from burnout. It also assists them in identifying when others are struggling, which contributes to a supportive work environment. However, it is possible to increase your emotional intelligence, encouraging your employees to do this may help them manage their wellbeing, creating an overall positive work environment.  

For more information on how we apply this feature of Cognisess Pro, our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer explains the process on a video:

Forewarned is forearmed

Burnout and poor mental health clearly can affect people, but it also affects organisations. Using Predictive Analytics tools for your People can help your organisation operate in a more responsible and efficient business environment whilst also supporting employees to deliver optimum performance and fulfill their true potential. If you would like to find out more about Predictive Analytics for People, book a demo today.

The AI will see you now… why we should trust Computer Vision

On the whole, humans are generally good at identifying emotions, but this mostly happens at an unconscious level and it isn’t always a reliable tool, particularly when it may involve having to make decisions based on this interpretation. According to psychology professor, Lisa Feldman Barrett our emotions are the brain’s method of understanding the body’s raw data. But sometimes the same sensations can be interpreted differently depending on external events. For example, a queasy stomach could be interpreted as nervousness before a job interview or excitement for an upcoming holiday.

We are reactive to the world around us. For example, if a HR professional has a disagreement with a colleague or is experiencing personal issues outside the workplace, they may bring these negative emotions into interviewing a candidate for a job. This may affect our perception of a candidate and the hiring decision.

Although we can’t change these factors, we can prevent them from influencing the recruitment process to ensure it is fair, consistent and transparent. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution and are increasingly driven by new technology, AI and Computer Vision will be on hand to assist humans in making data-led decisions that are consistently accurate and free of bias; attributes which will become increasingly important in a fast moving and compliant world.

What is Computer Vision and AI?

Computer Vision acts as the eyes of an AI. This technology can visually process the world around them and they can be programmed to analyse the information it collects. For example, Computer Vision is used as part of our video analysis tool. The technology analyses each candidate’s facial expressions and micro-expressions from their video interview. Micro-expressions are facial movements that happen – even before we are consciously aware of making them. This means Computer Vision is able to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not what they may like to present to an interview panel.

This tool can be used to recruit across all industries. However, it is especially useful in customer focused or sales roles where ‘reading people’ or presenting yourself positively or empathetically is required. Computer Vision can observe how easy a person is to talk to, and how approachable they will be to customers – even under pressure.

Why should we trust machines to assess human behaviour?

Together, AI and Computer Vision are able to accurately repeat the same process over and over again. Our video analysis tool has analysed over 1.4 billion facial expressions with a 97% accuracy rate. This is an invaluable tool for humans and can be used to gain advantage particularly in dealing with scale or distance. Computer Vision doesn’t experience a post-lunchtime dip,  which is when a person feels drowsy for a few hours whilst their body digests their food.  Equally the AI doesn’t have a ‘bad day’ through fatigue which would impair their overall cognitive performance. It can process thousands of job applications and identify the top candidates, regardless of what time of day it is. This enables a recruiter to stay focused on putting their attention and expertise on the applicants that have relevant skills and abilities for the role.

As AI and Computer Vision aren’t human, they have the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, revealed to Information Age that “AI doesn’t have to understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none. AI does not need diversity and inclusion training. It’s incapable of taking an instant dislike to someone, secretly wondering whether someone’s planning on starting a family, or hiring someone who’s pleasingly similar to them.” As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our Computer Vision isn’t programmed to see race, age or gender – it is purely assessing what an applicant is non-verbally communicating. This becomes a vital tool when companies are pursuing policies of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

Making fast and accurate hiring decisions for every candidate – every time

Our clients using our video analysis tool will be able to give each applicant a fair chance, regardless of how large their applicant pool is.

Each candidate records themselves answering a number of key questions that have been set by the company. Computer Vision analyses each video interview frame by frame, searching for positivity and expressiveness, both of which are measures of genuine passion. ​The tool is a hundred times faster and accurate than any human assessment. As a result, a business is able to identify top talent from their entire applicant pool.

Working with Computer Vision supports hiring decisions, HR professionals are able to draw conclusions from their own expertise when finally ‘meeting’ each candidate, but also review the Computer Vision comprehensive analysis on them alongside the other Cognisess assessments that analyse Job Fit, Culture Fit and Team Fit.  

Recently, we have studied the performance of the video analysis tool with our client, AB InBev – the world’s leading brewer. Focusing on the candidates who had successfully passed their video interview stage, we uncovered a statistically significant relationship between an internal assessor’s high rating of a candidate and a good positivity and expressiveness score. This further shows how accurate this technology can be and how it can be applied to create a fair and transparent recruitment process were any areas of unconscious bias can be corrected as a helpful correction mechanism to support HR professionals avoid bias.

Make every day a good decision day with AI

Everyone of us within a workforce will have good and bad days, it is an inherent part of being human, after all. But in this new age of technology, AI and Computer Vision will ensure those occasion bad days doesn’t turn into bad hiring and bad decision days. If you would like to find out more about how our video analysis tool or Computer Vision can transform your recruitment process, book a FREE demo today with our expert team.