notepad and coffee to prepare for a video interview

Advice and tools to conduct successful video interviews

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. 

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How to create a great candidate experience during the coronavirus outbreak

At present, 9,529 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus. As the population starts self-isolating, how can companies keep connected with the top talent? 

Jobseekers now have plenty of time to apply for positions. However, Recruiting Brief found that 80–90% of applicants say a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role. By creating an excellent candidate experience you will ensure that your company is an applicant’s top choice.  

At a time where everyone feels a little isolated from the world, it’s more important than ever to keep connected. Using a virtual recruitment platform like Cognisess Pro will help you keep the recruitment process moving. The platform can be accessed at home using a wifi connection, ensuring the safety of your staff and the applicants.   

Here are a few ways you can use our platform to create a great candidate experience. 

Engaging assessments

Perhaps you have an assessment centre day as part of the recruitment process, however, due to the ban on mass gatherings you are unable to undertake this. By rescheduling for later on in the year you are risking the top candidates being hired elsewhere.

On our platform, we have over 60 scientifically-backed assessments that are tailored to test the attributes that are important to the role you’re recruiting for. From emotional intelligence to mental arithmetic. Candidates typically find our assessments engaging and interesting, which will make your application process stand out. You can assign the assessments instantly to as many candidates as you want.  

Read about how IHG was able to eliminate the second day of their assessment centre due to our accurate assessments. This resulted in a 50% reduction in assessment centre time and cost.

Meet them through a video interview

People are an essential part of a company. It is important to hire applicants who will positively represent a business. Although currently you are unable to meet potential hires in person, using a video interview tool will help you meet each applicant virtually. You may also use our DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not 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. HR professionals are then able to draw conclusions from their own expertise.  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 a result, a business can identify top talent from their entire applicant pool and keep the recruitment process moving. 

Keep in contact

80% of job seekers say they would not reapply to a company that didn’t notify them of their application status, according to Lever. In this uncertain time, reaching out to inform candidates of their progress will be seen as a thoughtful gesture. The candidate will most likely remember this positive experience when they decide whether or not to accept the job.  On our platform, it only takes a few minutes to keep connected and send a message to your candidate pool. 

The coronavirus outbreak has changed how we work. More people now work remotely and connect online, therefore it’s also time for the recruitment process to adapt. There are many ways you can create a good online experience for candidates, from video interviews to regularly communicating with them. If you are interested in using the Cognisess platform for this, our team is working remotely and can give you a free demo of the platform.  

How to successfully interview thousands of applicants with Video Analysis

In the age of AI and automation, soft skills are essential. Although machines are better at processing and understanding large amounts of data, they can’t replace that human connection. Most roles have people-focused elements, whether it’s maintaining relationships with clients as an Account Manager or assisting customers as a Sales Assistant, every step is important. First impressions count. When meeting new people 55% of the impact comes from the way a person acts. This is why it is important to hire a candidate who can make a good impression when representing your company. 

33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire a candidate. However, a recruiter isn’t able to see how an applicant communicates and presents themselves in a written application. This can prevent them from hiring the best talent. 

Is there a way to meet every candidate who has applied for a job? 

This may seem impossible if there are over 1,000 candidates in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), but here at Cognisess, we have made it possible for you to interview every candidate. Our DeepLearnTM Video Analysis is able to measure: 

  • 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. 

How it works 

The machine vision used by DeepLearn™ uses highly advanced algorithms that read from 27+ points on the face. It tracks the differences of the positions over time to establish a picture of the emotion that is being expressed by a person. With its automated ‘Ask Me’ and ‘Meet Me’ video assessment tool, Cognisess Pro will recognise the values and attributes you’re looking for – accurately, objectively, every time. Book a demo to find out more about this feature. 

As Cognisess Pro isn’t human, 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.

The benefits of video analysis

  • Save time. Find the right applicant for you regardless of the volume of candidates. Our video analysis tool has analysed over 1.4 billion facial expressions with a 97% accuracy rate. This process can be done in a fraction of the time it would take a human to view and make a decision on each video.
  • Meet the human behind the application. The tool brings an application to life. Not only can you view a thorough assessment of a candidate’s personality and cognitive attributes but you can meet them too. 
  • Enhance decision making. Know that you have hired the right talent with the data to back up your decisions. This creates a more objective hiring process. 

Creating a fair recruitment process with our clients

This tool can be used across all industries. Companies also have the option to use the video interview tool without the DeepLearnTM analysis. In the past, clients such as hotel giant IHG, the world’s leading brewer AB InBev and special economic zone Alabuga have used it to enhance their recruitment process.  

Recently, we have studied the performance of the video analysis tool with one of our customers. Focusing on the candidates who had successfully passed their video interview, 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 the accuracy of this technology and how it can be applied to create a fair and transparent recruitment process, where any areas of unconscious bias can be corrected as a helpful mechanism to support HR professionals avoid bias. 

How our clients use DeepLearnTM Video Analysis

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, expressiveness alongside other attributes relevant to the job. ​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. 

HR professionals are able to draw conclusions from their own expertise when finally ‘meeting’ each candidate. They can also review a comprehensive analysis on them alongside the other Cognisess assessments that analyse Job Fit, Culture Fit and Team Fit. 

People are an essential part of a company. It is important to hire applicants who will represent a business in a positive manner. Using a video interview tool will help you meet each applicant in the early stages of the recruitment process. You may also use the DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not what they may like to present to an interview panel. If you would like to find out more about our video analysis tool and how it can transform your recruitment process, book a FREE demo today with our expert team.    

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Can computers recognise human emotions?

Our MeetMe video interviewing platform has been helping employers to get to know candidates from the start of the application process. And now, by analysing sentiment expressed in these videos using Microsoft Media and Cognitive Services, we can provide further insight into job applicants.

Microsoft’s Media Analytics tool recognises facial expressions relating to different emotions. From neutral through to happiness, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, fear and contempt, it’s able to give an indication of emotion throughout a video. These particular emotions are understood to be cross-culturally and universally communicated with particular facial expressions.

At Cognisess, we’re making use of the very latest in machine learning and data analysis techniques. So we’re pleased to be incorporating the data gained from using Microsoft Media and Cognitive Services on our video interviews.

James Pain, a Creative Computing student at Bath Spa University, has converted this data into colourful visuals that clearly show the sentiment expressed at different points in time.

We asked Cognisess Research Associate Kayleigh to share her MeetMe video with us so we could analyse the sentiments expressed throughout. Here’s the result:

And, just for fun, we thought we’d take a look at some well known political figures to see which emotions they express while speaking. Here Obama and Trump are speaking in very different tones on very different topics – so we’re definitely not comparing like for like. But it’s interesting to see the subtleties in human communication and note how the software categorises emotions.

Take a look at this analysis of cool, collected Obama during his last press conference as President of the United States:

And here’s a much more emotionally charged speech from Trump expressing anger about journalists at the White House:

While moderate levels of surprise and anger are present throughout Trump’s speech, Obama remains very neutral, punctuated by a few strong peaks of happiness and sadness. Here Obama is controlling his emotions, while Trump is fully expressing his. It could be argued that Obama is a more nuanced emotional communicator who “switches on” emotions to emphasise a point, whereas Trump’s underlying emotions are always engaged.

We’ll be making much more use of this technology to gather data from video interviews. Already we’ve been able to predict the perceived positivity of candidates through analysing video content, and this could be highly valuable in selecting individuals for customer-facing roles.

For more information on Cognisess Deep Learn – the machine learning engine behind everything we do, and to find out more about how Cognisess could help your business, get in touch at support@cognisess.com.