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4 Tips to Combine Job Auditions with Video Interviews

4 Tips to Combine Job Auditions with Video Interviews

Many ineffective elements of traditional interviews are on the oust. Over 60 percent of hiring pros say traditional interviews fail in assessing candidates’ soft skills, according to a 2018 LinkedIn report. The same report revealed 57 percent of hiring pros don’t feel traditional interviews help them effectively understand candidate weaknesses. 

To adjust to these attitudes, interviews are quickly evolving. New methods, like video interviews and job auditions, are taking the place of inaccurate and outdated processes. In fact, both job auditions and video interviews were noted in the top five techniques improving the traditional interview model.

However, many professionals are implementing the two separately. Combining these hiring process strategies supercharges interviews by improving the power of quick and effective assessments. 

Reenvisioning the job audition for live and one-way video interviews

Traditionally, job auditions involve assigning a candidate a task relevant to the current projects your team is tackling. This work sample serves as a means to assess the candidate’s immediate skills and abilities as they pertain to the role. Your hiring team may have current employees weigh in on the details of the assignment and the evaluation, but generally, only the hiring manager discusses the process and results with the candidate.

While it is possible to pull a panel of team members together to interview candidates on the exercise, this process only draws out time-to-hire. An effective alternative is incorporating a short presentation into the video interview process. Candidates complete and submit their traditional job audition project for review, but they also present an overview of the assignment during a live or one-way video interview. 

Follow-up questions can be asked either immediately after a live video presentation or through a live video or in-person interview following the review of a one-way video audition. This allows your entire hiring team to access the candidate’s thought and work processes through live interview or video recording. Since candidates’ presentations are on video, the whole team can also assess for numerous soft skills.

Some standard elements of the job audition are valuable to maintain, but many processes can be updated to make the best use of live and one-way video. Here’s how you can merge the streamlined efficiency of video interviews and the effectiveness of job auditions in assessing candidates to power-up your interview process: 

1. Involve current employees in video interview auditions

Job auditions can be incorporated into both one-way and live video interviews. This is a great way to get current team members involved in the evaluation process. 

Live video auditions: Ask current employees to contribute ideas for a project they believe highlights the skills necessary to succeed in the role. Employees involved in the project creation should, ideally, be team members candidates will work with if hired. 

Live video auditions are also highly effective in determining how well candidates vibe with your team’s personalities and work styles. Encourage each member to brainstorm questions for candidates to be asked during the presentation. Questions should be diverse and reveal something about the team as well as the candidate. For example, if your team relies heavily on team collaboration to complete projects, you could ask candidates if/who they pulled for resources and information when working on their project.

One-way video auditions: When scheduling doesn’t allow the candidate or team to get together for a live video interview, one-way video auditions make it possible for everyone to weigh in on the candidate’s results and presentation. Setting pre-determined questions keeps each candidates’ video audition structured and ensures your team is able to make a fair and accurate assessment of their skills.

Involve employees by asking them to set guidelines and questions for one-way video auditions. Discuss the time limit candidates have to prepare and present their project as well as how many takes candidates are allowed before submitting. These limits should mirror the practical constraints expected of current employees.

2. Set realistic video audition goals

Placing unrealistic expectations on candidates creates a negative experience for everyone. Job auditions must be respectful of both candidates’ and your team’s time. Assign an audition project candidates can present in as little as five minutes during their video interview. 

Live video auditions: Set clear expectations of what is to be presented during the live video job audition. Also, allow an appropriate amount of preparation time. Base time limits around how long it should take employees to complete the same project on the job. Team members can ask candidates in real-time to expand on their process. For example, what steps did they take and how did they gather their research and resources?

One-way video auditions: Clearly-defined expectations and timelines should also be set for one-way video job auditions. This type of interview, however, typically allows candidates to re-record. Keep one-way video audition evaluations consistent by sticking to a structured set of criteria and a uniform point system across all candidate presentations.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the project, you can also identify top talent by evaluating how candidates stage their presentations and if they take time to perfect their delivery so their points are as clear and concise as possible. Because there is no immediate interaction, pay attention to candidate eye contact and body language. Everyone should write down follow-up questions about the presentation to ask candidates during their live video or in-person interview should they advance to the next round of hiring.

3. Connect video auditions with real-life projects

Candidates generally perform job auditions knowing they’ll face similar tasks if they are hired for the role. It’s critical to give them a glimpse of the company’s current workflow and processes during video job auditions. This allows them to assess for fit as well.

Live video auditions: Show the connection between candidates’ audition projects and experiences to tasks team members have completed with the follow-up questions asked after each presentation. For example, if reviewing a job audition for a remote role, you can learn a great deal about a candidates’ problem-solving skills and how they manage autonomy by asking how they find the resources they need when working alone.

Interviewers should point out similar skills used to complete tasks on the job and what a day looks like while working on similar projects. Live video auditions give your team the opportunity to observe candidates’ expressions and overall reactions to these details. They can also answer questions candidates have regarding the role responsibilities to decrease confusion. 

One-way video auditions: Ask employees familiar with the department to weigh in on the review process and highlight parts of the job audition that connect to a current project. Then, reveal this list to candidates during a live video or in-person interview. This enables candidates to see how well they align with the job and company as well as how their performance will be assessed day-to-day. 

4. Carefully balance post-video audition questions

Well-rounded follow-up questions help hiring pros assess for both cultural and job fit. Pre-determined questions ensure you don’t miss a step evaluating for critical skills and experiences from interview to interview. But off-the-cuff questions let candidates know your team is engaged and invested in their audition. 

Live video auditions: Ask everyone on your hiring team to develop at least one question they want candidates to be asked regarding their projects. Have your team discuss these questions before the interview to ensure they are unique and compliant. The predetermined questions you ask should reveal if candidates understood the steps and details of the project and could repeat them. Then, encourage your interviewers to engage with candidates by asking real-time questions and sparking genuine conversation about the task. 

One-way video auditions: Candidates can — and should — be offered the same structured interview questions during their one-way video recording of their presentation, even though immediate interaction isn’t possible. However, one-way video job auditions give your team time to review and develop thoughtful follow-up questions to ask during future live video or in-person interviews.


Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 5,000+ customers in over 100 countries.