Interviews are always nerve-wracking but video interviews can feel especially daunting. Without the typical face-to-face interaction with a recruiter, getting across your personality can seem a challenge. So we sat down with Vodafone on DebutLive to get their top tips for becoming the star of your next video interview.
Laila Mandani, Group Resourcing Manager, and Heather Simons, HR Operations Consultant, had loads of great advice on how to dress, effective strategies for interview practice and the skills you should be aiming to get across. The key is of course to treat a video interview as you would any normal interview, but this is easier said than done, so they shared some of their video interview hacks that you don’t want to miss.
Here’s a sneak peek of Heather talking about some of the video interview pitfalls she fell into when she want through the application process, and how you can make sure they don’t happen to you. Don’t forget, you can watch the video in full by heading to the DebutLive tab of the app.
We received loads of great questions from those who tuned in live, and those that Laila and Heather didn’t quite get time to answer, are answered below!
What does the promotional ladder at Vodafone look like?
Vodafone aims to offer its employees a “World of Opportunities”. This means that people can move both upwards, into roles with greater strategic responsibility and leadership accountability, or sideways to give them more breadth and challenge in their career. We build both deep technical specialists and managers with a broader skillset, and both are completely critical to delivering the objectives of the business.
With regards to Artificial Intelligence being the next iteration of video interviews, what are the ethical implications of deploying such technologies to screen candidates, and how can unconscious biases be designed out of the use of AI in the future?
There is a risk of building bias into algorithms that drive AI; just because they’re mathematical doesn’t mean they reveal pure, objective truth. In the case of recruitment, humans (HR in this case) must tell AI what they consider suitable, teach it which information is relevant, and indicate that the outcomes they consider best—ethically, legally—are those that are free from bias, conscious or unconscious.
At Vodafone we deploy different techniques and processes in avoiding/limiting bias in resourcing resulting into a diverse pool of hires – 50/50 gender balance in the case of graduates. We will teach AI to do the same and if anything, the results will improve as we build the practices into algorithms that will drive more consistency.
How do you determine whether the candidate has performed well in the video interview?
As Laila mentioned during the livestream, according to the Vodafone standards, candidates are evaluated based on their four potential indicators: applied thinking (using any previous experience or learning and applying it to a new situation), drive (having ambition and desire to achieve really positive results), change (being strong and resilient during times of uncertainty) and engage (how you interact with other people and bring people together to achieve something collaboratively).
We’re also looking for passion for the field, motivation and an open mindset.
How long does the video interview usually take?
The video interview consists of 5 questions and an interview takes around 10-15 mins on average.
How should you best prepare for the five questions that you will be asked? How can you practice?
Practice makes perfect. Make the most of your opportunity to practice on hireview, but also before then. I recommend looking up some interview questions online (e.g. Glassdoor) and then film yourself answering these questions. Get comfortable in front of the camera, don’t just dive straight into your video interview!
Prepare for the questions by doing some research on Vodafone, any interesting projects we are working on (see our social media), research the role – know what you have applied for! Also think about challenges you’ve overcome, how you’ve overcome these and what you have learned. Think about situations you’ve demonstrated teamwork, innovation and initiative so that you can prepare for whatever question you are asked.
Think about why you applied for Vodafone and what motivates you. Why do you think the future is exciting?
What are the entry requirements for the graduate scheme?
You need to be able to demonstrate creativity and adaptability, and show a passion for customers and commercial savviness. We are looking for candidates who have recently graduated (within one year), or on track to achieve a minimum of a 2:1 degree or equivalent. You also need to be geographically mobile as you could be based in one, or multiple, locations across the UK throughout the programme. Finally you need to be proficient in English.
What is the company culture like at Vodafone?
Company culture at Vodafone is not what you would expect. Everyone is willing to help where they can and are really supportive. Although it’s a large corporation, it’s easy to approach people, especially as we have hot desking, which means you could be sat next to a different person each day! It is a great balance between being friendly but also formal, which means you can get your head down and get the job done, but there’s also a social aspect.
What tips can you give for the assessment centre?
Main tip for the assessment centre is to be yourself! We want to get to know you as a person and see how you could fit in our company and teams. Try to stay relaxed throughout the day so you are able to show your personality and excel in your tasks.
Additionally, another piece of advice to live by is ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Preparation is key; think about your past experiences and how they can link to the role you are applying for. Do your research on Vodafone and look into any exciting projects we are working on – this will really show your passion and interest in working with us.
What will immediately put you off a candidate in a video interview?
Very generic, rehearsed answers, not showing any interest in the company or the role, or not having any motivation or showing any potential.
What are the biggest challenges Vodafone is facing right now?
For a global organisation, Vodafone experiences many of the same challenges as other large multinational organisations. These include major societal disruptions. For example, moving from globalisation to local/ nationalisation, and what this will mean for trade across borders.
Secondly, the next industrial revolution, Digitalisation. What does Digital and Artificial Intelligence mean for our products, services, customers and employees? Finally, accessing a diverse talent pool with critical but rare skills – how do we maintain an advantage over our competitors, who are looking for the same talent?
How do you impress if you don’t have any work experience?
No work experience, no worries! We understand that you’re students so we don’t expect a world of experience. Our main tip would be to highlight your skills from university or any part time jobs/volunteering you have be a part of and link these to the skills required for the role!
For example if you are part of any university teams then link that to team work, dedication, time management etc. Utilise anything inside and outside of uni, if you don’t have work experience
How many questions will be technical and how many will be about you?
All video interview question are “about you”. They all aim to get to know you, your experience and motivation. As mentioned, we assess candidates based on potential indicators. You will not be tested for any technical skills during the video interview stage.
How do you show confidence in an interview?
Confidence in an interview is a difficult thing, especially if you are nervous! So, it is important to stay relaxed and remember that the interviewees are people too, and they genuinely want you to feel at ease so you can perform your best.
Be confident in what you’re saying, believe in yourself and back yourself. If you believe in your skills and experience, and your ability to deliver in the role, this will come across in an interview. Tip: Don’t be over-confident. At the end of the day we all have weaknesses and things we can work on, but highlight those and explain how you’re working on them. But make sure to highlight you strengths too!
What would you say is the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful video interview?
In unsuccessful video interviews we can not really see any evidence of applied thinking (using any previous experience or learning and applying it to a new situation), drive (having ambition and desire to achieve really positive results), change (being strong and resilient during times of uncertainty) and engage (how you interact with other people and bring people together to achieve something collaboratively). Successful ones show these indicators, passion and motivation.
What percentage of people get screened out at video interview stage?
Around 75% will be screened out from those who passed pre-screening and completed the video interview and online assessment.