Cardiff Award student, Victoria Lord, talks us through her experience of taking part in a practice video interview……
It’s been a long standing student assumption that if you apply for a job you have to go through an interview. When you think of an interview you may think of it in the traditional sense where you sit down in front of employees from the company you are applying to and you answer their questions. However, more and more employers are using or experimenting with video interviews. So, the Cardiff Award are also branching out and offering students the chance to select video, through the LaunchPad service, and traditional interviews as their recruitment experience as part of the Award programme. I’ve been lucky enough to have tried out both experiences and I’m here to give you my thoughts on the differences and benefits of both.
An interview will always be at least slightly nerve wracking, especially if it is your first time. However, the Cardiff Award allows you to gain feedback during both traditional and video interviews. You can play back your video clips and this will give you an amazing insight into your body language, tone of voice and ability to answer the questions. You might feel like you know yourself too well for this to be something new but, trust me, this experience is so eye opening. When I was watching my clips back I learnt that eye contact is far trickier in a video interview than in a traditional interview as you always have to avoid watching the screen. I also learnt how little attention I had been playing to my facial expressions and just how careful you have to be of these when not only answering questions but when pressing the ‘start and stop recording’ buttons. If I ever have to do a video interview, I’m very glad that I’ve been able to have this experimental run first so that I know this ahead of time.
If you choose to do a traditional interview for you Cardiff Award experience there is also an opportunity to gain feedback from your interviewer which is also very helpful but Launchpad is truly unique in showing you your mannerisms. Personally, rather than replacing them, this experience really taught me to appreciate traditional interviews. I discovered just how much I relied on the human contact you have during a traditional interview which is extremely relevant when a question doesn’t go the way you plan on a video clip. It’s so hard to pull it back when it’s just you and a webcam but this showed me that I really have to work on ways to pull my answers back. However, video interviews on LaunchPad can be such a good boost for your confidence when a question goes really well because that was all your own work.
Video interviews on LaunchPad also really highlight how much preparation needs to go into answering using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) method in either traditional or video interviews as a whole. You don’t have an interviewer there to ask you follow up questions so you have to make sure that you sell yourself while simultaneously including everything you want to say.
Video interviews also showed me how important and difficult it is to use the STAR method when faced with very general interview questions such as ‘what have you enjoyed about your degree’ and ‘what do you see yourself doing in five years’. This is a realisation that can only be highlighted when you watch yourself back and consider whether or not you have sold yourself during every question.
Overall, I’m very grateful that I had the ability to watch my interview answers back on video via LaunchPad as I realised all of the things I’ve listed below. However, most surprisingly, I came away from my video interview experience actually more comfortable with the thought of doing traditional interviews due to their higher levels of human interaction and lack of strict time limits. So, while I wouldn’t want traditional interviews to disappear completely, I would highly recommend that you make the most of the LaunchPad experience to learn so much more about your mannerisms in interviews as I feel that this is the one way to truly prepare yourself for a traditional interview.
By Victoria Lord, English Literature student
Record your own mock video interview
Record a mock video interview of yourself through the online platform called ‘Launchpad’. Once you have recorded yourself, Launchpad will email you a link of your video so that you can watch it back. Firstly, take notice of how you appear and your body language. Then listen again to pay attention to how well you have answered the questions. Have you used the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) technique? Do you notice an improvement in your performance as the interview goes on?
You will need a computer with a microphone and webcam in order record your mock video interview. Make sure you record it in a quiet space. If you are struggling to find a place or equipment to record your mock interview, please let us know and we will book you a pod at the University.
Why choose this activity?
More and more recruiters are using video interviews to conduct initial screening, replacing phone screening or first round interviewing. This is your chance to make an impression so it’s really important that you get it right. We don’t routinely provide feedback with this activity, it’s more about your reflecting on your performance. When watching back your mock video interview, you get to see exactly what your interviewer sees and understand whether you’re really making the impression you set out to make. Use it to confirm your strengths and make the adjustments you need, so you can feel confident when going into the real thing.
How to record your mock video interview?
You can access the mock video interview tool through Launchpad. Please register on LaunchPad Recruits using your cardiff.ac.uk email address.
Cardiff Award students can count this at their Award recruitment experience.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and Money, Careers and Employability, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support. The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.