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Interview Prep Tips

HireVue Interview Prep Tips

Why am I not able to pass the HireVue?

If you’ve asked yourself this question, you are not the first. The deceptively straight forward and simple HireVue process actually requires preparation and practice to be able to perform at your best consistently. Each opportunity matters.

We have put together the Voomer Video Success Framework that highlights three core areas of video interviews and some strategies on how to perform at your best while practicing with the AI video feedback from Voomer.

Prep for your HireVue with our videos on YouTube and Voomer!

Using Voomer its possible for you to understand how an interviewer, and Artifical Intelligence (AI) will rate your performance on the three areas of the Voomer Video Success Framework and how you will compare to other candidates. Visual, Verbal, and Vocal are the three key components of the Framework.

If you are looking to nail your next interview, check out our YouTube channel, or other posts on topics such as Camera Angle, Audio, and Eye-Contact that can help you out!


Ok so here’s the problem that you can solve with the Voomer Video Success Framework:


You’re trying to find a reliable method for succeeding in the HireVue interview, you know you need to perform confidently, engagingly and convincingly – but for some reason you haven’t been able to progress to the next stage.

Each HireVue that you can’t get through is a valuable opportunity lost, and there is no feedback on what you can improve available. If you can’t get through you may have to go with plan B. On the other hand, getting it right means that every opportunity could potentially become an offer.

There are three steps that work together in unison to create the Voomer Video-Success Framework. A systematic way to prepare you to perform at your best in the one-way video interview.

  • Visual: Everything that can be seen, you, your background, and movement.
  • Vocal: How you say everything, and how well you can be heard.
  • Verbal: What you know, and the words you use.

The Visual Step

OK so let’s get started and look at the key parts to the Visual step. This is the first part of the Voomer Video-Success Framework.

Background: Try to go for something organized and minimalist. Let everything in the cameras view have a reason for being there. If all else fails go for a plain wall – it will look surprisingly professional. Adding a pot plant can really make the scene pop.

Lighting: Have the main source of light in front of you. Don’t sit with a window behind you, and use a soft table lamp to brighten up your face.

Having the light source in front of you makes you the focus of your video
A desk lamp is a great way to get a light in front of you, and helps with late night HireVues

Appearance: Imagine it is your first day on the job. Mirroring your colleagues, or going one small step smarter, is a great way to find the perfect balance and not appear overly formal. If there is a very strong corporate color scheme see if you can work that in with an accessory or tie. Think of what you would wear to your first day in the office – or any differences in geography. West coast technology startups have a very diffent expectation compared to East coast big law.

Eye-contact – try to maintain eye-contact with the camera, You can put a sticker where you need to look. Some people even print out a set of eyes to stick either side of the camera.

So now We’ve got those first parts, Background, Lighting, Appearance and Eye Contact, that make up the Visual step of the Voomer Video-Success-Framework. Now let’s now talk about the Vocal step.

The Vocal Step

This is another area that has had a massive impact on my own interview skills. What Tone, Pauses, and Microphone are, among other things, they are the Vocal step of the framework. This step is all about how you speak.

When it comes to tone, monotone is unfortunately our default. Much as we may think we are using emphasis when we are telling a story, for video interviews multiply this by ten. Imagine a tooth brush the size of a guitar, pretend and act out how you would brush your teeth with it. That difference is how much nearly all of us need to increase our emphasis when we are communicating.

The easiest way to improve your Vocal delivery is to find a word to emphasise in each sentence. Whisper wise words, the crux of the story, the deciding moment that you want the interviewer to focus on. Use rhythm to convey a ongoing or repeating process, and up your volume as you reach your conclusion.


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Pauses also draw the interviewer into what you are saying. Whenever you decide to pause count to three in your head. Sitting a pause is like the end of a gymnastic routine, sit the landing. It feels weird to you but by gosh to the interviewer it makes you look like a confident pro, a great benefit is that it also gives you time to think about how you want to finish your answer.

Finally, and most importantly, you’ve got to get an external microphone enabling you to be heard clearly. If you have bad audio, and all the interviewer can hear is your computer fan, the interviewer will skip your answer. Bad audio is so much worse than bad video. Even the headphones from your phone are a vast improvement. For less than $15 you can get yourself a lav mic from Amazon, I guarantee one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

Now that the interviewer can hear you clearly and you are engaging, this then aligns perfectly with the final step in Voomer’s Video Success Framework, which is the Verbal step.

The Verbal step is all about the content. Questions are behavioural (tell us about a time when… ) or motivational (why apply here? Why us? Why now?). We’ve got a video all about preparing for common questions here.

The Verbal Step

We all know that doing your research on the position and the company makes the difference. Focus on two main areas:

  • What are the company’s core values that you can tie your answers back to?
  • What are any recent public filings or press releases, read the exectutive summaries

Also make sure to come up with an answer for the two of the most common questions. “Tell us about a time you worked in a team”. “Tell us about a time when you handled conflict”.

Anyway the key is don’t freak out, be relatable, if you need to take a moment to think, do it with a smile and make it a confident pause.

Summary

Even if you have set yourself up with your very own Voomer Video-Success-Framework, the most difficult step is applying it in your actual day-to-day life. It can be very intimidating, even if you believe it will bring you more focus and better performance.

The best way to get over that barrier is to Practice. Practice. Practice. Use Voomer to prepare for your exact position, record as many times as you want and get specific feedback on the areas of the Video Success Framework to improve the most and pass the HireVue.

Categories
Interview Prep Tips

HireVue Tip #4: Camera Angle

Introduction

A very important part of your HireVue interview is how you present yourself to the viewer – be it a human viewer looking at your recorded answers or HireVue’s AI.

An oft neglected part of this is your camera angle.

Just think of how people usually talk to each other face to face – at eye level right?

However, when sitting at a desk, our laptop cameras as usually below our eye level, so we angle the cameras upwards so that our face can be seen.  The result is that you’ll give HireVue a nice view of your nostrils! That doesn’t help anybody, so lets look into ways to fix this issue and get you that dream job.

After you go through the steps below, try a platform like Voomer to get AI-powered feedback on how you are doing with your camera angle and several other important aspects of your video interview.

Step 1

If using a laptop with an integrated webcam, raise the laptop to eye level by elevating it with books.

Make sure the camera lens is perpendicular to your eyes, you’ll probably have to angle the screen (where most laptop cameras are embedded) a little towards you to get a good angle.

Laptop raised on pile of books
You can use books to raise your camera to eye level

 

Step 2

If using a cell phone, you also want it at your eye level.

The major difference here is that cell phones don’t really stand up without any independent support, so what you need to do it place it on some sort of cradle.

There are several different ways you can hack together a cell phone stand out of household materials.  You can also just buy one if it makes your life easier.

Using a cell phone stand guarantees your phone will stay put in the correct angle after you’ve raised it to your eye level.

Step 3

Make sure the objects you’ve used to prop up your laptop or cell phone are sturdy!

I’ve seen countless videos where cameras are set on top of flimsy objects and will shake and vibrate as the applicant is recording their videos.  

Viewing a video that is shaky is just as bad as viewing one that has a bad camera angle.  Both usually go hand in hand, so keep an eye out for this issue!

Conclusion and one last tip

Having your camera raised up to your eye level and tilting it forward to be perpendicular to your face is an essential step in your HireVue preparation.  You’ll effectively simulate a conversation at eye level, which will ease the connection you’re trying to build with the person viewing your video.  In the case that the HireVue AI is analyzing your video, this will make it easier for it to analyze your facial expressions and improve your chances at getting that dream job.

Use a platform like Voomer that also uses AI-powered technology to check if your camera angle and stability are good to go for your interview.  On top of that, you’ll get access to hundreds of HireVue style questions, broken down by company and role.  

Start practicing on Voomer for free today!


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Categories
Interview Prep Tips

HireVue Tip #3: Audio Quality

Introduction

Good audio quality is absolutely key for a successful HireVue interview.

You might have the best answers, great delivery and an amazing smile, but if all the person viewing your HireVue answers (or HireVue’s AI reviewing your answers!) can hear is a tinny sounding voice under the whir of your laptop fan, the neighbor’s dogs and echoes – you’re in trouble!

Set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants the moment the first word comes out of your mouth with great audio quality!

Follow the 3 simple steps below and later on find out how good your audio quality is on Voomer, where you can get AI-powered feedback before you do your HireVue interview.

Step 1

The easiest thing to do is to make sure your microphone is close to your mouth.

If using a laptop, simply scoot forward or pull the laptop towards you. If you are using a microphone tethered to your headphones, make sure they are turned towards your mouth – I’ve “heard” several people that submitted videos with their microphones close to their mouths but turned away! They didn’t sound very good at all!

Avoid that simple mistake and you’ll be better off than most applicants right from the get-go.

Step 2

Consider investing in a stand alone microphone.

If you follow podcasts or watch Youtube or Twitch you might think that a decent microphone costs hundreds of dollars. While some do, a $10 lapel microphone will probably be better than your onboard laptop microphone!

Using a stand alone microphone almost guarantees you’ll eliminate some distracting sounds like your laptop fan whirring – and yes, we can hear that!

So consider investing a bit in a microphon – your voice will come across loud and clear!

Step 3

This step is surprisingly simple – but many don’t even think about doing this. Record yourself on your computer (with your external microphone!) BEFORE you fire up your HireVue interview.

This will make it clear to you if you need adjust something in your set up.

Though keep in mind, the thing that might need adjustment can be the environment around you.

Be aware of any background noise (traffic, dogs barking, etc). Some people have done their HireVues from the bathroom simply because its was the quietest room in the house!

However, careful with recording in places that are surrounded by hard surfaces (like windows and tiles) since those reflect sound very well and can cause an echo.

Doing a dry run of your HireVue by recording yourself on your computer helps to ensure all of your audio prep is OK and your HireVue answers will come through loud and clear.

Conclusion & final tip

Ensuring your audio is coming across clear and crisply is as important as your answers on the HireVue.

If you can’t be heard well, the person viewing your answers will be dismissed and HireVue’s AI won’t be able to run its analyses on you – pushing your application to the bottom of the pile.

A great way to check if your set up is working is to practice on Voomer. You’ll get AI-powered feedback on how you sound and on top of that, you can practice on hundreds of HireVue style questions broken down by company and role.

Increase your chances of landing that dream job by prepping with Voomer!

If you want to see all of the above steps put in practice in video, check out this link on YouTube.


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Categories
Interview Prep Tips

HireVue Tip #2: Eye contact

Introduction

Pull up your most recent group selfie. Notice how most of the people seem to be looking slightly away from the camera.

That’s what happens when you aren’t aware of where the camera actually is and just focus on the image or video being shown back to you!

On a HireVue interview, maintaining a decent amount of eye contact is key to your success – regardless if your video is being assessed by HireVue’s AI or by a human reviewer.

Follow the steps below to ensure you make as much eye contact as possible. You can also use a platform like Voomer that provides AI-powered feedback on your eye contact when answering questions.

Step 1

Understand where camera is, and look at it!

The first part of that sentence might seem obvious, but you need to REALLY understand where the “selfie cam” on your phone or webcam on your laptop is.

With the camera app open in selfie mode, run your fingers around the bezel of the phone or laptop until you see a finger pop into the screen. That’s when you’ve found the camera!

Now you have to practice looking at the camera while you deliver your HireVue answers. That is easier said than done, so take a look at the next two steps.

Step 2

HireVue has a toggle in their recording interface that allows you to switch the video of yourself on or off.

We highly recommend toggling the video off. Don’t worry, HireVue still has access to your camera and will record your answers just fine.

Turning your video off allows you to do two things. It focuses your attention on looking at the camera, not at your video. That will increase the time you look at the camera and therefore the perceived eye contact.

The second thing this does is it avoid you freaking out about pet peeves of yours that honestly don’t matter one bit to the interviewer. You might be extremely self conscious about something on your face – a bad haircut you just got, a double chin, whatever. But the truth is that Hirevue’s AI review or the human reviewer just don’t care.

So toggle that camera off and focus on the questions and your answers!

Step 3

Recording your HireVue answers while looking at the camera is not something easy to do.

If you are unable to do that for the duration of all your answers, do the second best thing: Look at the camera when you are mentioning something particularly important on your answer.

That way you highlight parts of your answer that really matter and drive engagement with the person (or AI!) viewing your answers.

Conclusion

Looking at the camera when doing your HireVue can be very challenging. Follow the above steps to make sure you are able to look at the camera during most of your answer.

Use a platform like Voomer to get AI-powered feedback on your eye contact skills. You’ll also gain access to hundreds of common Hirevue questions broken down by company and role.

Practicing your HireVue on Voomer will build up your confidence so you can land that dream job!


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Categories
Interview Prep Tips

HireVue Tip #1: Lighting

Introduction

Have you been ever been on a Zoom or FaceTime call and the other person was barely visible due to a lack of light or so backlit you could only see their outline?

Those issues are caused by bad lighting – and it can happen on your HireVue as well!

It doesn’t matter if the company you are applying to uses HireVue’s AI analysis system or only allows humans to review videos – bad lighting can destroy your chances of getting a job in both situations.

This is an extremely easy issue to fix, and it will set you apart from the other applicants before you even open your mouth to answer the first question.

Read on below to find out how, or use a platform like Voomer to get AI-powered feedback on your lighting set up.

Step 1

Make sure your face is well lit by placing lights behind your camera.

This makes sure your facial body language is picked up by HireVue’s AI or the human reviewer quickly – they don’t have to struggle to see whether or not you are smiling or grimacing.

Furthermore, having your face well lit demonstrates to the reviewers that you took the time to plan your HireVue interview in advance and are a serious candidate for the job.

Interview lighting tip, light behind camera
Place a light behind the camera

Step 2

Remove or turn off any lights that are in front of the camera.

This prevents overexposing your background – that’s when your background is a very bright white. Overexposed backgrounds can be very distracting, especially as your camera will usually try to automatically compensate for this and reduce the exposure of the entire frame – which brings the brightness of your face down.

As we discussed in step 1, the most important issue on your HireVue lighting wise is to have your face well lit! So a bright background negates that benefit.

Keep in mind that windows and mirror behind you (like in the middle picture below) also can cause your background to be over exposed.

Long story short – no lights behind you!

Step 3

Use as much natural light as possible.

Natural light looks great on anybody and helps to brighten up an environment almost uniformly. So open up those curtains!

Just keep in mind step 2 above – if your windows are facing the camera, keep the curtains closed or – even better – angle the camera away from the window so you can still use natural light.

Use natural light

Conclusion and bonus tip

Thinking for just a minute about your HireVue lighting will put you ahead of everyone that didn’t think about their lighting set up before even answering the first question. Believe me when I say that the vast majority of applicants submitting HireVue intervews don’t even realize that lighting is a key deciding factor in whether or not your HireVue interview will be sucessful.

Use a platform like Voomer to check if your lighting is up to scratch. You’ll get AI-powered feedback on your lighting and recommendations on how to improve it.

On top of that, with Voomer you’ll get access to hundreds of questions asked in HireVue interviews broken down by company and role. Start practicing for your HireVue interview on Voomer today!


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