How affiliated "Philip Morris International" companies in Russia use video interview as an effective way for eliminating job candidates
One year ago we started thinking about reforming our staff selection system. We needed a new instrument that would help us solve the problem with a lack of time and would allow us to get to know the candidate better before inviting one to the office. We followed the recommendations of our colleagues and checked out the video interview service. Unlike Skype, this type of interview does not need the employer and the candidate to be online at the same moment. That is a big advantage when we are talking about different time zones. Russian market has only a few companies with such services and we have chosen VCV platform.

Anna Balueva
Talent Acquisition
Manager,
Russia Sourcing Team
Philip Morris Affiliates in Russia
That is not the first time we have used information technologies during recruitment. Many of our stages are already set: vacancies publication, responses gathering and candidates testing are working automatically. However, video interview is a new way of eliminating the applicants. I want to share my experience of working with this service and to give some advice on how to use it.

Vacancies

We used video interviews for both office and field specialists position.

But mainly, we apply this instrument while searching for the Territory Marketing Specialist. This is our most popular vacancy that comes with a huge wave of incoming CVs and following interviews.

Therefore, judging by our experience, we can say that video interviews are most suitable for:

  • Massive recruitment
  • For remote positions (especially if there is a time-zone difference).

Elimination stages

Every candidate passes two stages depending on the vacancy:

  • Video interview
  • Phone / personal interview

That is true; we still have not turned down the phone interview even when we started using this service. However, all our phone talks became more effective.

Videos help us to organize all the information and to get ready for the next stage. Now we do not start our phone interview from zero. We can ask people to tell us more about some of the examples they used in the video. We can come up with the new questions based on what we have already heard from the candidates. That helps us to spend less time on this stage and to make our talk qualitative.

Candidates reaction

We are always interested in listening to the applicants' opinion: whether they liked this new type of job interview or not, whether they are ready for this new format in the future. Obviously, everyone has a different feedback.

Positive feedback:

  • A new and interesting experience
  • An opportunity to look at oneself from the side

Negative feedback:

  • Not everyone has the right technical instruments to make a video
  • Not everyone is ready to use this format
  • It takes some time to understand how the instrument works

In spite of some negative reviews, the candidates took this new initiative in a positive way and most of them make the videos as needed.

Video interview questions

Candidates answer 5-7 questions on average with total video duration of 20 minutes

We try to avoid the questions which need the "right or wrong" answers. It is much more important to understand the way the person thinks. The reasoning of a candidate is the basis for the following talks.

Our interviews usually have only one question with a single right answer possible. Nonetheless, if an applicant gives the wrong answer, there is no reason to turn him or her down. Usually we ask the person about this question during the phone interview. If the candidate has thought about it a few times after the video, it means that we are dealing with a responsible and an interested applicant.

Lifehacks

A few pieces of advice based on our experience.

Make a greeting video

The candidate will see the employer's message before answering the questions. It is not mandatory but we advise you to use it to your advantage.

In our video greeting we talk about:

  • The vacancy
  • Our company
  • The video interview format
In this way, we create a dialogue with an applicant. The person sees a recruiter he or she has already talked to on the phone. One gets some useful information and feels more confident before the interview.

Ask the applicant to introduce himself or herself

One of the most convenient video interview options is being able to share a link to it with a hiring manager. In this way, the employer can learn more about the candidate without waiting for a personal meeting.

The hiring manager can easily get lost in dozens of videos, as the links are anonymous. In order to avoid that, we ask our candidates to introduce themselves and to say what job position they are applying to. Therefore, the recruiter knows who is in front of him from the very first minutes.

Ask the hiring manager for a piece of advice

Managers and recruiters follow the same task - finding the best candidate and hiring him or her. However, they see this goal differently. While recruiters evaluate the candidates based on their competences, the hiring managers seek for the professional skills.

Tell the manager about a new way of interviewing people and discuss the questions that candidates will have to answer. Ask the manager to come up with the new questions on the specific professional topics and job nuances.

And do not forget to share the links of the video answers afterwards.