How Video Sharing Can Help You Hone Your Interviewing Skills

I still remember the stress of interviews in the beginning of my career. Before and during interviews, I would experience all of the classic symptoms of anxiety – weak knees, sleepless nights, shaky hands, and the sensation of having a knot in my stomach. My mind would go blank when I was asked questions about myself, sometimes leading to uncomfortable pauses or semi-coherent meandering answers. Many times, I would feel a sense of frustration and dread while leaving the interview room. I can’t say that I impressed any of my interviewers while applying to jobs early in my career. Fortunately though, I had mentors who saw potential in me and gave me positive referrals that helped me secure my early jobs.

My comfort with job interviews slowly changed over the course of several years in my career. At a certain point, I understood that I had to overcome my fear of interview failure. I developed my interviewing skills and got selected for jobs despite a competitive talent pool. This wasn’t a shift that happened overnight. I attended self-help seminars, read numerous books, talked to people, and participated in group discussions and seminars. After experimenting with a lot of things, I finally found an effective solution to master the interview process. It was neither a particularly novel discovery nor a silver bullet. The solution that ultimately worked for me was extensive practice, which allowed me to gain proficiency addressing the topics that came up in my job interviews.

c

There are several things one should incorporate in their preparation for job interviews. Some of them are:
  • Practice answering effectively through repetition
  • Practice in front of a mirror to develop self-awareness
  • Participation in mock interviews to gain experience
  • Presentations of the subject matter to gain authority over subject
  • Participation in discussions with peers and mentors
At Colaberry, we encourage trainees who are looking for jobs to incorporate these methods of practice into their interview preparation routine. However, as the number of trainees grew, we realized that our analog method of supporting trainees was not scalable. We looked at incorporating various technology tools that would allow us to do this work more efficiently. One of the tools we used with high level of effectiveness is video recording and sharing technology.

Colaberry created a simple technology platform (www.colaberry.com) that allows trainees to record videos where they answer various questions on a daily basis. Trainees can record the videos using their computers or mobile phones and post them directly on our server. We created a system that encouraged other trainees to watch the videos, rate them, and provide feedback. The results we saw greatly exceeded our expectations. Trainees were able to learn how to communicate effectively, collaborate with other team members, give critical feedback to others, and most importantly, gain the confidence that is essential for success in interviews.

I am providing some pictures to illustrate the journey of one trainee who went through this process to develop a winning interview style.

1st video: You can see that the trainee has a nervous smile and not so sure about how to answer the question. The feedback provided encourages him to talk with more seriousness.

12nd video: In response to the previous feedback, the trainee became completely serious in the presentation. Our feedback encouraged him to use clearer examples during presentation.

27th video: The trainee became very comfortable with presentation and professional in attire. He doesn’t need much critical feedback anymore as he has already begun to hone his communication style.

315th video: The trainee is highly confident, articulate and professional. He is ready to take on the world and succeed in interviews that he comes across.

4

Here is a picture that illustrates his journey over a period of time:

5

Based on data collected over a period of two years, we can say that it takes an average of ten video recordings to hone one’s ability to communicate about new topics. It takes an average of twenty-five video recordings to gain enough mastery over subject matter to convince a hiring manager about one's capability to perform in a job. As technology is ubiquitous today, with every cell phone and a computer including a camera, I encourage anybody who is preparing for an interview to record videos regularly and solicit peer feedback in order to pave their way to a job offer.


Ram Dhan Yadav Katamaraja, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Colaberry, a platform that provides career pathways to folks from underserved communities training, mentoring, and job placement.

The GradsofLifeVoice Forbes team provides thought leadership, research and expert commentary on innovative talent pipelines and related issues such as the skills gap, income inequality, workforce diversity, and the business case for employment pathways. We seek to change employers’ perceptions of young adults with atypical resumes from social liabilities to economic assets. This post was originally featured here.


Innovation, Technology, Workforce Development,
Related News
View All News
More Than What's On Paper: Being Empowered By Change
September 6th, 2017 | By Grads of Life

What I remember most about my school years was playing video games. I don’t remember exactly what my first video game was...Read More

Career Readiness: Whose Responsibility Is It, Anyway?
August 30th, 2017 | By Grads of Life

A funny thing happens during the time students begin to wrap up their college and career-preparation programs and prepare to...Read More

Strong Social Enterprises Boost Individual Lives And The Nation's Economy
June 8th, 2017 | By Grads of Life

When the baseball season started and new youth started their jobs at our sites in Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, and...Read More