Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

The Modern Interview

April 12, 2017

So in my never-ending quest to land a paid summer internship (SOS if you are looking to hire someone who produces sporadic articles about IDs and buses, and also has some other kinda cool talents hmu!!), I have stumbled upon a new form of interview: the video assessment.

Idk if this video assessment thing is technically new or not, but it’s definitely a novelty to my group of friends, and collectively we’ve probably completed over 30 of these in the last few weeks. Basically, if a company likes your resume, they send you an email “inviting you to complete the assessment!”

You then click on the link, and realize, with horror, that you are being redirected to a virtual interview. After an extravagant process of setting up your FaceTime camera and making sure your headphones are working (yes, as if this wasn’t already unnatural enough, you have to use your headset), you are presented with a series of questions. In some assessments the questions are flashed across the screen in text format, and in others a robotic voice asks them. Regardless, you are given 30 seconds to think of your answer and then 60 seconds to stumble through your response.

Sound horrible? It is.

But it gets worse! The 30 and 60 second time limits are marked by flashing numbers, so while you’re trying to think, all you can focus on is that there are 14–now 13, nope now 12–seconds left before the camera turns on and you are recorded.

There are no redos, and no chances to watch yourself over again. You are literally selling yourself into an internet black hole (and yeah, I guess to the company too), and you will never know the fate of where this series of videos ended up.

I’ve had friends criticize the companies who do this, calling them impersonal and inconsiderate of our time. But I actually think it’s a pretty ingenious way to quickly weed out a bunch of applicants before conducting the official first round interview. In 2017, it is somewhat important to be comfortable in front of the camera, and this pseudo-YouTube star way of interviewing interns certainly assesses that. So as of now, I’m actually in favor of these interviews.

I mean, if it’s true that millennials have been told our entire lives that we are superstars/god’s gift to the world/our mommy’s pride and glory, then why not use an interviewing technique that reinforces this?! With this method of interviewing, you are the star of the show.

Or…it’s the opposite. Maybe this interview technique is ingenious because in making you feel like you are a legit celebrity who is recording a self-promotion video with the goal of gaining more fans, in reality you are one of ten thousand college students submitting somewhat generic answers and crossing your fingers that someone will “like” you (in a non-Instagram format) enough to hire you.

Ha! Ha! Hope I brightened your day! Now get back to trying to get hired!!

Images via, via, and via.

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