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Digital interviews humanize what could otherwise be an impersonal, resume-based screening process. It’s a topic we talk about with our clients, partners, and team members every day. It’s a proposition that benefits candidates: they get a chance to tell their story, not just to be a single-page keyword-rich resume. It’s proposition that benefits employers: they get to observe personality, attitude, and communication skills much earlier in the application process than they were previously accustomed to.

So what happens at RIVS, when we need to add a team member? We practice what we preach.

Our client base has grown quite a bit recently, and recently we decided to add an additional Customer Success Manager (CSM). Folks that have this role at RIVS are responsible for making clients successful with digital interviews — whether that means providing hands-on training, answering technical questions, suggesting additional ways to use our solution, or coaching clients on digital interviews best practices.

Digital Interviews: Applying

For our CSM opening, we decided on a process that began with an application page. There, we gather basic contact information from the candidate (and their resume), and ask a few knock-out questions.

Knock-out questions are factual in nature. For example, a question about whether/not the candidate is available to begin work by a particular date, or whether a candidate is willing to commit to being available to travel for business a certain percentage of the time. Half of the candidates (17 of 34) satisfied our knock-out questions, and advanced to the first-round video assessment (also known as a one-way interview).

Digital Interviews: 1st Video Assessment

In our first video assessment, we asked the candidates five questions, all with the intention of discerning more about their personality, attitude, and communication skills. A customer success manager talks with customers of all sizes, types, and dispositions — we need folks that are very comfortable thinking on their feet and representing themselves confidently. Moreover, our CSMs need to be self-starters that can be successful without all of the constructs, policies, and guides that might be present if they were working in a Fortune 500 company.

I’ll bet more than a few of our candidates were surprised by the prompt/question “Please define what a startup environment means to you and why you would like to work for a startup.”

It’s not a knowledge-based question. It’s not a skills-based question. But, it’s a great PACS (personality, attitude, and communications skills) question. The variance in responses ranged from individuals that seemed to have no particular affinity for working for a startup versus a large firm, to folks that had some insight into startups and aspired to work for one, to individuals that had already worked for several startups in the past and wanted to find their next fit. All responses were revealing, though.

We like it when candidates are excited and enthusiastic not just about being a CSM, but particularly about being a CSM in a startup. And it’s pretty easy to tell who those folks are, from the first video assessment. All evaluators at RIVS rated the candidates responses, and were able to add notes with particular observations — each video response gets tagged with a rating a bit like this:

Next, we reviewed the responses and invited some candidates back for a second round.

Digital Interviews: 2nd Video Assessment

Of the 17 candidates that completed the first video assessment, we advanced six to a second video assessment. The joy of digital interviews is that advancing these candidates (and automatically sending out their second video assessment) was just a matter of a single click in RIVS, to choose the next stage for the candidate.

At this stage, we ask more advanced questions that get to the core of how the candidate thinks about customer interactions, such as: “What is the one word that you would use to describe the difference between a good customer service experience versus a bad one? Why?”

We asked just three questions in this second video assessment, and of the six candidates, we advanced four to an in-person interview, based on ratings and notes of employees that evaluated the candidates.

Digital Interviews: In-Person Interviews

For the in-person interview, candidates chose a day/time from the RIVS autoscheduler, which had access to free/busy data for the employees that were set to conduct the interview. This worked splendidly, because it cut out all of the busywork of finding mutually available times. Candidates received a link to a real-time-updated calendar that shows mutual availability of the parties that are conducting the interview:

When a candidate chooses a slot, interviewers simply receive an interview invitation that automatically updates their calendar with the scheduled interview.

By the time the in-person interviews rolled around, interviewers were very well equipped to ask probing questions, because each interviewer was able to quickly and efficiently review all 1st and 2nd round video assessments, the candidates resume, ratings given in prior rates, and notes made by prior reviewers.

By the time someone is in our office for an in-person, we know them pretty well already, and I think that adds to the comfort level for both the candidate and the interviewer. Occasionally we also end up inviting candidates back for a second in-person interview, as we did in this particular case.

Digital Interviews: Hiring

One last thing — before we extend an offer to the strongest candidate, we run a background check using RIVS (want this feature turned on in your account? let us know), for obvious reasons. Then, it’s time to make a call and extend an offer!

Digital Interviews: Wrap-Up

All-told, here is what our hiring funnel looked like, for this particular position:

Narrowing down 34 candidates to the best one for the job could be a daunting task… unless you’ve got RIVS Digital Interviews to make the process efficient and speedy, to help you find your highest quality candidate!

Want to learn more? Join us for a demo anytime!

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