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Spark Hire – a video interviewing tool [expert interview]

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My name is Kaitlynn Sirotkin.  I am the Content Marketing Manager at Spark Hire, a video interviewing solution with more than 3,000 customers across the world.

Working at Spark Hire has been great! Being part of a company that is so supportive and constantly pushing me to grow as a marketer has been really fantastic. We work in a very collaborative environment, so there is always an opportunity to learn something new. The team at Spark Hire is made up of a very dedicated group of people. It’s really refreshing to work for a company that truly cares about their customers and is invested in their success with the platform.

Like most great tech companies, Spark Hire was created out of a need. Josh Tolan, the CEO of Spark Hire, came up with the idea for the company in 2010 while driving from Chicago to San Diego.  Then, in February 2012, he brought his idea to life. Fast forward to 2017, our team of ~30 based out of Northbrook, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago, has helped thousands of organizations connect with candidates in over 100 countries.

Tell us more about the mission behind Spark Hire.

Currently, we’re hyper focused on the worldwide adoption of video interviews at businesses of all sizes. We’re strong believers that video interviews present unique opportunities for both hiring teams and their candidates.
For candidates, video interviews present an opportunity for them to better tell their stories. It’s a chance for a candidate to get in front of a recruiter/hiring manager earlier in the hiring process and showcase why they’re a good fit for the position.
For hiring teams, video interviews enable them to gain more insight on candidates in far less time and make better hiring decisions through collaboration with key stakeholders in the hiring process. The result is better hires in less time.

Tell us about the changes in the recruitment industry. How has the internet transformed the recruitment process?

A lot has changed. The internet enables teams to recruit more efficiently and effectively at scale. New cloud-based technologies continue to push the envelope and these capabilities forward.
What are the most common mistakes you see companies making in interviewing candidates? What should they be doing differently?
  • Not having a structured and consistent process (adhoc interviewing)
  • Not putting enough attention into the candidate experience
  • Not enough collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers
An interview plan should be put in place for every position a company is hiring for. The same questions should be asked, the same process should be followed, and candidates should be informed (and kept up to date) with where they stand in the overall hiring process. Recruiters and hiring managers should collaborate to ensure this process is aligned with the type of employee they want to end up hiring.

What can recruiters do to streamline their recruitment process using video interviewing?

Many of our customers are using one-way video interviews to streamline their recruitment process. More specifically, it’s being used early in the hiring process as a replacement to the phone screen. Candidates all answer the same set of interview questions by recording video answers on their own time. The recruiter can then review the interview responses at their convenience and share it with hiring manager so a collaborative decision can be made about which candidates advance to the next step of the hiring process.

What advice can you offer recruiters when approaching the interview process?

Plan, be organized, focus on the candidate experience, get key hiring stakeholders on the same page, and don’t drag out the process. Always look for opportunities to be more efficient and effective to ensure you can cut down on your time to hire and not miss out on quality candidates.

What should be done prior to the interview itself?

  • What questions are going to be asked and during which interview?
  • Who is responsible for the different interviews?
  • How are you evaluating candidates?

How do you help candidates ensure that they have a strong grasp on presenting their skills during the interview process?

We have a candidate boot-camp ( that provides candidates with tons of resources around video interviews. We have created a lot of content on our job seeker blog, social media, and other outlets throughout the web to ensure candidates are equipped with best practices. We also have a 24×7 technical support team which is available to assist candidates and answer any questions they have

Do you think there is a significant difference between interviewing in person and over video? What are the pros and cons of each of these approaches?

The biggest misconception about video interviews is that they are meant to replace in-person interviews. One-way (pre-recorded) video interviews are usually used as a replacement to the early round phone screen.
Live video interviews are used when a recruiter/hiring manager is unable to meet a candidate in-person (usually because of a geographical barrier.)
In both cases, the recruiter/hiring manager still ends up interviewing a candidate in person, but they are just more efficient with their time because video interviews are used to ensure that hiring managers are only investing time, money, and effort into the best candidates.

We focus on tech. Are there any different approaches when it comes to IT talent and the interview process?

Have someone involved in the interview process that can speak the language and
has practical knowledge about the position you’re recruiting for. IT talent is easily turned off by an interviewer who tries to speak technical, but doesn’t have the background to carry on an educated conversation.

What news or headlines are you following in recruiting today? Why do they interest you?

We like to follow content related to modern hiring strategies. Anything that enables hiring teams to get more efficient and effective at scale is what interests us.

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