When perception is not necessarily reality

As a career coach, to keep myself current, I will often apply for jobs I come across on a job board. I lucked out recently when I had to complete a one-way video interview as my first screening interview with the company. Oh, have you heard of this new form of torture?Pulled-Quote-by-Drew-Carey-board-certified-career-coach-in-Indianapolis-Indiana

It's when a company uses an online interviewing platform such as Spark Hire or HireVue. You as the applicant sit at your computer with your webcam on. Then, interview questions start showing up on the screen and you have a specified amount of time to think about your answer, a certain amount of time to answer the question (often about a minute), and, if you're lucky, you can "Take 2" and try again.

I've been hearing from more and more of my clients that they are experiencing this interview method, even for local companies. Many companies are substituting this type of interview for the phone screen.

So, when I got the chance to experience it for myself, I thought to myself, "Piece of cake. I’m a freaking career coach. How hard can this be?"

Uh, let me tell you. it was terrifying. Okay, that is probably not a suitable word to apply to a video interview. But my nerves came out, guns blazing. The idea of just speaking into my webcam and knowing someone, somewhere, was going to be looking at this video and hearing my answers; well, it freaked me out more than I expected it would. I put on a suit and tie and proceeded to record my answers. On video!

Sweating-man-in-job-interview_iStock-599117110Pulled-Quote-by-Drew-Carey-board-certified-career-coach-in-Indianapolis-IndianaWhen I am nervous, I sweat. Not perspire. It's a gusher, let me tell you. So bad that it's dripping into my eyes. It looks like I just stepped out of the shower and didn't dry off.

Except, it's not like this at all. I have asked people, friends, if they noticed how sweaty I was during a presentation I was giving. "Oh, no! Not at all! I didn’t notice a thing!" But what if they're lying to me?

During the video interview, I could view my video before I submitted it. And I saw for myself that my sweating wasn't nearly as obvious as I thought it was. Now, don't get me wrong, I noticed a whole bunch of other weirdness that I do that I was not aware of! But no sweating.

We poor humans, given our gift or curse of consciousness, tend to be far harsher with ourselves than reality shows. "Where's the evidence of this?" I'll ask my clients.nervous woman in job interview_iStock-657019868_uploaded by Drew Carey board-certified career coach in Indianapolis Indiana

"The evidence is that I experienced it myself!"

One of the services I offer in my career coaching practice is interview coaching. I always had filmed the mock interviews I conducted. Now, based on my own experience, I have added a new service to my interview coaching.

I have purchased a license to use the Spark Hire interview platform. Spark Hire is the  #1 interviewing platform among HR professionals (if you can believe their marketing!) Now I will be able to help my clients fully experience the most common methods of interviewing. This includes in-person or Skype interviews, phone interviews, panel interviews and online one-way video interviews.

I can enter Spark Hire general interview questions or questions specific to a job description a client provides to me then send an email to them to recreate the process they will experience on Spark Hire. Once they have completed the interview, I will share the video file with them, and provide verbal and/or written feedback on ways to improve their interviewing skills.

And hopefully, by doing so, I can put to rest some of those inaccurate perceptions.