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Ovia uses video to make job interviews easier

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Applying for a job can be a pain: Candidates typically need to go through multiple phone and in-person interviews with hiring managers and potential co-workers before they are offered a job. For those looking to hire, the process is even worse, as they get bogged down in meeting with multiple potential applicants. Mountain View, Calif.-based startup Ovia has an idea that’s poised to reduce the amount of time hiring managers and recruiters spend evaluating candidates for positions in their companies, and allows candidates to respond to interview questions whenever they have time.

Ovia has built a platform for asynchronous video interviews — that is, interviews where both parties don’t necessarily have to be present at the same time. It works like this: A recruiter or hiring manager records a set of questions for candidates and then determines how much time those candidates have to answer each one. They typically then send an email with a link to the interview, where candidates record their responses to questions.

Candidates can then respond to the questions through the Ovia platform at their leisure. Rather than having to set up a phone interview or sneak away from their desks during work hours, candidates typically record their responses in the early morning before work, or in the evening after they’ve finished. And just like in a real interview, there are no do-overs. Once a candidate has recorded his or her answer, there’s no opportunity to erase or re-record it, so first impressions still matter.

On the recruitment side, hiring managers can evaluate all video responses whenever they have the time, rather than having to set aside certain blocks of time to set up phone meetings. And the videos can be shared among different decision makers within an organization, instead of doing multiple interviews of each candidate.

The goal, according to founder Rodrigo Martinez, is to do away with the phone interview and provide a more efficient method of screening applicants. According to him, a good deal of time that enterprises spend evaluating potential hires is wasted on unqualified candidates. The asynchronous interview reduces that bottleneck by enabling companies to screen out those who aren’t suited for the job before making it to later stages of the hiring process.

But in addition to saving everyone the time and hassle of scheduling meetings with multiple candidates, there are other benefits as well: Because video questions are pre-recorded, everyone gets the same questions in the same order and can be judged on them equally. Also, without going through a lengthy interview process with a dozen or more candidates a day, there’s no fear of fatigue on the part of interviewers.

Ovia has seven employees and is in the latest class of 500 Startups’ Accelerator program. But it’s already doing pretty well for itself: Using a pay-per-position model, Ovia has been tapped by companies like Turner, (s TWX) AT&T Interactive, (s T) Best Buy (s BBY) and Hard Rock Cafe for their hiring needs.

Photo courtesy of (CC BY 2.0) Flickr user Alan Cleaver.

4 Responses to “Ovia uses video to make job interviews easier”

  1. Maurice

    As a hiring manager, I have to give this a thumbs down. Although this is a great solution for checking the right/wrong answers, it does nothing for the interpersonal aspect of interviewing. That is, it does not provide a solution to checking who the person is/their self. All the moment by moment body language cues will be missing in this scheme.

    Perhaps this is a good filtering mechanism?

  2. Similar (almost exactly the same, to be honest) to startup – whom I met recently at a conference.

    It seems recruiters are very interested in making the application process as impersonal as it gets.. wheat from the chaff, I guess.