Candidate Experience: 8 Fascinating Insights from Behind the Screen

Whether hiring or job hunting during the pandemic, you’ve come across the video interview. Candidates receive a link to a platform and answer questions through a screen without ever speaking to anyone live. Where’s the candidate experience in that? 

You might be surprised to find out that the candidate experience is a huge consideration for us at Knockri. We use candidate feedback to constantly improve our platform and ensure applicants have the best experience possible.

As Knockri’s Product Manager, I’m frequently asked about our technology, accessibility, and the assessment process. Here are answers to some of the most common questions to give you insight into what happens behind the screen. I’ve paired them up with reviews we’ve gotten from real candidates in the past few months about these same topics.  

Candidates aren’t your direct clients: what’s the importance of candidate experience? 

Even though candidates might not be seen as our direct clients, they’re equally as important, if not more important, in some regards. Positive candidate experience helps companies stand out and hire the best in class. If you provide a poor candidate experience, you can expect them never to apply again. You lose your edge or even damage your employer brand. 

Knockri does two things. We help companies improve hiring efficiency and reduce bias. We also provide candidates with an experience that makes them feel like they’re more than their resumes while not being judged in a biased manner. 

“I find it can be difficult to think on the spot sometimes during interviews, it can be awkward and so I wanted to say how much I appreciated this form of preliminary interview — I’ve never seen anything like it before. This company really seems to be cutting edge with this technology, and at the same time focused on the human experience.” 

No matter how good technology gets, there’s always a worry that something will break. What development and testing does the platform go through to anticipate and minimize tech issues? 

We build our technology to be robust and accessible. Not only do we test weekly, we test for various devices, browsers, and situations. We have a support team ready to help 24/7 if needed. We want candidates to focus on showcasing the best parts of themselves, so we’ve ensured they can complete our assessment on the technology with which they’re most comfortable. 

“I was also pleasantly surprised that it ran as well as it did — I have every adblocker/privacy tool under the sun running on my browser and often encounter difficulty with this sort of online platform.” 

Some candidates seem to miss the interactions that a face-to-face — or at least live — interview would have, whereas others prefer asynchronicity. What features or strategies does Knockri use to add a human element to assessments? 

We want to create a personal feeling with our technology. We include intro and outro videos and interview questions are recorded by actual employees. We like to think we capture the best of both worlds. 

“I also appreciated the video questions recorded by the recruiting team members. Even though this is an online interview, it created that face-to-face experience that made me feel more comfortable with the process.” 

The benefit of this platform is that candidates have the time to think and prepare their answers without the pressure they might experience during a live interaction. They can complete it on their own time and aren’t forced to perform well at one specific moment of the day. Answers don’t need to be scripted: the technology is smart enough to pick up on natural speech, so candidates can speak freely and even take pauses during a response. 

“It allowed me to take my time and answer from the heart without any anxiety of someone waiting for my response. As a social person I do enjoy the social aspects of an interview where it becomes conversational but this is a very efficient substitute.” 

A woman sits on a couch and smiles as she speaks to her laptop.

Recruiters can add personality to pre-employee assessments by incorporating videos of themselves introducing the position and asking questions. 

How important is it to have a transparent process and communicate what candidates can expect?  

We never want to launch people into an unknown space. It’s essential to have a transparent process that allows candidates to shine. We’ve built detailed thorough practice rounds for each type of assessment — video, audio, and written — so candidates can feel prepared with the technology and understand what will happen and when. 

Candidates can take breaks if needed and redo the practice as many times as they’d like. They’ll also know in advance if they need to be on camera and how much time to dedicate to the process. 

“I also loved the tips, platform practice, and answer practice before the actual interview. It gave me practical advice on how to prepare my answers. It also let me get used to the amount of time I had to prepare an answer, as well as answer the questions. So when the nerves started, I knew I had time to take a breath, think about what I wanted to say, and in some cases, repeat my answers in a more concise way than I did the first time.” 

Having a time limit on the assessment is stressful but also realistic. What are some benefits, limitations, and considerations surrounding the assessment time limit?  

The time limit isn’t meant to detract from candidates’ ability to represent themselves. Its primary purpose is to provide everyone with a fair experience because everyone is given the same questions and the same structure. It’s a unique opportunity to go beyond the resume and highlight experiences and how it applies to a role. There’s an added challenge to being concise when answering. 

The time limits provided are also not ruthless. We have guidelines and best practices and work in consultation with companies to ensure the time given to candidates is sufficient. If candidates need more time due to a disability, they are accommodated because, again, the experience is meant to be fair. 

“I love how technology builds on things in a creative way to improve or enhance a process. Even though I struggled a bit on the first question, I understand only 60 seconds to think of an answer… you would get less than that in a face to face assessment.” 

What would you say to candidates skeptical of Knockri’s ability to reduce bias? 

New technology can be scary, and we know that. We use AI, but we are a company of real people with real lives. We realize job searching can be stressful, and we incorporate a human-centered design approach to everything we do. Our priority is to better the human experience. 

We also have checkpoints to ensure assessments are appropriately flagged and reviewed — it’s not all left to an AI without oversight. Our AI isn’t trained on historical data that would already be tainted by existing bias. We don’t score based on human attributes like age, race, gender, ethnicity, or accent. We focus on the content of what you’re saying in relation to the job role — that’s what determines the best fit. 

“I found the site very user friendly and I think this idea that allows bias whether known or unknown to be removed from the situation to be a huge plus!” 

Candidate question: Reading the explanatory email, my immediate first thought was “can it do accents?”

Knockri’s system can, in fact, accurately transcribe voices with accents. Accents don’t factor into the assessment because we only evaluate the content of an interview. We communicate to candidates that we don’t assess their voice, clothing, background, or level of eye contact. Only their skills and behaviors matter in scoring.

What’s one piece of information you want candidates and recruiters to know about Knockri or the assessment? 

We deeply care about our candidates. We have all been candidates at one time or another, so we take feedback and suggestions to heart. We iterate based on real candidate feedback. We seek the advice of candidates who may have lived experiences outside of our own to ensure our platform is inclusive and accessible to all. 

We aren’t replacing human interactions. We enjoy and see the value of lived experiences with humans. Our role is to ensure that no one is left behind in the decision process and that everyone is considered fairly. 

“This is the first time submitting an AI assessment and I saw numerous benefits from the point of view of the applicant: It was performed in a controlled environment, I was able to manage my time, the questions were clear and the tone was neutral.” 

We care about candidates, and the results speak for themselves: we’ve received an average of 4.7/5 stars from the thousands of candidates who completed our assessment over the last four months. Candidates like video interviews, and they love ours. 

Book a demo to chat with our HR Solutions Consultant and learn more about how Knockri has prioritized improving the hiring process through candidate experience. 

Quotes have been edited for length and clarity. 


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