It’s incredible to think about how many aspects of our lives have been changed by COVID-19. The way we work, shop, eat and socialise have been altered beyond recognition. We recently wrote about how higher education has been significantly impacted, too.
Interviews continue to be a vital element of the higher education application process. To avoid delays admitting students for the 2020/21 academic year, institutions have had to adapt and virtual interviews are now being widely used. Circumstances have forced us to learn the benefits, but it’s likely video interviews will remain after COVID-19 moves on.
The importance of interviews
The university and college application process can be a complex and lengthy affair. Some inefficiencies can be reduced, but a multi-stage process is necessary to ensure the right candidates are matched with the right opportunities.
Interviews remain a crucial part of this process, perhaps even the differentiator that allows high achieving students the opportunity to convey why they are deserving of a sought-after place. In reverse, the interview also gives a student the chance to find out more about the institution.
This won’t change. The two-sided process will remain integral to many applications. Post-COVID-19, what will change is how interviews are carried out.
Interviews are evolving
Even before the pandemic struck there had been a shift towards video interviews in higher education. We also saw this in other sectors, such as recruitment.
Improving quality and safeguarding measures combined with falling costs meant organisations could trust video technology to function as well as (if not better than) a real-world interview. This trend has accelerated during the pandemic, with more universities and colleges adopting video as their method of choice.
Today’s students – Gen-Zs and Millennials – demand greater accessibility and flexibility than previous generations. In an age when you can do almost anything via a smartphone, in-person interviews feel antiquated. The higher education sector must adapt to suit their target customers’ needs.
Reasons to be cheerful about video
COVID-19 has forced many institutions to adopt video technology, but it’s likely it will still be used long after the pandemic has moved on. Video can satisfy a new generation of students by offering a scalable, contemporary solution whilst offering a host of other benefits. These include:
- Efficiencies and scalability
Video saves a huge amount of time and money as applicants don’t have to travel to complete in-person assessments. The institution saves time too as interviewers can conduct the interview from a place convenient for them. This means they can complete more interviews in a day, leading to significant cost savings.
- An interactive experience
Given the improvements in video technology, interviews are now truly interactive. Interviewers view CVs and references on-screen whilst applicants can present digitally. Technology will change how interviews are conducted in the future.
- Attracting overseas talent
With universities experiencing funding shortfalls, attracting overseas talent is more important than ever. Video makes this possible. Institutions may already be carrying out video interviews for some overseas candidates, but an institution-wide approach to video interviewing, for domestic and international applicants, will engender better practises.
- A green initiative
Video eliminates unnecessary travel. For overseas students, this travel can be both costly and extremely damaging to the environment. Video is a climate-friendly solution.
- Driving inclusion and diversity
Given the ubiquity and falling costs of video technology, a wider range of candidates can be included. Cost and travel are no longer a barrier, and this should drive diversity.
How Inzite is helping
At Inzite, we’re excited about the impact that video is having on the higher education application process. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend and we’re seeking to help institutions who want to make video technology an integral part of their interview process.
One institution we’ve been working with is Pearson College London, helping to integrate video into their application process. In the first week of going live, they conducted ~120 video interviews. They have set up 35 interviewers and tutors with profile pages who, next month, will be looking to complete almost 80 interviews in a single day using our technology.
Inzite allows institutions to keep their application process on track, giving applicants an experience that mirrors what would have been pre-COVID-19. A crisis is a chance for positive change to be made. In the maelstrom, there are opportunities, and whilst many are focusing on survival, some emerge stronger. Given the benefits and the way students now prefer to be technology-led, we see video being used by many across the higher education sector long after the pandemic moves on.
If you’d like to explore how video can help you to navigate the Coronavirus crisis and improve the student experience over the long run, then please do get in touch.
Alternatively, if your organisation would like to arrange a demo of the Inzite platform, then please book a call below: