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Socially distanced interviewing

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

A Q&A with Founder & CEO Parlie Ltd: Ben Grout

The interviewing process is adapting to the new world of remote working due to COVID-19 and video interviews, which were growing in popularity even before the crisis, are quickly becoming the new normal. We talked to Ben Grout, Founder and CEO of start-up Parlie which provides video interview practice for candidates, about what you should be doing to prepare, as well as what it’s been like launching a start-up in such a fast growing space.

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced firms across the world to adapt to different ways of working, with key processes such as hiring being conducted via video interview. It is estimated that 82% of companies use some form of pre-employment assessment tests and an ever increasing number of those include one way video interviews.* Parlie helps candidates achieve their best possible performance at interview.

What is the Parlie App and why did you create it?

After finishing my Master’s degree in Engineering, I found preparing for pre-screen video interviews challenging and wished there was a better way to prepare. In speaking to peers and colleagues, I found many shared my experience - in fact, many said their first experience of recording themselves answering interview questions was in the actual submission process.

I started Parlie to enable candidates to prepare better for video interviews. The application allows candidates to record answers to 80 of the most common interview questions as well as an option to type your own custom questions. When you are finished, you can watch your recording back, assess your performance and see where you need to improve. You can also create a video resume and send this to a potential employer or recruiter.

While video interviewing has been around for many years, COVID-19 has led to a sharp increase in the number of companies using video interview tools as part of pre-employment screening. With remote interviewing increasingly becoming the norm, Parlie serves to ensure candidates can perform just as well, if not better, on screen as in person.

Since launching earlier this year, Parlie has now been downloaded in over 75 countries with live coaching planned as our next functionality.

How should you prepare for a video interview?

1. Get your information organised

You likely won’t know what the questions are before you start the interview, so ensure you take your time to research the company and role.

  • Take some time to clearly define in your mind what your key strengths and experiences are.

  • Don’t just write down your achievements - really think about how each one would be useful to the company and how it relates to the role you have applied to.

  • Write both out in bullet points and keep then just off screen so you can glance at them if needed.

You may get caught off guard with an unusual question, which can cause some people to panic or lose focus. Bullet points to jog your memory on the company, the role and what you can bring to it should help with any unexpected curve balls.

2. Pause, don't rush

Just because the timer has started doesn’t mean you have to start talking immediately.

  • Take a moment to really read the question and think about how to answer it. This pause may feel like a lifetime, but in reality, a 2 or 3 second pause is barely noticeable when watched back.

  • Collect your thoughts, glance at your bullet points, plan your answer then speak.

3. Give it some expression

It may feel strange smiling and being energetic into a camera lens, but remember that there is a human on the other side watching this video back. Treat that camera like an old friend, look straight into it with a smile and some energy!


Ben Grout

Founder & CEO Parlie Ltd

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