What is a Sonru video interview?
A Sonru video interview is a type of video interview in which the questions are automated (i.e. they are pre-recorded and presented within the application, rather than being asked by a real person). The candidate then films themself answering the questions using a webcam and microphone, and these responses are sent to the recruiting organisation to review.
Sonru interviews are now a key part of the recruitment process of many employers, including major brands such as PwC, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle and Volvo, all of them keen to identify the best candidates in a resource-efficient manner.
There are a number of ways in which a Sonru interview makes the recruitment process more efficient for both employers and candidates:
Since the questions in a Sonru video interview are automated, interviewees can complete the interview whenever is convenient for them. The employer can review the interview at a time that suits them, without any need to coordinate these times.
The interview can be reviewed by a number of different people within the employer organisation.
Sonru interviews help save money for employers by removing the transport costs associated with interviewing candidates.
As all candidates are asked the same questions, provided with the same amount of time to think about and then present their answers, and given no opportunity to ask clarifying questions, Sonru interviews are also fair.
Make sure you've done all the technical checks before you start your proper Sonru interview.
How do Sonru interviews work in practice?
The recruiter types in their questions and creates their interview. Candidates are then invited to complete the interview, usually via an email which includes a bespoke link. The candidate must then log in and complete the interview using a webcam and microphone. Afterwards, the answers are automatically sent to the recruiter to review.
You can access your Sonru interview in two ways: either through your desktop/laptop browser or via a mobile device. The process is slightly different for each:
Using your personal computer
You will be sent an email inviting you to complete an interview, which you can access via the interview title link. Since Sonru uses Flash, you shouldn't need to download a specific Sonru application, although you may be prompted to download and install Adobe Flash Player if you don’t have the most recent version.
The link will take you through to your dashboard, where you'll see a welcome message from the interviewing company. You will then need to compete some technical checks (broadband, audio and video), each accessible via a separate link. For a full list of technical requirements for Sonru, see this page.
You also need to complete at least one practice interview before you are able to proceed to your interview proper. You don’t need to complete your interview the first time you log in, but you do need to complete it before the closing date.
Using your mobile device
To complete your Sonru interview on a mobile device, you will need to download the Sonru Record app (either iOS or Android), though note that Sonru isn't compatible with Blackberry or Windows phones.
You will need to enter your “mobile code” to get started. If you don’t have a mobile code, contact [email protected] to get one. Additionally, you'll need a separate mobile code for each interview you are invited to. Once your app is installed and you have accepted the terms of service, all of the technical tests run automatically so you can get started with your practice questions.
What happens when you log in?
When you log in to your Sonru account you will see your candidate dashboard. This comprises of a welcome message, a list of your live interviews and their closing dates, links to the help centre, and any other tasks you need to complete (e.g. technical tests).
The first time you log in, you will be invited to view a tour of the application. This demo explains to you in easy steps how to complete an interview. It will give you a good idea of what to expect and how to work the application. The last thing you want is to be worrying about the technology when you should be concentrating on your interview, so it’s worth taking a look at the tour.
If you are accessing the application from a mobile device you can access the tour in the ‘Support’ area.
How to do a practice interview
You must complete at least one practice interview before you proceed to the main interview – and it is really important that you do so. This will enable you to check what you look and sound like and make any necessary changes (eg if you are talking too fast or if you have any gestures that look odd on the recording). You’ll also be able to spot any technical issues.
You can do as many practice questions as you want and the recruiter will never see them, so it's worth taking the time to be sure that you are comfortable talking to the camera and that you can see and hear yourself clearly when you review the footage.
When you have completed all of the technical tests, you will be automatically prompted to complete the practice interviews and you can do so by clicking on the ‘Continue to Practice Interview’ button.
Completing your Sonru interview
When you are ready to complete your interview, click on the link in your ‘Live Interviews’ list. This will take you to your interview. Remember, you must complete the interview in one sitting and you cannot re-record any of your answers, so make sure that you have everything you need and that you won’t be interrupted.
You will be automatically presented with a number of questions and fixed period of time in which to respond. This time is composed of time for reading the question and time for answering the question. Just as in a traditional face-to-face interview, you will not be able to see the questions in advance.
During the time allotted for reading, you will see a clock which counts down the amount of time you have left to read the question. You should use this time for making sure you have really understood the question, making notes if you want to, and thinking about your answer. You don’t have to use all of the reading time if you don’t want to and you can click ‘Start Recording’ to begin answering the question at any time you want to.
At the end of the reading time, the application automatically starts recording your answer. You'll be able to tell this has happened, as the button that was green during the reading phase turns red and will say ‘Recording’. Again, you will see a timer that counts down the remaining time you have left to answer the question. When the time runs out, the application will stop recording your answer regardless of whether or not you have finished talking. It is therefore really important to make sure you keep to the time limit, structure your questions sensibly, speak concisely and practise responding within a time limit. If you finish your answer before the time limit then just select ‘Next Question’ to proceed to the next question.
At the end of the interview you will be provided an additional two minutes to add any further comments or clarifications you want to add to your interview.
Saving your responses
Your interview will be automatically saved and you will receive email confirmation that your interview is complete and ready for review. You can also check by visiting you dashboard and selecting the interview, which will now be marked complete.
How can I check that my answer is being recorded?
When the interview is being recorded there will be a red button marked ‘Recording’ on the screen.
What happens if I accidentally end the interview early?
It is important that you complete the interview in one sitting, so if you try to close down the application before the interview has finished, you will be prompted by a pop-up box to check that you really do want to exit the interview or whether you want to resume.
Occasionally there are situations where candidates accidentally end the interview early, if they become disconnected from the internet for example, and the application will automatically attempt to reconnect. In most cases candidates are able to log back in and carry on from the point of interruption. If not, you will need to contact the support team.
If your interview is interrupted for a non-technical reason then the recruiter will be able to see this. If you wish to continue you will need to speak directly to the recruiter and explain what happened. Some recruiters will allow you to continue the interview from the point you left it.