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Volume 68, Issue 82, January 27, 2003


Video link to be offered

By Charity Halphen
The Daily Cougar

The UH Career Services Center will offer free video linking to the Internet for UH studentsi online résumés, starting this semester. The video link would act as a compliment to the resume program the Career Services Center already offers to all UH students, hopefully setting them a few steps ahead of other applicants in the competitive job market.

After recording mock interviews at Career Services, students may connect video clips of their interviews to online résumés. Students can then decide which employers they will show their online video interviews to when applying for jobs.

"The advantage of this program is that employers will see more of our students without it being necessary that either the student or employer travel far for a person-to-person interview," said David Small, assistant vice-president for student services. "Employers outside of the immediate area can read studentsi résumés and watch their resume-linked interviews and then conduct phone interviews if they are interested in our students."

The video-link interview also makes the task of narrowing down applicants easier for those employers in Houston. It is more cost-effective for local employers to narrow a pool of 100 applicants to 20 and then invite students to their offices or come to campus to meet students in person than to conduct 100 interviews from the beginning, Small said.

In the early 1990s, the live interview was introduced as a means of evaluating applicants for employment. This venue for the employment search did not catch on.

However, with the advent of the Internet, video-linking with the software of third-party companies like Hire Intelligence has been a booming resource for applicants and employers. Employers can now, from the comfort of their offices, store video recordings of applicants and review interviews at their leisure until their hiring decisions are finalized.

Many search firms already use this type of program, and it has been found to be more of a pre-interview service than a mere addition to the résumé.

"I would rather stick to only having interviewers see me in person so that I can gauge their personalities and responses," chemical engineering junior Meredith Youngson said. "I like to joke around with the interviewer, and I can get the best idea of what to say by what questions and comments they have."

Some students have also expressed their concerns with unwarranted pre-biases employers may have towards them after viewing the mock interview with the online résumé.

Small insists this bias is inevitable, if not declined by video interview, an applicant who is deemed not fit for a job by the employer based on the employeris personal biases would most likely also be rejected in a person-to-person interview.

If a student has reservations about not coming across well in the interview, Career Services allows plenty of time for practice runs.

"I think the video link is a good idea because you can write down and practice your response ahead of time instead of stumbling over what to say," said studio art/graphic communication junior David Baxter.

With the video link, an employer can get an early assessment of the behavior of the applicant and how he or she might fit within the company, through the directed questioning of the mock interview.

"This is just another tool for choosing the best applicant," Small said. "It is also a completely optional service for both applicants and employers."

The Career Services Center will charge $15 for employers to view each applicantis video-link interview, and it will charge a reduced fee for UH alumni to make and view the video links.

For more information about the video-link service, contact David Small at the Career Services Center at 713-743-5100.

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