Interview Alternatives

SaraCryanSaraCryan Posts: 8
First Comment Photogenic CSuite Groundbreaker
edited November 2022 in Grants & Scholarships

We conduct interviews for a few of our scholarships. We cancelled the interviews for one of our scholarships which would have taken place on April 8th because the award event that follows where the recipient is announced was postponed (and will most likely get cancelled). We conduct interviews for 2 other scholarships in early to mid May and I am trying to find the best way to supplement the interviews while also not putting an extreme burden on the applicants or our committee members. We have floated the idea around of having applicants create a short video clip answering questions that we typically would ask during the interview. I’m worried that this may be too much of a burden with students already having to figure out how to transition to distance learning. We’ve also talked about conducting interviews through zoom which I think will be easier for all parties. Any tips on conducting back to back interviews using zoom or any other alternatives to in person meetings. As of now, we still plan to hold in person interviews for a couple of our summer scholarships.

Any tips or ideas is helpful!

Comments

  • LynsieStephensLynsieStephens Posts: 39 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary Regional Training First Comment Photogenic

    Hi Sara! I'm a Solutions Engineer at Foundant, but prior to that I was a scholarship manager at The Dallas Foundation. We did scholarship interviews as well, and many of our students were currently out of state at college (these would be for renewals for years 2, 3, 4). We had great success having the students submit video clips. We encouraged them to keep it informal (to take pressure off) and to use their smart phone or a webcam with Zoom or Skype where they could record. I think having a list of questions they answer is a nice idea.

    Our committee was hesitant to do this at first, but the feedback we got from the students was nothing but positive. They would rather make a quick video than sit down and write out essays.

    Looking forward to hearing what other people are doing as well!

    [Deleted User]KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)SaraCryan
  • SaraCryanSaraCryan Posts: 8
    First Comment Photogenic CSuite Groundbreaker

    I like the idea of them submitted videos over conducting video/phone interviews. Before all of this we had done select phone interviews to students who either had conflicts with the meeting date or were out of town. But this was much easier because we would have the entire committee in the same room so only the applicants would call in. With one of my committees, we threw around the idea of having everyone call in, but after discussing further it sounded like it would be a nightmare with juggling 8 committee members calling in trying to ask questions at the same time. Then top of that having to stick to a very strict schedule when the applicants call in as to not have overlapping with the calls. If I had more time to be creative this year, I would have explored alternative options, but we are just trying to get through this year.


    I am hoping that something like this might make more sense for the future but I know the biggest challenge is always getting the committee members on board. For the scholarships that we do conduct interviews, we only do them for the initial award year so all the applicants are graduating high school seniors. One of my concerns of having students submit videos vs in person interviews is that will the committee end up favoring those applicants who create a better video. I always want to make sure that we can keep the applicants on the same playing field which I know already questions the effectiveness of interviews in the first place (which can also be said with essays and recommendation letters). But if this is something that works better for our applicants that makes it much easier to push our committees to go to this. We don't have that many interviews in general, but it takes a lot more effort and time to getting them all set up. So I am always looking for ways to simplify and streamline what we currently are doing so we can better serve first and foremost our students.

    LynsieStephens
  • LynsieStephensLynsieStephens Posts: 39 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary Regional Training First Comment Photogenic
    edited April 2020

    Sara - I totally understand. I think your comment about trying to level the playing field and not having committee members subconsciously swayed to a student who had a better video set-up or even editing skills is definitely something to think about. Or maybe even call out directly with the committee.

    One of my biggest headaches was scheduling the in-person interviews like you mentioned, coordinating all those schedules. But when we switched to video it solved a lot of that for me. This was a few years back so we used google drive to share those videos out to the committee. This might be taking it a step further, but I'm wondering if within your GLM site you could add a URL type question on your evaluation form where you could enter a link to where the clip is stored (dropbox, google drive, etc.) so your committee would potentially have 1 place to go to see everything.

    I feel like everyone is in that same boat of "lets get through this year"... hope you're hanging in there during what I'm sure is typically a busy season for you!

  • SaraCryanSaraCryan Posts: 8
    First Comment Photogenic CSuite Groundbreaker

    I am happy that you have had success with the videos. This is something that I want to get our committees on board with because even scheduling my committees meetings alone is a lot of work. So this would be a great alternative and if it more convenient for both the applicants and my committees, it sounds like a win win.

    In SLM, you can upload mp4 and mp3 files using the File Upload question. We have a music scholarship that requires students to submit an audio performance file, and we have also used it for another scholarship. So we could just have them upload it right to their application. Thank you for your feedback and suggestions!

    LynsieStephens
  • CarolReynoldsCarolReynolds Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    Regional Training First Compass Anniversary 5 Up Votes Name Dropper

    So, how do you deal with size restriction issues on videos? We just got a scholarship that is insisting it be a video "essay" no more than 10 minutes. A 10 minute video would be huge. Anyone run into file size issues?

  • LynsieStephensLynsieStephens Posts: 39 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary Regional Training First Comment Photogenic

    @CarolReynolds Great question. When I was accepting video clips, I just gave the student a URL question field, so their video was actually hosted elsewhere (like within their own DropBox account, or even out on their YouTube account) and they were simply providing us a link to the video.

    I'm interested to hear what others say they are doing!

    AndyKessenich
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