A startup in Chicago called clickInterview is the latest to offer a video solution to recruiters, HR folks and perspective employers. clickInterview, like PitchPick in Austin among others, lets job candidates answer pre-screening interview questions in the comfort of their own home or wherever they happen to be when they feel like answering.
Legacy human resources folks aren’t entirely sold on the idea of pre-screening or interviewing candidates with pre-recorded videos. Naturally the candidate will only do the video at the best opportunity for them and of course they can prepare for the interview. It takes out some of the spontaneity of the interview.
Now with clickInterview and the other startups in the space no one is suggesting that they completely replace the actual in person interview, but rather use it in the first preliminary phase, eliminating the need to accommodate on site interviews.
Max Sperando, founder of clickInterview says that his secret sauce is in the design and ease of use. One check of their site and you’ll agree that it’s pleasing to the eye and simplifies the process.
Sperando is also hoping to give the candidates a little more control of their interview situation, again the part that “old school” HR folks don’t like.
clickInterview definitely has a chance to take over the video interview space if they can scale right. We got a chance to interview Sperando, check out the interview below.
What is ClickInterview?
clickInterview is the next Evolution of job candidate screening and interviewing, using mobile video technology to record off-line interviews for recruiters and hiring managers to review later. Traditional interviews are a thing of the past and waste hours of time and money because they all require live one on one sessions between the candidate and the interviewer. We are creating a mobile video technology that will Evolutionize the job screening process to facilitate 10x the amount of interviews without anyone having to meet each other or schedule a live interview. Our interviews take place at any time, day or night and can be recorded anywhere in the World and sent to a recruiter to review later. Recruiters can sit back and quickly skim to rate and review hundreds of potential job candidates from a clever web application that can be viewed on any computer or mobile device with an HTML5 web browser. Job candidates or Interviewees, finally have the power to control their environment and presentation skills. These candidates can now record interview questions from employers in the comfort of their own home without the pressure of a live interview, and they can even take the interview on their own time after they get home from their current job!
In layman’s terms, how does it work?
It’s relatively easy actually. Job Recruiters or Employers would sign into clickinterview.com, choose from a list of suggested interview questions, or enter their own custom interview questions. They would choose the time limit for each question and specify an expiration date for the interview (usually a week). The final step for the Recruiter would be to copy and paste the email addresses of all of the potential job candidates that they would like to interview for the job. Click send.
Immediately, invitations are sent to all of the potential job candidates, prompting them to install the clickinterview App to Video Record their answers to the questions. The job candidates would have a minimum of a week to take the interview on their own time. Once the candidate completes the series of short video recorded invterview questions, they are then uploaded to the clickinterview server for the Recruiter/Employer to rate and review, question by question, with the ability to fast forward and skip candidates. This gives the recruiter the advantage of quickly reviewing multiple candidates 10 times faster, which will allow them to review an insane amount of people for a particular job… all without having to meet the job candidate. At this point, they can schedule another clickinterview for a final round of the top 3 candidates, or invite them to meet for a final live in person interview.
On the candidate side, users will be using our highly advanced and easy to use mobile app, which will be found on the iTunes store or in an Android marketplace. The App will facilitate the easy process of presenting a question and allowing the user to answer the question in a set time-frame. Questions can come in the form of a video recorded answer, multiple choice, and yes/no.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Founder 1: Max Sperando – Technology, Telecommunications, Business Management, UI/UX, Design, Product.
Founder 2: A Super Top-Secret Highly Talented Full-Stack Developer who prefers to remain anonymous at this time.
Where are you based?
We are based in Chicago
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
Chicago is becoming the hearbeat of the Midwest as far as technology is concerned. There are a multitude of programs, accelerators, Meetups, and workshops. Companies like Code Academy, Accelerate Labs, and Groupon are all thriving and spurring an overwhelming attraction to the Windy City. There are also some very interesting new hubs for Startups such as 1871.com, Builtinchicago.com, and WindyCityRails that are keeping people engaged and informed.
How did you come up with the idea for clickInterview?
I came up with the idea for clickinterview based on my own issues with hiring employees. As an IT Director, I routinely interview multiple people for new positions. My time is very limited and I’m a geek, so I had to come up with a mathematical system for interviewing candidates that would save time and effectively score individuals based on a combination of talent, education, and resourcefulness. It is very difficult to schedule time and prepare to interview potential new employees. I quickly began to realize that everyone looked the same on paper (resumes), and I got pretty good at asking questions, and could quickly determine if someone would be a good fit or not. I also realized how much time I was wasting out of my day having to sit down with people for an hour without any hope of finding the right individual. Let’s not mention all of the other drawbacks, cancellations, rescheduling, and my ever-growing stack of work that I couldn’t get to. Then I realized, I could do this much better, so I launched a field test for the next job opening that came up.
In my field test, I posted a job opening on Craigslist, and in the job posting I said “We will only consider candidates that send us a video answers to these 5 questions. Email your video answers and your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Within TWO HOURS of the posting, I was getting emails from people with mobile video recordings of themselves answering my interview questions. The response was so dramatic, that I quickly took down the posting in fear that I was doing something that would cause too much attention. I was definitely onto something… something big.
How did you come up with the name?
I spent about 2 hours researching various domain names and said to myself, “THE NAME JUST HAS TO CLICK!”. Then, I hit myself on the head and said, let’s try clickinterview.com, it sounds cool, has a techie vibe to it, and it’s exactly what the solution advertises.
What problem does clickInterview solve?
We solve many problems for Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Interviewers, and even Candidates themselves. We make it incredibly easy for people to do off-line interviewing. For recruiters, we allow them to conduct interviews without having to meet people live. We allow them to screen 20 times more people up to 10 times faster than traditional interviewing and screening. There is a certain technology wow factor that really gets people excited when they see how much information they can obtain from a remotely recorded interview when the person isn’t under pressure and is in their own environment recording video answers. You get to see things you normally wouldn’t see in a live interview.
For the candidates, it allows them to interview for jobs in the middle of the night after work, or across the world. It allows Candidates to control their environment for the interview, and makes it super convenient for them to take an interview without the pressure of a live interview. Ideally, we are aiming to give more control to the Candidate so that they have a certain power to impress the hiring company and make them a more marketable job seeker.
What’s your secret sauce?
Our secret sauce is innovation, simplicity and well thought out product design. I am very impressed with companies that put design and user experience at the forefront of their product offerings. At heart, I want to make everything more efficient and always strive to satisfy the needs of customers, even if they don’t know it. We are a forward thinking – out of the box kind of company that really understands the problems that people face.
What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
A dilemma that seemingly all startups face in the early stages is finding the right developers to work with. We are actively seeking another development co-founder to join us, to put in some sweat equity and help us launch this highly lucrative tool that will change the way hiring and recruiting is conducted. We are a revolutionary company with an evolutionary product that will change peoples lives. We need to find another talented developer who is passionate about the startup scene and is willing to work hard at something. We are geeks, and we are looking for a geek who can deliver. In turn, we will all reap the benefits. We have clients waiting!
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
The challenge that sticks out the most has to do with technology in general. It wasn’t until now that the technology required to create something like this was even possible. Mobile network speeds and development architecture has finally reached the tipping point where we can actually craft a mobile video technology like this, and deliver the solution over the internet with unbelievable success.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
I owe a lot of my drive to Nikola Tesla, the father of electricity and technology as we know it. I draw inspiration from Jason Calacanis, Kevin Rose, Google, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. My late grandfather was my mentor, a true renaissance man, who knew everything about everything and could fix anything. He was an electrical engineer who traveled Africa and the Middle East in World War II, and later in life, worked for Commonwealth Edison here in Illinois. He was responsible for managing the build of most of the electrical sub stations that power the homes of thousands of families here in Illinois. He was a working manager, who often came up with clever solutions to extremely tough problems. He succeeded in everything he ever sought out to do, and didn’t stop learning and helping other people to achieve their goals. I strive to live up to half the man he was.
What’s next for ClickInterview?
We’re currently Alpha testing our Mobile App in-house. We have plans to roll out the solution to be embedded inside ATS software (Applicant Tracking System), where it can be an easy add on for recruiters who already have a collection of resumes and potential job candidates. We plan on partnering with a multitude of technology partners that are in this space, so that we can cover more ground. We may even seek to beta test the product with specific large entities or recruiting companies.