What you need to know when responding to digital interviews that will help you optimize your response for the reviewer.

When responding to a digital interview the system may be using some kind of analytic assessment that looks at the content or data from your response.  This can analyze not only the video response but all other submitted data including a resume, application data and any other documents provided including a cover letter.  


The key elements a cognitive assessment will consider are:

  • Natural language classification
  • Concepts
  • Personality
  • Tone and cadence of delivery
  • Visual and expression analysis (if this is used)

A cognitive assessment will take all of what you say and how you say it into consideration.  It’s not specifically looking for keywords like an ATS scanner but it may take keywords into account in the broader context while analyzing everything you have submitted and matching overall concepts that do not necessarily match verbatim.  The recruiter could ask to isolate and look for specific keywords as well.

The system can take a collection of words and expressions and assess meaning.

For example, with the videoBIO Recruiter system, it uses IBM Watson as its cognitive engine for processing cognitive assessments.  


IBM Watson describes natural language classifier as follows:

Watson analyzes text to extract meta-data from content such as concepts, entities, keywords, categories, sentiment, emotion, relations, semantic roles, using natural language understanding.

Cognitive assessment works best on unstructured data from responses when they are longer. This would ideally be video responses longer than 2 or 3 minutes in length.  A company could also create customized scoring models based on what they are looking for. In this case they could teach the system to learn from actual employee profiles that demonstrate high performance or high potential. They can teach the system based on role descriptions, company culture profiles and other information they want to be considered in the assessment. The cognitive system analyzes all the in-house company data as it does the candidate submission and then uses the total data available to compare both sides of the equation.
When answering your questions you want to consider what you are saying and how you are saying it.  


The words you use are important but the phrasing and actual delivery is also important.  Here are some tips:


  • Be natural and be yourself
  • Do your best to avoid long pauses, ums and aahhs since you will then be considered “tentative” rather than deliberate and confident
  • If responding to a situational question on leadership be sure to describe how you would handle the situation and describe your leadership style in your approach the system will take all of that into the analysis

When thinking about your responses and what you are saying remember that in addition to skills, achievements and experience, an employer could be looking for characteristics like:

  • Team player
  • Agreeableness
  • Openness
  • Reasoning and decision making approach
  • Judgment
  • Objectives
  • Performance targets
  • Thinking process e.g. analytical vs. instinct


Naturally all of these things will depend on the role and question being asked.  The question could be more skills and experience focused.

This information is designed to provide you with practical information on how cognitive and predictive analytics can be used alongside digital interviewing.  Not every system will use cognitive analytics as part of its digital assessment.  In summary, don’t let this intimate you. This is no different from any other data analysis used by systems in traditional interviewing methods and in applicant tracking systems.