Kira Applicant Experience Report 2020

Looking for a way to impress your applicants during the admissions process? Discover how an exceptional applicant experience in Kira can create a lasting connection with prospective students.

Whether it was from home offices, bedroom workstations, or kitchen counters, this year a record-breaking number of applicants submitted a Kira Assessment. Showcasing their passion, intelligence, and talent through timed video and written responses, 2020’s applicant pool proved that, when given the right tools, applicants can shine just as brightly online as in-person.

In this year’s report, you’ll see the results of our 2020 commitment to the overall improvement of our applicant experience, and discover why more and more schools are choosing Kira to help make their admissions process more fair, efficient, and effective.

  1. What’s new for applicants this year?
  2. By the numbers
  3. By the comments
  4. How Kira collects and uses feedback
  5. Why publish this data?
  6. Past reports      

What’s new for applicants this year?

It’s been a year of transitions. From in-class to at-home, paper to digital, and in-person to online, applicants are juggling a ton of new tools. That’s why we made it our mission to ensure that Kira’s applicant experience feels less like an obstacle course and more like a red carpet. We rebuilt the in-platform experience from the ground up, upgrading our entire system, streamlining processes, and giving the design a facelift. 

And these upgrades weren’t just skin deep. In 2020, we committed to building a platform that would level the playing field by enabling every single applicant to put their best foot forward. 

Now certified compliant by WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards, Kira’s in-platform experience empowers all applicants, including those with disabilities, to complete a Kira assessment without requiring any additional accommodations. 

By July 2020, all upgrades were live, and Kira went on to record its highest applicant ratings in company history. 

By the numbers

Applicant Experience average rating pie chart

91.1% of applicants rated their Kira experience either “Great” (4/5) or “Exceptional” (5/5)

Amazing news! This almost 10% increase in ratings from 2019’s report confidently demonstrates the impact of the user-centric focus of our platform redesign.

73.1% of applicants rated their Kira experience “Exceptional” (5/5) 

Another substantial jump from last year’s report – over 20% more applicants felt their experience completing a Kira assessment was exceptional!

The average rating was “Exceptional” (4.6/5) 

This 6% increase from last year’s score of 4.3/5 has bumped us up from “Great” to “Exceptional”. In other words, if we were one of your applicants, you’d be sending us an early admission’s offer.

1.5% of applicants rated their experience as “Poor” (1/5) 

This year, we heard some important feedback around increasing preparation and response times and meeting reviewers in real-time. We heard you and we’re working on it! 

All feedback around custom Kira features, such as assessment questions and the amount of prep and response times allotted, are anonymized and sent to the respective admissions teams to help them optimize their assessments.

As for meeting reviewers in real-time, Kira now has you covered. Learn more about Live Interviewing in Kira.

97.2% of inquiries were solved in-platform by Charlie 

From set up advice to technical fixes, Charlie the chatbot was able to instantly and successfully answer almost all of our applicants’ questions, sending only 2.8% of tickets directly to our support team for further assistance.

Over 90% of applicants who left feedback on support rated their experience as “Great”, given the options of “Great”, “Okay”, and “Not Good”.

A 1% increase from last year’s report, this is a small but mighty step in our commitment to continually improving applicants’ experiences with Kira Talent.

By the comments

We know that numbers don’t tell the whole story. Here’s what applicants had to say in their own words…

Applicants felt fully engaged

Connecting applicants to institutions is a pillar of our platform. We’re proud that we can provide an effective way for schools to create a great first impression and an effortless way for applicants to demonstrate their talent.

Applicant experience 5 star graphic“This was a wonderful experience and made me even more excited about the possibility of attending [the school]!” 

Applicant experience 4 star graphic“I liked how the questions were tailored to [the school’s] values and how the videos featured current medical students!”

Applicant experience 5 star graphic“Loved how much I was able to tell [the school] about myself because I feel that it’s the first step to bringing in a close-knit community on campus.”

Applicant experience 4 star graphic“I really appreciated that the questions were typed out as well as said in the videos (really helps those with hearing disabilities).”

Applicant experience 3 star graphic“It’s great to see the diversity in faculty asking questions!“

Applicant experience 5 star graphic“I have used two other online interview platforms beside Kira Talent. This one is the smoothest I have used. I enjoyed the format very much.”

 

Applicants appreciated the opportunity to be heard and seen

Applicant experience 5 star graphic “It is really great to know that [the school] values more than just our academic achievements.”

Applicant experience 5 star graphic “ I felt like I was able to showcase myself in a way that might not be displayed in my other admissions materials. Big fan of this process, I would highly recommend it to others.”

Applicant experience 3 star graphic “I like that it creates a more personal image of me instead of just a student who happens to do well in exams.”

 

We couldn’t fully prevent interview jitters

Applicant experience 3 star graphic“It’s a great platform. I just don’t like interviews!”

Applicant experience 4 star graphic“The system itself is great, just very stressful. The time limit and needing to see your own reflection is quite scary.”

Applicant experience 4 star graphic“The time crunch is stress inducing.”

 

But many felt Kira helped reduce their stress

Applicant experience 3 star graphic “I felt very prepared to answer the questions because I was able to practice as many times as I wanted. My nerves were basically gone by the time I got to the assessment.“

Applicant experience 5 star graphic “It’s much less stressful to respond to a recording than to a live individual. You feel a sense of privacy and that can help you gather your thoughts. I felt comfortable during the interview.”

Applicant experience 5 star graphic “It was so nice to have the practice round to get used to the process and system layout. It made my interview less nerve racking for sure, and it made me more able to be my authentic self.”

Applicant experience 5 star graphic “I loved how this software gives you endless amounts of practice attempts! Helps get rid of the nervous jitters.”

While there will always be an element of stress in any kind of assessment or interview, we try to reduce that as much as possible. It’s great to hear that the new platform experience helped. We promise to keep looking into other ways to help applicants put their best foot forward. 

 

Some applicants missed the opportunity to connect in real-time

Applicant experience 4 star graphic“The platform is very easy to use. Only reason I didn’t give five stars is because I prefer to see a person’s  expression when I am responding to their question.”

Applicant experience 3 star graphic “I personally prefer face to face interviews (even if it is virtual).”

Applicant experience 2 star graphic “I liked how there was faculty videos in the start and end of the interview. However, I think it would be more beneficial to have a live listener with you during the interview.”

We heard applicants loud and clear! Now there’s a solution that will help your team meet applicants in real-time online, while streamlining your admissions process. Live Interviewing in Kira Talent allows your team to interview and evaluate applicants in a single online platform.

Built for the way you interview

Bring your MMIs and one-to-one interviews online with Live Interviewing.

Learn more

How we collect and use feedback

How we collect feedback

After completing a Kira assessment, applicants score their experience on a sliding scale of one (poor) to five (exceptional). In addition to the numeric rating, applicants have the opportunity to share any feedback or requests anonymously.

As part of our Applicant Experience update, we intentionally redesigned our assessment exit survey with the goal of increasing the transparency and authenticity of our applicant feedback. This redesign included flexible scoring, rephrased questions for added clarity, and transparent messaging on anonymity, ensuring that applicants felt comfortable submitting their honest feedback. With these changes in place, Kira saw a 20% increase in applicants leaving feedback, giving us a better understanding of how your applicants are experiencing their Kira assessment. 

For this year’s report, feedback was collected from July 1st, 2020 (the launch of new Kira’s new Applicant Experience) to December 31, 2020.

How we use feedback

Applicant feedback is at the core of decision-making here at Kira. We use the valuable information gathered from applicants in the following ways:

For insight: At the end of each year, we present each admissions team with a summary of anonymized feedback from their applicants. Highlighting comments around question content and preparation and response time helps schools refine and enhance their custom assessments.

For innovation: Feedback helps us continue to develop an applicant-first product. By gathering new ideas, suggestions, and critiques directly from applicants, Kira brings user insight directly into product planning.

Why publish this data?

To drive continuous improvement: Last year, we promised to make our assessments more accessible. By incorporating accessibility into the admission’s process, we aim to increase the range of students who can complete a Kira assessment. In-turn, increasing your ability to admit a diverse and inclusive cohort. 

Check out the other enhancements Kira made in 2020

To celebrate the success of our partner schools and their applicants: For the fourth year in a row, the number of applicants who completed a Kira assessment has grown. Our partner schools were able to connect with more applicants this year, despite pandemic restrictions. This positive feedback from applicants is a direct reflection on their impression of the schools. 

To be transparent with prospective clients: As one of the first connection points between an applicant and a school, we recognize our responsibility to maintain and elevate your brand. If you’re considering Kira, we know it’s important for you to understand what the experience will be like for your applicants. As a partner in your admission’s process, we confidently stand by this feedback.

Past Reports

2019 Kira Applicant Experience Report

2018 Kira Applicant Experience Report

2017 Kira Applicant Experience Report

 


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