Taking your admissions interviews online? Here’s why you need Kira

For years, Kira has been a power tool for many schools to stay ahead during interview season. As you go "all in" on virtual admissions, here are seven reasons why it's time to add Kira to your process.

Schools around the world are trying to find the best way to take their admissions interviews online for this upcoming school year.

From scheduling nightmares and technical troubleshooting to the pure exhaustion of being on video calls all day, there are a lot of implications that come with “going virtual.”

Fortunately, over the past decade, Kira has been optimizing the online interview process for hundreds of admissions teams.

While your instinct may be “let’s just do video calls” amidst the pivot to online everything, trust us, there’s a better way.

Here’s why you need Kira this upcoming admissions cycle:

Make online interviews more efficient

There are so many ways that Kira makes everything about your virtual interviewing process more efficient.

Reduce administrative and scheduling time. As your candidates are managed through Kira, you don’t need to worry about scheduling, time zones, or working into the evenings. Plus, your interview panel members can review each candidate on their own time, rather than coordinating multiple competing calendars.

Preview of multiple candidates ready to review in Kira Talent

Review applicants in less time. Reviewing Kira assessments is, on average, six times faster than a live video interview. The small talk, introductions, and question-asking that you’re used to doing, again and again, is optimized as it’s pre-recorded in your Kira video questions.
Applicants are given clear and specific time frames to answer each question which leaves you with concise responses.

Integrate with your ATS or CRM. Unlike other video interview platforms, you can easily link applicant responses with the other admissions software you are using.

Reduce support and troubleshooting time. Stop wasting time testing headsets or waiting for applicants to download another new software, before eventually just giving up and dialing in.

Remove technical support and troubleshooting from your team

“Where do I go?”

“Can you hear me?”

“My camera isn’t working.”

“It says my connection is…”

The technical support challenges of any candidate’s experience are familiar to all of us.

Kira’s extensive applicant support is one of the reasons so many schools switch to using Kira in the first place.

Kira is the first point of contact for any and all candidate questions and issues related to the interview and assessment process. We manage all technical inquiries that students may have: From process steps, to connection woes, to camera and microphone challenges, to questions about what they should wear in their interview.

We work with your future students to make sure they are fully supported and have a great experience emblematic of your program.

Don’t believe us? Read what applicants say about their experience using Kira: Kira Applicant Experience Report 2019-2020

You don’t have to waste time troubleshooting questions or issues if they arise, you just get the benefit: Seeing and hearing from your applicants. And for your applicants, the experience is better too. Less than five percent of applicants seek support.

Create a fair & structured interview environment

Adding Kira to your process is a wonderful way to add more consistency and structure to your interview process, reducing bias in your admissions decisions.

First, by using Kira, you use structured interviews. Each candidate gets very similar questions in a very similar format, instead of a more casual, conversational interview.

Read: Structured Vs. Unstructured Interviews in Admissions

Although many interviewers prefer the unstructured model of “chatting with candidates,” the approach is less reliable and more difficult to reproduce across all candidates.

Unstructured interviews can work against your efforts to diversify your student body. When an interviewer “really hits it off” with a candidate, because they have so much in common, the ingroup bias leads us to selecting applicants who are similar to ourselves.

Second, with Kira, you can invite more perspectives to review applicants than ever before.

Many admissions teams, unfortunately, are not as diverse as they could be. Use Kira to engage your school community and expand your admissions committee to include faculty, alumni, or even current students.

And finally, our memories are not the most reliable. Since all applicant responses are recorded, you can “go back” and validate a students’ response in the event of a disagreement.

Move faster on engaging applicants

With uncertainty being the definition of 2020, getting your applicants started in the admissions process faster and providing a more personalized experience is critical.

Kira assessments can be sent out on a rolling basis, in batches, or as soon as your application closes, with just a few clicks.

However, coordinating interviews with every single candidate will require your team to swap availability and plan virtual interview days.

Meanwhile, your future students can be hearing back from you and responding to your Kira assessment, long before the other programs they have applied to.

Evaluate written communication skills

Written communication skills are so vital in all academic disciplines.

Through Kira, you can add timed written questions to encourage students to showcase their written voice in addition to their video responses.

Timed written responses provide an opportunity to have students give an authentic writing sample, show how they work through a problem, or solve a technical question. It’s one more data point for you and your team, and one more way students can show their authentic selves. Plus, Kira can validate originality with SimCheck by Turnitin.

Screen capture of a Written Response feature in Kira Talent platform

Make the process accessible for all students

Virtual interviews are a wonderful option for many, but not all applicants. Your typical Zoom or Teams video interview can present a number of barriers to students with disabilities.

Figuring out the logistics of participating in a virtual interview could be so challenging and stressful that students may opt-out all together or not be able to present their best self to the interviewers.

Read: The importance of accessibility and inclusion in your admissions process

Kira’s platform meets all WCAG 2.0 AA compliance requirements enabling students who use any method of assistive technology to complete their assessments.

Protect your team (and your admissions decisions) from burnout and fatigue

Being on video calls all day is exhausting. “Zoom fatigue” has science to back it up.

Virtual meetings increase our cognitive load and our anxiety. We get fewer non-verbal cues so we have to work harder to process.

Plus, we tend to take less breaks or engage in less “social time” during virtual days.

Couple that with the amount of energy and exhaustion you already experience when you would interview all day in person.

Read: How Fatigue Affects Your Admissions Decisions

Exhaustion can hurt your decision-making abilities and may subconsciously lead your brain to rely on ‘biases’ when advocating for or against a candidate.

Putting the admissions decisions aside, exhaustion hurts your team.

Burnout is a serious problem in our remote working world. Even if your team is partially back in the office, the pandemic is taking its toll on all of us as humans. Especially for members of your team with family responsibilities at home.

Protecting your team’s time and energy could be the biggest benefit of using Kira.

By enabling admissions teams to review on-demand and take breaks when they need, they can focus on giving each applicant the time and attention they deserve.

Plus, since responses are collected on-demand, you can scale your team virtually to add more sets of eyes and ears to your team.

Read: Six Ways to Scale Admissions Reviewing With Kira

Still want a live interview?

Okay, great, you still can have live interviews.

But you can also have an easier, more streamlined process of getting to that live interview.

Use Kira at the top-of-the-funnel as a pre-screen or first-stage interview to reap all of the benefits above as you hone in on your next cohort.

Instead of scheduling and coordinating hundreds of 30-minute interviews with every applicant, you can spend your time and energy on live interviews with only your short-listed candidates.

By enabling your team to focus on a smaller pool of applicants, you’ll be able to have more energized and personalized conversations with each student.

Equipped with the responses students shared in their Kira assessment, you can have deeper conversations when you do find time to connect.

And, you have extra time to help support each student in their decision to choose your school.

Read: How is Kira different from video-conferencing software like Microsoft Teams or Zoom?


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