My video interview hell. By Adrienn Árvai

Adrienn Árvai

Adrienn has been living in London since May 2014. She used to work as a senior accountant in Hungary. She has just started looking for a job in the financial sector here in London and she would like to work as a financial controller.

As part of The Writing Project Adrienn has written this article . . .

My video interview hell.

By Adrienn Árvai


My first video interview.

I have been looking for a job in London in the financial sector for abut a month. The first time I uploaded my CV to the recruitment websites, I just took it for granted that I would get a lot of requests because of my previous work experience. I soon realised the rat race in London is much bigger than I thought. After patiently waiting I finally I got an invitation to do something called a LaunchPad interview. I had no idea what that was – but it was a beautiful moment anyway.

I later discovered that LaunchPad is a video interview app that companies uses to get a feel for the candidates. It’s not live video, like Skype, but there are pre-recorded questions which the candidate has to answer by recording a video response – the answers are then uploaded to the employer – it’s all done through your mobile phone.

I was ready to record my first video interview, I had prepared everything  – hair, smart clothes, lighting, background noise had all been ticked off the list.

At first, I could not bring myself to start the real interview, it took maybe one hour of umming and erring. After this exhausting hour I just wanted to get it over and done with, so I pushed the button to start the interview.


Picture the scene! I see my face on the screen, there is a question and there is a clock.  The countdown has already started, I only have 25 seconds…. I have to hurry! I start to answer the question, but I have such a short time – before I finish what I am saying my time is up, the screen is changing…I see my face again, but the question is the same.

‘Great!’, I think to myself, ‘I have another 2 minutes to so I can continue my answer.’ A minute later, I finish my answer but there is still a minute left on the clock. I reach for the stop button but nothing happens, after three attempts to stop the video I realise that the interviewer has seen more of the end of my finger than my actual answers!  It’s seems like a good idea to explain my self, ‘Errr I can’t stop it’, I say to the camera, ‘so I think I should speak about this question a bit more’. I feel myself getting flustered and going bright red and I waffle on for until the end of the recording.

While the video was uploading I had enough time to think about exactly what had happened in the last two and half minutes…. something didn’t quite add up. Suddenly it dawned on me – the first 25 seconds was supposed to be a preparation period and the second part was for the actual answer – that meant when the company play back my recording the first half of my answer would be missing and the second part would start mid sentence – what a mess!

At this point I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Never give up!

Before I had time to do either, the third question had started, it was a tricky question but I gave it my best shot. Just when I thought things were going well, I realised that I had lost the internet connection – I calmly reconnected and finished the interview, uploaded the interview and let out a huge sigh of relief. This ‘mimi-trauma’ was behind me now.

A happy ending

Two days later I got an email inviting me to repeat the interview because they saw my session had been interrupted by a bad internet connection – so, in end the I got a chance to do a new interview, and nobody will ever watch my first interview. I got away with it!