Virtual interviews a reality

The USF Career Center, along with the College of Business and Interview USA, Inc. is launching a new virtual video interview service at today’s career fair in the Sun Dome.

This service was created to give students a competitive edge with employers and is the first of its kind.

“This is a pilot program that is unlike anything on the market,” said Raj Doraisamy, CEO for Interview USA.

“The service will help students sell themselves more effectively to employers and help them get face-to-face interviews with employers,” he said.

Doraisamy said the virtual interview is not meant to replace a resume or a personal interview, but is meant to compliment the resume and give employers a better understanding of the person applying for a job.

The video interview involves a virtual interviewer asking the student eight or nine predetermined questions, said Doraisamy.

“We’ve tried to simulate a face-to-face interview, not just have questions on the screen,” Doraisamy said.

The student is given one hour to complete the virtual interview and to review his or her responses. The interviewer’s responses can be polished as much as needed before the taped interview and resume are sent to potential employers.

“A good interview should take about 30 minutes to complete,” said Jennifer Straub, assistant director for employee relations for the Career Center.

Students can make appointments for virtual interviews through the Career Center Web site or by attending the career fair today. The service will be available to students at the Career Center after the fair, Straub said.

“Unfortunately, students won’t be able to record their interviews at the career fair because of noise and lack of privacy, but they will be able to see it,” Straub said. More than 1,500 students and 100 employers will attend the career fair.

The virtual video interview service is offered to students at a discounted rate of $25 for this semester. After this semester, the service will cost $50, said Straub.

Interview USA is a local company based out of Sarasota. Straub said the company approached USF with the idea for the new interview service about two months ago and successfully coordinated with the university to bring the new interviewing process to students.

“Raj (Doraisamy) was an accounting major at USF, so he had a natural gravitation to the university and wanted to get the school of business involved,” Straub said. “This service promises to be a great thing for both sides, both students and employers.”