SONRU — a Stumbling Block to Your Next Job

This review is written with a humble job seeker in mind and for a sake of justice.

In searching and applying for a job, you can encounter all kinds of bureaucratic traps—one of them is Sonru.com service. Sonru.com is “Automated Video Interviewing Software” as they call themselves, and it really is a heartless piece of code that treat you (as a candidate) like a prisoner. As it says on their website, it allows “candidates to show their personality, and […] recruiters to streamline the selection process.” While the latter is true, the first statement has dreadful meaning of being sarcastic. I personally do not like remote interviews by phone, because a candidate cannot really read the reaction (e.g. body language) of the other side (applies both ways, of course). Skype is better in this regard, but still you may have technical connection issues, preventing you from showing your best. But Sonru is even worse than a phone interview, as a candidate has absolutely no clue of how and by whom his or her record would be perceived.

Typically, you get a link with a code via email from Sonru robot. When you login, you have to literally position yourself within a frame as seen thru your PC or iPAD camera and try to answer some test questions. You can practice the test interview as many times as you want — that can help you understand how you look and sound on the record. Where it does not help, it can drain your mental powers with such rehearsals. So I suggest try once, then take a break and do the real questionary. If you are serious about the job you are applying to, try to show your brightest side, be “cool, calm, and collected.”

The real questions you cannot know in advance of course. They are all time-limited and you can see the countdown, and this is a hidden threat: a question may seem simple to finish half the allocated time. If you feel like that, stop the recording and move to the next question. If you try to fill the time up, you may ramble.

If you don’t fit easily within the timeframe for a question, don’t panic trying to dash off. You may have the last question for all additional information you could wish to add.

You finished? Oh, you never know what happens next, although you may feel yourself like finishing a hard task or project. I believe any similar experience is good, but in this case your effort has no direct response (unless they finally hire you). But maybe they’d laugh at you. Or maybe the hiring manager could see your record and make a reasonable decision. But maybe not. Maybe it will be screened and deleted by some ruthless HR clerk well before.

If you are not serious about the job, my advice — do not waste your time with Sonru. Skip it, it is not worth the effort. Spend your time on reading a good book or caring about your loved ones.

Who are the people behind this product anyway? The first person listed in the board of directors has background in “Agribusiness & Rural Development”. The second one is a technical guy in every way. The third one is a “trained occupational psychologist” (this is the closest so far!) who spent 10 years at Taleo Corp prior to Sonru (alas Taleo is another example of miserable piece of software for a job seeker). And so on. I’m not trying to say there’s something wrong with them, I trust they must be nice people to deal with, and I have no intention to offend anyone. I just don’t see any good reason to believe this could be—in agricultural terms— fertile soil for this type of software to be helpful, kind, and human in my humble opinion from a candidate perspective. What is good for a corporation, does not have to be automatically beneficial for a job seeker, and this is not the case either.

If you are so unlucky to get an job interview via Sonru, read their tips and guides. They can be useful:

https://sonru.zendesk.com/forums/22453082-Candidate-Guide-FAQs-

http://www.sonru.com/blog/C11/

http://sonru.zendesk.com/home

Leave a Reply