The Vericant Interview Spoken English Evaluation (SEE)
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The Vericant Interview
What’s the end result of working with Vericant?
Classrooms filled with international applicants who can engage in class discussions and communicate clearly with professors and peers.
Where does Vericant interview students?
Vericant applicant interviews take place in 13 cities in Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul. For a complete list of cities where we conduct interviews please view our map.
Is it ok to only require the Vericant Interview for one group of applicants?
Absolutely. Similar to region-specific scholarship programs, the Vericant Interview gives a group of applicants an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of their communication abilities. Many institutions receive positive feedback from applicants and families, welcoming the opportunity to set themselves apart from their peers.
How is the Vericant Interview better than a Skype interview?
While it’s a great tool, when used for admissions interviews with Asian applicants, Skype has many limitations:
- Huge applicant pools make it difficult to give every applicant a chance at an interview.
- It’s impossible to verify the identity of a person during a Skype interview.
- There’s a 10-16 hour time difference between most Asian countries and the United States, making scheduling tricky.
- Throttled Internet speeds often lead to unstable and choppy interviews, making the experience uncomfortable for both you and the interviewee.
Won’t I just waste all of the time I’ve saved watching countless hours of interviews?
You might with other video interview services but with Vericant there’s no way!
The Vericant Interview and Online Portal are designed to be the fastest way to spot top applicants.
The secret is Vericant’s Spoken English Evaluation (SEE), a numerical score of an applicant’s ability to communicate in spoken English. Admissions officers can instantly filter thousands of applicants by their SEE scores and watch videos of applicants who meet the minimum English level required to succeed at their institution.
Vericant looks great, but we’re already working with InitialView and don’t have to pay anything!
Congratulations on taking the first steps toward incorporating video interviews into your admission process! Although InitialView and Vericant both provide video interviews, there are a few key differences.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which service is best for you:
- InitialView is an applicant interview service. This means applicants have a great deal of control during the process. Applicants may sit for the interview multiple times, receive copies of interview questions, and choose their best interview to send to institutions. In contrast, Vericant is an institution interview service. This means we partner with institutions and design our interview process around solutions that make sense for each institution. To prevent too much interview preparation, applicants are only permitted to sit for the interview once during each academic cycle.
- InitialView’s service doesn’t include an English language evaluation. This means the institution receives hundreds of InitialView interviews, but has no way to sort or prioritize them. Each Vericant interview comes with a Spoken English Evaluation score, enabling each institution to sort and prioritize applicant videos, making it easier for partner institutions to handle large volumes of applicants.
- InitialView waives ID verification for all applicants who choose remote interviewing over Skype. In contrast, to ensure authenticity, all Vericant interviews take place in person. We check every applicant’s ID carefully and retain a copy for our records.
- The applicant fee for an InitialView interview doesn’t include a writing sample (additional fee charged) or a spoken English assessment (not available). The Vericant interview fee includes a proctored writing sample and the SEE.
- InitialView’s interviews utilize a casual off-the-cuff approach. Vericant interviews follow a standard structure, for easy applicant comparisons. The interview structure, developed after interviewing thousands of applicants, prevents memorization, interrupts rehearsed scripts, and gives applicants a chance to shine.
How are you different from CIEE’s Chinese Applicant Interview (CAI)?
CIEE is another video interview service available in China. CIEE is primarily a study abroad organization but created the CAI several years ago in response to the China Conundrum.
CIEE’s CAI may be the most expensive option for applicants because after charging a flat rate fee to send the interview to two institutions, CIEE charges extra fees to send the interview to any additional institutions.
CIEE provides a scored English ability assessment for each applicant. However, this score is partially assessed by the interviewer. Given the research behind interviewer bias, this may or may not be a cause for concern.
Why should I partner with Vericant if competing services are free?
So you can focus on what you do best.
We’re known for going the extra mile for our clients. This includes check-in phone calls to make sure everything is working well, and even personal visits to your office by a member of Vericant’s team.
We urge you to contact any of your colleagues at our partner institutions and ask what they think of our service. We’ve yet to find a partner institution that doesn’t love talking about how Vericant has made their lives easier and changed their international admissions process for the better.
It’s our mission to help you identify the best international applicants in the quickest way possible. We take this very seriously.
Do applicants pay for the Vericant Interview? If so, how much?
Yes. Our interview costs approximately $380. Since applicants may send the same interview to multiple institutions, our most popular interview package breaks down on average to about $55 per institution. Since applicants may only sit for the Vericant interview once, there are no additional fees, hidden or otherwise. We also have a fee waiver program in place for applicants able to demonstrate need.
How do I know that Vericant has correctly verified the applicant’s identification?
We take applicant verification very seriously and it’s why we require all of our interviews to take place in person at a secure location.
We require applicants to bring a valid passport or China National ID card to the interview and we cross-check identification with public records during the verification process.
For an added layer of security, some institutions cross-reference the applicant’s interview video and handwritten essay with existing application materials.
Why do I need a Vericant Partnership if I routinely visit China and meet my applicants in person?
As any admission officer knows, there isn’t enough time to see every applicant … especially during admissions travel.
By pre-screening applicants with the Vericant Interview before your trip, you can spend more time with superstar applicants. As many of our institutions realized after their first year working with us, they can now spend time vetting applicants rather than qualifying them.
Additionally, our partner institutions have shared that having a video record of applicants whom they interviewed, can be very helpful when reassessing applicants in the months after the personal interviews took place.
Why do I need a Vericant Partnership if I rely on agencies to provide applicant ID verification?
Are these agencies also helping you recruit Chinese applicants? Many Chinese agencies have complex business models and often have mixed incentives when it comes to verifying applicant abilities.
As a completely third-party organization, Vericant provides our partner institutions with unbiased applicant information.
I’m nervous about involving a third-party in my admissions process.
Trusting someone else to work with your applicants is a big step for any admissions office. That’s why we make sure you’re always in complete control of our involvement in your admissions work.
We understand that we’re representing your institution and, more broadly, the image and ideals of academic institutions at the boarding and higher education levels. We take this very seriously.
What if I don’t feel comfortable requiring the Vericant Interview?
Many of our Partner Institutions are initially uncomfortable requiring the interview; however, 92% of institutions require the interview after their first year partnering with us.
After speaking with our partners, they shared the following reasons for why they require the Vericant
- “Only underqualified candidates were avoiding the interview”
- “We spent too much time on Skype, and every applicant felt they were an
- “The applicants submitting the Vericant interview turned out to be the most highly qualified and highly yieldable.”
As a side note, the phrase “highly encouraged” is interpreted differently in Asia. In North America, highly encouraged generally implies “required”, whereas in Asia, it’s interpreted as “unnecessary.”
At the end of the day, requiring the interview sets the stage for a level playing field, and filters out disinterested or underqualified applicants. All of this leads to an applicant pool that’s highly engaged and highly yieldable.
Will a Vericant partnership negatively impact my institution’s public image?
Working with Vericant improves your public image.
Requiring the Vericant Interview shows applicants just how much each individual student matters at your institution. Because you’re partnering with a trusted third-party organization to guarantee a close look at each applicant, your institution appears more selective and therefore more attractive.
From the North American perspective, requiring the interview shows how seriously you’re taking China admissions and how you’re making every effort available to enroll highly engaged, mission-appropriate students.
Is there a refund policy for applicants who’ve paid for the Vericant Interview?
Yes, applicants may apply for a partial refund if they’ve not yet interviewed and don’t intend to reschedule.
If applicants cancel the appointment more than 15 calendar days before the scheduled interview date, half of the registration fee is refunded. If applicants cancel the appointment within 15 calendar days before the scheduled interview date, no refund is provided.
Spoken English Evaluation (SEE)
Spoken English Evaluation (SEE) – what is the SEE?
The SEE (pronounced “S-E-E”) is short for Spoken English Evaluation. It’s Vericant’s evaluation of the spoken English used by an applicant during the Vericant Interview.
Can you explain your SEE score, and how it differs or compares to TOEFL or IELTS?
The SEE is developed from the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR), a globally recognized framework of references that serves as the basis of most language tests, including TOEFL and IELTS exams.
Unlike TOEFL and IELTS, the SEE was not developed with the specific purposes of assessing the proficiency of academic English. The SEE is an evaluation of spoken English communication expressed during Vericant’s behavioral interview setting.
There is no reading, writing, or listening component to the Spoken English Evaluation.
For a general idea of comparability: TOEFL scores between 110 and 120 are roughly equivalent to a score between 5-6 on the SEE. IELTS scores between 8-9 are roughly equivalent to scores between 5-6 on the SEE.
Why should I rely on the SEE score?
The SEE score distills conversational exchange into a single, holistic score designed to help you qualify applicants who can communicate and engage in the classroom, without even meeting them in person.
Applicants increasingly excel in English tests, but nothing can take the place of a face-to-face conversation to pinpoint their English speaking strengths and shortcomings.
Does the interviewer rate the applicants?
Never. A student’s language ability is never assessed on the spot by his or her interviewer. We do this to eliminate “interviewer bias,” where the interview process may consciously or unconsciously affect an interviewer’s opinion. Our professionally trained examiners are the only ones who rate interviews, maintaining an objective evaluation process.
How are examiners trained?
Examiners undergo intensive SEE rubric training during which the scoring process is thoroughly reviewed and calibrated. Examiners are given periodic re-calibrations to the SEE rubric, and if they’re not able to score inline with our master rating, are excused from examining until they’ve passed retraining.
How do I use the SEE score during my applicant assessments?
- Filter applicants based on their SEE scores.
- Prioritize the order of videos you watch to focus on the best English speakers first.
- Get an overview of an applicant’s conversational abilities.
- Better place applicants into ESL levels if your institution has an ESL program.