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@Ankita Katdare • 19 May, 2015
A few companies have introduced the 'Video Synthesis Test' round to their recruitment process.
For instance, Mu Sigma conducts this test as a part of their selection process. A lot of engineering students are clueless about the test and how to prepare for it. So, let's find out what the test is all about and how can you crack it.

What is a Video Synthesis Test?

In this test, candidates are shown a video, a small clip from a movie or documentary. Then they are asked to write a synthesis of what they saw in a fixed time frame. This test was introduced by companies like Mu Sigma a few years back.
Generally, the examiners would tell you the rules, but I've heard that they generally ask you to either write your views in 3-4 points.

Why do they keep such a test?

From what I can understand, the purpose of such a test is to understand the candidate's analysing skills. How well can you understand the essence of the data/content you are presented with? What are the key points you would remember if you are put in a random situation that demands you to voice your opinion? Basically, they want to judge how well you understand things in a quick way.

A lot of candidates are confused between writing a summary and a synthesis.
That brings us to our next question

Difference between Summary and Synthesis?

A summary means that you write the gist of the content presented to you. While writing a summary, you are expected to cover the major points of the content in a short, concise manner that gives the reader an idea of what you might've seen or read.

A synthesis means that instead of re-writing the points you've read/seen in the content, you are supposed to note what you understood from the content and what your ideas are about it. A synthesis represents you key takeaways from the content. You are supposed to share what your learning is.

Can I do some preparation to crack this test?

Generally speaking, if you are good at English and are attentive enough to understand what the message in the video is, you don't need much preparation. Those involved in the selection process will generally pick up scenes from movies that have some takeaway lesson or one that speaks of values. If you have seen good English movies, chances are that you will see a movie clip that you've already watched.

Sample Video Synthesis Test Clips:

These are just some videos that have been shown in some interviews. They could pick any random video and show it to you and all that they want to know is what message you take away from it.

1. Pursuit of Happyness

2. Patch (Robin Williams) gives a speech to the Medical Board saying that doctors should not only fight death, they should fight indifference.

3. Why America isn't the greatest country in the world anymore.

4. Forrest Gump

TIPS AND TRICKS To Crack The Video Synthesis Round:

1. While you are watching the video: Note the actors, movie name, situation presented, tone of the scene etc.
2. Depending on what the video shown to you is about, think about the 1 key lesson there is to take away from it.
3. If you are asked to write on a piece of paper, remember to use good, clearly understandable handwriting.
4. If they want you to write only 3 points, Write 3 simple sentences without making it too lengthy.
5. Remember to end your synthesis with that point which is the 'crux' and combine it with your ideas about the topic.

All the best for Video Synthesis Round. Do share your questions and experiences about it! 😀
@pratap singh, upendra • 20 May, 2015 This test is a subset of Thematic Apperception Test that has got its genesis in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.
Taking this into account, one tip that I would like to give is that do figure out a healthy, positive, optimistic perspective of the image or the situation depicted.

Sometimes the points that you write down give a glimpse of what your attitude towards life is-pessimistic or optimistic.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 03 Feb, 2016 Alright, so this video synthesis test is something new to me. I wasn't there when I was looking for job 😉. A bit of searching around revealed that companies like Mu-Sigma have this round in their campus selection / walk-in process. Frankly speaking, I doubt this test actually helps companies make a better choice of candidates. But companies need a way to look cool, right?

As Ankita mentioned in her original post, you'll have to pay attention to several finer aspects of the video. I'd add the following -

1. Try to establish a connect between the video and the role you're applying for. This could be extremely tricky; but if you can pull it off - you're guaranteed to crack the video synthesis test.

2. If you don't find anything noteworthy, simply try to answer these questions in relation to the clip that was shown -
  • Who
  • What
  • Why
  • Where
  • When
These questions should give you a clearer understanding of the clip and help you derive the number of points you're required to write. "WHY" is one of the most important questions you might want to answer.

If you have more tips or tricks or real life experience from the movie; share them with us. We can always discuss them so that everyone benefits. If you have attended the video synthesis round, please share the clip you were shown. All the best!

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