Pros and Cons of the One-Way Video Interview Process

Today, recruiters are looking at innovative ways to shortlist candidates and interview as many as possible.

One approach to this process is to invite candidates for an asynchronous interview, also known as a one-way interview. This is a pre-screening technique leveraged by interviewers to shortlist job applicants before a face-to-face interview to zero in on the right fit for their teams.

Unlike a traditional interview, in one-way interviews, as the name suggests, candidates must record themselves. In the video recording, they introduce themselves and respond to a predetermined list of questions set by the interviewer.

Once the video is submitted to the recruiter, all submissions are reviewed and compared to determine which candidates will make the shortlist. The next step would be an in-person or virtual interview. In this blog, we explore the pros and cons of one-way interviews. 

Pros for One-Way Video Interview Process

1. Reduces the Cost of Hiring 

Traditional interviews consume a significant amount of time and bandwidth, especially if the interviewer is keen to engage with a larger pool of candidates.

On the other hand, the one-way interview approach significantly reduces the “time to hire”, which refers to the time period between candidate sourcing and making an offer letter.

This translates to reduced hiring costs for the company, and job roles remain vacant for a briefer period of time.  

2. Improves Hiring Speed

One of the key challenges with conducting a large number of traditional interviews is that interviewers tend to run into scheduling conflicts, especially if the candidates are not freshers.

On the other hand, one-way interviews can be edited and compiled into one or two videos. These videos are reviewed by interviewers as per their schedule, thus increasing hiring speed.  

3. Reduces Bias

Not every candidate is confident in the first face-to-face interview.

Secondly, when conducting traditional interviews, recruiters have the bandwidth to only interview a limited number of candidates, leaving out a lot of potentially good candidates based on mere perceptions.

One-way interviews allow many candidates to put their best foot forward and make an impression, making the process more inclusive. 

4. Widens Reach 

Candidates across geographies can benefit from one-way interviews, especially if they belong to different time zones. This approach avoids scheduling conflicts, and neither interviewers nor candidates will need to show up for an interview at odd hours.

The one-way interview process is thus a key solution, with so many candidates now looking to work remotely from various time zones. 

5. Effective Pre-Screening Tool

Recorded video interviews offer interviewers an insight into a candidate’s personality, confidence levels, knowledge, and creativity.

Candidates also have an opportunity to present their responses in a meaningful way. The key is to ask the right set of questions that relate to work culture, the job role, and aspects like leadership. 

Cons for One-Way Video Interview Process

1. Time Limitations  

Unlike traditional interviews where candidates can elaborate on their answers, pre-recorded videos need to be crisp and to the point.

Not all candidates can be concise when responding to a question. Their interviews may consume an extended amount of time, which works against them in the screening process

2. Candidates Turned Away 

Not everyone is comfortable with recording video interviews.

Some potentially great candidates may reject the offer to do a one-way interview. It could be because they are shy, or they may not have the bandwidth. They may also not have the skills to do video recordings.

However, they may excel at their jobs, which could be in fields other than technology or design. Hence, one-way video interviews may not work in every case.  

3. No Interaction 

Unlike traditional face-to-face interviews, there is no scope for engagement in a one-way interview. Hence, interviewers will not be able to ask any follow-up questions.

Secondly, some candidates may misunderstand certain questions and not get an opportunity to clarify their doubts. 

4. Lack of Candidate Engagement 

One of the benefits of traditional interviews is that interviewers also get an opportunity to engage candidates in conversations about work culture, the company’s legacy and vision, the job role, and the scope of potential growth.

This is a missed employer branding opportunity to showcase the company and what it stands for to aspiring candidates, even if they do not qualify for the role.   

5. Possibility of Technical Problems 

Recruiters are always in a rush to close positions in the shortest period. Not all candidates may have the technical know-how to record an interview in a brief period.

They may record it in a hurry without paying attention to detail. They may appear uncomfortable in front of the camera. The sound quality may be poor. They may have difficulty sharing the files if they are too heavy.

Not all interviewers will be able to overlook a lack of savviness, and they may end up developing a biased opinion about the interviewee. 

The Takeaway

Access to tech-enabled solutions is transforming the way recruiters shortlist and interview candidates. It is reducing the time needed to hire candidates and helping companies reduce recruitment costs while reaching out to a larger pool of candidates.

The one-way interview works well when leveraged in the right context. Recruiters must be aware of its limitations and use it as a tool to enhance efficiency without letting it work against a potentially great candidate. 


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