During the pandemic, video job interviews have become the new normal. But video interview options are not limited to the traditional face-to-face solution. A common alternative to this two-way interview format is the one-way video interview, also known as an on-demand or asynchronous interview.
A one-way interview involves recruiters presenting a set of instructions and questions, usually via an external platform, and candidates recording and submitting their answers at a time of their choosing. In most cases, the candidates are given the interview questions beforehand and the opportunity to select the best performing video out of various attempts.
One-way interviews are perceived as a very convenient and innovative recruiting format, but as with any sourcing method, there are also faults to be considered. Here are the most important pros and cons of one-way-interviews, from both your side as a recruiter and the candidate’s perspective.
Pros for Recruiters
- Time efficiency
When trying to fill a position, recruiters often have to conduct practically the same interview over and over again. For a one-way interview, it is sufficient to submit the questions only once, which saves the recruiting team a lot of time.
- Greater comparability
All candidates are being asked the exact same set of questions. This enhances the comparability among the candidates, thereby contributing to more fairness in the recruiting process.
- Improves hiring team collaboration
Every recruiter in your team can see every candidate’s performance and share feedback. You can better decide as a team and interviewees do not have to attend multiple interviews to convince each recruiter individually.
You are not tied to an interview schedule, you can evaluate the candidates at the time that fits them best. This also helps overcome the struggle of interviewing remote candidates from different time zones as neither side has to compromise and have the interview at inconvenient hours.
Pros for Candidates
The same thing applies for candidates: They can complete their video responses in a time and place that works best for them. This is especially convenient for candidates that are currently in employment and would need to fit the interview into their working schedule.
- Less stressful
Candidates can reduce disruptive environmental factors, carefully prepare their answers and re-record their responses. That way, they can more easily show their best selves. The candidates know that the first impression is entirely in their hands which lowers the pressure significantly.
- Benefits more introverted candidates
Some highly qualified candidates are more introverted than others. The approach of asynchronous interviews would make these candidates feel more comfortable during the interview process.
Cons for Recruiters
- Promoting the company is difficult
During interviews, you might pursue the goal to further convince the potential hires of the company. However, a one-way interview offers little opportunities to promote the job and the business.
- Less personal
Asynchronous interviews lack direct communication between recruiters and candidates. Therefore, you can not build personal relationships with candidates which oftentimes are crucial for a positive decision on both ends.
- Direct testing of skills is more difficult
If you want to gain insight into a candidate’s skillset, for example his or her communication and presentation skills, one-way interviews may not be the best format to choose. Communication is based on direct interaction and therefore, face-to-face interviews might be more suitable for assessing these skills.
Cons for Candidates
- Negative interview experience
Candidates might feel uncomfortable talking to a “machine” instead of to a recruiter which can contribute negatively to the candidate’s interview experience.
- No spontaneous interaction
Because of the lack of direct communication, Candidates do not have the opportunity to get instant feedback from the recruiter or ask spontaneous questions.
- Negative impact on employer brand
One-way interviews might give the impression of a dehumanized recruiting process in which the employer does not care enough for potential hires to meet them in person. Candidates might not feel appreciated well enough and decide against the company.
One-way interviews allow great flexibility for you and for candidates, decrease interview stress, and can enhance fairness and collaboration among your team members.
However, you should be well aware of the impression that such an interview format can leave for the candidates without other means of engagement.
Therefore, if you decide to try asynchronous interviews, make sure to design the process to be as personal as possible. This can be achieved by embedding video clips and being transparent about why you chose this format. There are different options for video material that you can provide. In general, interviewees will greatly appreciate a personal video message from you as the recruiter. You should also consider adding an informational video about the company and, if possible, about the job. That way, you can promote the company and the candidates will stay engaged with the job opportunity. In addition, presenting the instructions and questions in video clips will contribute to a more conversational interview experience!
Lastly, one-way interviews should never be implemented throughout the whole hiring process! The next step should always be a personal face-to-face interview, so that both sides can build a relationship and clear up any unresolved questions.