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How to Ace Your Recorded 'One-Way' Video Interview

one-way job interview

Hiring managers often meet face-to-face with multiple applicants for each job opening, which can be time-consuming and exhausting. Recruiters are always looking for ways to streamline the hiring process to reach a smart hiring decision faster.

While some mangers accomplish this through phone interviews or video interviews, others are looking for new ways to improve the vetting process. One-way recorded video interviews – sometimes called on-demand interviews – are a new approach recruiters use to save time.

"When doing volume hiring, we are looking for a quicker way to evaluate talent," said Chris Brown, VP of human resources at West's Unified Communication Services. "We want to get applicants into the pipeline, while not creating candidate fatigue that runs them through too many hurdles for selection."

Whether you are a recruiter hoping to improve your hiring process or a job candidate who was asked to participate in an on-demand interview, here is what you need to know about this approach.

During an on-demand interview, candidates record their answers to a series of questions, which are provided by a recruiting firm or hiring manager, said Chris Westfall, a keynote speaker and business coach. Once job candidates are finished recording, the video is saved and hiring managers can watch the feed at any time.

"An on-demand interview is more of an automated approach to video interviewing in terms delivery to a candidate," said Brown. "When the candidate reaches a step in the application process, a system will then ask them to complete an initial interview via their video platform, without any live recruiter engagement."

This approach saves everyone involved in the hiring process time. Instead of scheduling a specific time for a job interview, you can complete and view the interview at any time, Brown noted.

Pre-recorded videos can also give hiring managers valuable insights into candidate competencies. While an on-demand interview doesn't show how candidates think on their feet, it does show how well they prepare. As a hiring manager, you'll be able to determine if the applicant has taken time to prepare or did the interview on a whim, Westfall said. This approach also allows managers to instantly evaluate a person's presentation skills, said Westfall, which is important if the position requires frequent presentations and client meetings.  

Of course, there are downsides to a recorded video interview. Recruiters aren't able to have a conversation with the applicant in on-demand interviews. If a response to a question leaves you wondering, you can't ask a follow-up question in real time, Brown said.

Additionally, some of the best candidates might not feel comfortable in front of a camera. While it's important for applicants to be comfortable communicating in any situation for some job openings, many jobs won't ultimately require an employee to appear on camera, said Westfall. If a candidate appears nervous in a recorded video, it may not be an accurate representation of how they'd behave over live video or in person.

Do your homework. Just as you prepare for other interviews, prepare for on-demand interviews.

"Be deliberate in choosing your words carefully, because the story you tell online could be the first step towards building your new career," said Westfall.

Understand variables you can (and can't) control. Some things you will never be able to prepare for or control. However, you can control things such as your internet connection, background and mic. Understand what factors you can control, and make sure they run seamlessly. Also, test the connection before you begin the interview process, Brown suggested. He said that you should also think about things that may become a distraction, such as a cellphone, dog or baby. You can minimize the impact by removing those things from your recording area.

Don't re-record your answer too many times. Brown said recruiters are able to see how many times you attempt a question. It's important to be happy with your response, and it's OK if you must redo a question once or twice. However, don't re-record every answer multiple times.

For more tips on impressing a hiring manager, no matter your interview format, check out these tips from Business News Daily.

Saige Driver

Saige received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Telecommunications from Ball State University. She is the social media strategist for Business.com and Business News Daily. She also writes reviews and articles about social media. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie.