Before the Covid-19 pandemic, industry trends suggested that recruitment companies and corporate hiring departments had already started using video technology to interview candidates at part of the interview process. According to a survey conducted by Gartner, 86% of UK employers were conducting virtual interviews in April 2020. With the continued disruption to normal business practice caused by Covid-19, it seems that many companies have made a more permanent shift to remote interviewing for the whole of the interview process.
Why is this important for job seekers?
With statistics showing that 5.1% of people in the UK and 6.2% in the USA are currently facing unemployment, finding a job in 2021 has become more challenging for all job seekers with graduate job market being particularly badly affected. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on the recruitment industry. It seems fair to argue that graduates should expect some form of video interviewing during their job search. This current change amongst recruiters may become the new normal amongst recruiters, and with the volume of graduates who apply for each role increasing novel approaches to interviewing increases efficiency and reducing costs will be here to stay.
One type of video interviewing that’s increasingly popular is asynchronous interviews, also known as one-way video interviews.
What are One-Way Video Interviews?
One-way video interviews occur without any face to face interaction or real-time response from employers. Typically, the interviewee uses a phone, tablet or PC to record themselves answering a set of timed questions from the employer. The answers must be submitted before a deadline set by the employer.
The benefits of one-way video interviews
Asynchronous interviews have many clear benefits for potential employees. For instance, they:
- Provide potential candidates with the ability to determine what time they’d like to participate in an interview
- Reduce costs for the interviewee as they cut down on potential travel costs
- Mean that you do not need to take time off work to attend an interview
- Do not trigger the same level of pressure of a face to face interview
How should you prepare for your one-way video interview?
Employers are interested in building a relationship with future employee’s, and they want to know that you are genuinely interested in working for their company. Coming to the interview well prepared will help you stand out during your interview.
Typically, one-way video interviews are an easy way for employers to evaluate a candidate’s skills and background. Employers are interested to learn basic information about their candidates, as this helps them eliminate candidates who don’t meet their base line selection criteria.
At the first screening interview recruiters select which candidates to bring in for the second round of interviews and as such one way video interviews are used as part of the initial screening process.
One-way video interviews require just as much preparation as face to face interviews. Although the types of recruitment methods may differ, recruiters have the same goal – finding a candidate who meets the company’s criteria so thorough preparation is needed.
7 interview tips that you should keep in mind for a successful one-way video interview
1 Use the STAR interview technique to answer questions
During the recruitment process, employers will be analysing potential candidate’s communication skills. For this reason, it’s useful for interviewees to spend some time practising questions beforehand. Using an interview technique will ensure that you are ready to answer any questions asked during the interview.
One popular method is the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique. Employers will often ask for examples of candidates demonstrating their skills in the workplace. Using a structured method to answer interview questions provides employers with evidence that you are competent and capable.
The STAR Technique Explained
- Describe the context of the situation. What challenges did you face?
- What task were you expected to undertake? What is your role in this situation?
- Explain what action you took to solve these challenges.
- What was the result of your actions?
Some example questions that you can practice using the STAR technique on are:
Tell us about a time that you worked well under pressure
Describe a time that you’ve taken an approach that your boss disagreed with.
Describe a difficult situation at work and how you dealt with it.
2 Practice recording yourself and time yourself answering questions
We mostly all have phone with video cameras, when you are practising interview questions film yourself and playback the recoding.
How do you look? How do you sound?
While the one-way interview video is not a screen film test try to objectively assess how you come across. Do you look and sound natural? Try not to act, behave as you would in a normal face-to-face interview.
Since one-way interviews often have a limited response time for your answer, practising being concise is very important.
Record and timing yourself whilst answering practice questions is a very helpful to prepare you for the video interview. Rehearsing will ensure that you will have the ability to answer each question in a timely manner and not waffle on too long. Your answers should be succinct and to the point. Some one-way interviews may allow you to re-record your answers, however, that may not be the case for all of them.
Ideally, you’d like to avoid making any mistakes, so you should record yourself practising on your phone beforehand.
When practising questions for your video interview, remember that employers are interested in knowing who you are. With this in mind, try to speak in a genuine and sincere tone when rehearsing for your interview. According to a research study by LinkedIn, its best to keep answers within 2 to 2.5 minutes, even if the one-way interview system that you’re being interviewed by allows significantly longer
3 The Practice Session
The great thing about one-way video interviews is that they often offer interviewees a chance to answer some practise questions; set by the company for which you are interviewing, before the actual interview. Answering practice questions will help you feel confident and relaxed before your interview. It’ll also help give you a feel for how the rest of the interview will go, and get used to the technology
4 Check your internet and devices
One-way video interviews require candidates to feel comfortable using technology. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that things run smoothly. Before the interview, make sure to have a good internet connection. Check your current internet using an online speed checking tool and ensure that it is at least 8 Mbps download / 1.5 Mbps upload.
You will also need access to a device that has a camera and microphone to record your answers. You can use a laptop, tablet, computer, or even your smartphone to record your interview. Just make sure to look directly into the camera whilst speaking during your interview
5 Dress Appropriately
A study conducted by Nvision showed that 95% of interviewers view a candidate’s appearance as a direct reflection of their professionalism. You should wear what you would wear to the office for your video interview, just as you would for a face to face interview. Stick to soft or solid colours without a lot of design or print. Avoid wearing any clothing that is bright or casual and limit the amount of distracting jewellery.
6 Choose a location to film
Another factor that you must consider is the filming location of your video. When recording the video, you’ll want to avoid any loud or distracting noises. For this reason, you should pick a place where you won’t be disturbed. Pick a plain background to record your video. You’ll want to avoid anything that may create distractions whilst speaking. A white wall or any other kind of simple back ground would be the best option for this type of interview.
Use our detailed guide for video interviews for more information.
7 Use Good Lighting
It’s helpful if you’re able to film under good lighting, as you’ll want the video to appear to be as clear as possible. If you own a ring light, you can set this up behind your camera as this will give you the most flattering and clear appearance. Try to avoid dim lighting.
How Can We Help?
If you’d like to discover more information on how to prepare for your interview, reach out to and learn more about our interview preparation services Sign up for a free consultation service to receive coaching and mentorship from our career coaches to help you ace one way video interviews.