One-way video interview: Meaning, tips, questions and advantages


Rachita Jain


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The ever-evolving technological landscape has brought herculean changes in the recruitment trends of 2022. After COVID, digital hiring is quite famous in the recruitment market due to its immense benefits, including reducing repetitive tasks, automated AI background checks, and more accurate screenings. According to Walters People, there was a 67% increase in the number of firms using video interviews. Now, hiring managers are trying to find different and creative ways of recruiting talented and skilled workers; and one-way video interview is one of them.

Meaning of one-way video interview

One-way interview or asynchronous interview is a pre-screening tool used by employers to determine whether or not to move forward with the hiring process.
“What makes it different is that in a one-way interview, you talk to a screen and not an actual human. Using your computer’s camera and voice recorder, you record and submit your answers to the questions that flash on your computer’s screen.”
The interviewers review your answers and decide whether or not to schedule an interview with you.
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How does a one-way video interview work?

  • The questions in a one-way video interview flash over the screen of your computer. You are expected to read and answer them. Later, the recorded answers are to be submitted then and there only.
  • One-way video interviews are conducted in the initial stages of hiring. A one-way interview is a one-go process i.e you need to complete them in a single take.
  • Some recruiters set deadlines for these interviews whereas some don’t. In most cases, you are expected to finish them before the deadline.

1. Practice Sessions

Before the actual interview, you get a practice interview session. This session is kind of a mock test that helps you enhance your preparation.
  • In a practice session, you need to log in to the software. Sometimes, you need to download a different software.
  • Then, a test is conducted to check the functionality of your equipment so that if there is any bug, you can resolve it before the real one-way video interview.
  • Then you are asked questions that we recommend you answer properly. After that, submit the recorded answers.
  • Do not skip this step as it helps you identify any kinds of errors. Playback your recording to check if the sound was clear and audible if the lighting was right and if there were any disturbances.

2. The Interview

  • Once you are satisfied with your practice session, you can begin with your actual one-way video interview. In certain cases, the interviewers allow you to review and record answers. Otherwise, you need to record and send your answers in one take. If you have any doubts, make sure you get them resolved during your practice session.
  • Some one-way video interviews provide you with some time to think before recording an answer. In others, you need to start your answer as soon as the question appears on the screen.
  • In almost all cases, you get a limited time slot to answer each question. This time can last between 60 seconds to three minutes, depending upon the number and type of questions.

One-way video interview questions and answers

In one-way video interview questions and answers, you are asked very generic questions. No brain-teaser-type questions are asked. You might be asked the following questions.

1. Describe yourself

One of the most prominent questions in the list of one-way video interview questions and answers: how would you describe yourself? We understand you might want to speak at length on it, but remember there is a time limit to your answer. Therefore, mention only the most important things.
  • The most recent experience that is relevant to this job
  • Those qualifications and strengths that make you a perfect fit for the job you are applying for
  • Any side experiences that help you perform this job better

2. What are your strengths?

To answer this question, make sure you go through the job posting thoroughly. Read the job posting and make a list of the top keywords. Then based on that, enlist only those strengths that will help you in performing your job in a better way.
No matter what strengths you pick, make sure you back them with appropriate examples to prove that you are not bluffing around. For instance, if you mention team spirit as your strength, then cite an example where it helped you profoundly.

3. Why are you interested in this role?

This is an ‘obvious’ question in the list of one-way video interview questions and answers. This question is asked to measure your excitement for the job. The answer to this question will separate you from the list of people who apply for any job. To answer this question:
  • Study the company values and culture and tell them how much you appreciate it.
  • Search whether the company has taken any initiatives for social justice and then mention them.
  • In the end, tell them how your skills align and help the company to grow.

4. What compensation are you looking for

We highly recommend you not speak about numbers in this question. We understand you want to get paid well, but you must not mention specific numbers here. Try to answer this question in a subtle manner. If you talk about a certain amount, then you may come across as someone only interested in money.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question from one-way video interview questions and answers tests how aspirational you are. It accesses your career plan and how this job fits into it. Employers want to know the level of growth that you want to achieve in the coming five years.
Tell them about your career path and how this job will help you on that path. You can also talk about what you expect to learn from this job and how that will help you grow professionally.

6. Why do you want to work with this company?

When asked ‘why do you want to work here’, mention the things that you like about that company. For instance, you can talk about:
  • Their company culture and why you want to be a part of it.
  • Their wellness programs for their employees.
  • The mission, vision, and values of the company.
  • How the company can help you grow in your profession.
  • How you can help the company to grow.

How to prepare for a one-way video interview

1. Carefully read directions

The first step in how to prepare for a one-way video interview is to read the directions carefully. Before the actual interview starts, make sure you are well-versed in the instructions that you need to follow.
For instance, the instructions might include the time slot provided to answer each question. You must follow it and provide your entire answer within that time frame. Instructions might also include how to record and submit answers and what you are required to do after it. Hence, reading and following directions carefully is significant.

2. Choose your recording space

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Next important step on how to prepare for a one-way video interview is selecting your recording space. You must select:
  • A quiet space that has good lighting.
  • A place where no shadows fall on your face so that it is clearly visible.
  • A place with a clean background, preferably a neutral color curtain or a bookshelf.
  • Avoid recording with open windows as it can cause multiple distractions and disruptions.
  • Make sure there are no pets, children, or anything else that causes distractions or disruptions.

3. Find the right equipment

Test your equipment before you use them during the one-way video interview. If there is any issue, then get it sorted immediately. Make sure you check:
  • The webcam that you will be using. Check whether it is placed at the right spot and records a clear video or not
  • The audio device for recording your answers. Test whether the audio recorded in your device is clearly audible or not.
  • The most vital thing is to have a proper internet connection to avoid any disruptions or pauses.

4. Meet the deadline

If you can’t record a video on time, then how will you submit a project within the deadline? This is what the employers will think if you are unable to complete your one-way video interview on time. Keep in mind that recording your answers might take longer than you expect. Moreover, some recruiters ask for some sort of editing before the final submission. Therefore, it is advisable you complete your one-way video interview way before the deadline so that if there are any issues, they can be sorted within the specified deadline.

5. Practice

The more you practice your responses, the better they will be. Practicing your responses will make you confident which is essential to crack any kind of interview. Rehearsing is the best way to avoid long pauses where you think about the answers. You should record your answers in such a way as if you are talking to a real interviewer and this is only possible when you practice.

One-way video interview tips

1. Dress up

Even if it is a video interview, make sure you dress up properly like you are going for a real interview. Wearing business attire shows your level of seriousness about the job. Moreover, this one-way video interview tip will help you develop a mindset of an actual interview which is likely to improve the quality of your responses.

2. Be confident

One of the most significant one-way video interview tips is to be confident during your one-way video interviews. Talking to a webcam can be weird. Therefore, while recording your interview, consider that webcam as a real human interviewer. Then look into his eyes i.e in the webcam and smile while answering questions.

3. Appropriate body language

Even if there is not a real interviewer asking you questions, your body language should be still perfect.
  • Sit up straight during the entire interview.
  • Keep your eyes on the screen and the webcam. Don’t look here and there as it might seem you are distracted.
  • Minimize your bodily movements and keep your hands still.
One-way video interview tips: place your webcam at a suitable distance and place. Don’t lean over the camera. Ensure the chair you select is not squeaking as it can lead to distorting the audio or your answers.

4. Use a timer

Another one-way video interview tips include the use of a timer. If your one-way video interview has a specific time frame, then you must adhere to it. Use a timer to help you finish your entire answer within that specified time period. It shouldn’t be that your answer is incomplete and the time is over. Putting a timer will save you from this situation.

5. Use an authentic voice

Just because you are recording a video, doesn’t mean you need to shout. Sit comfortably and talk like you normally do. Don’t formulate a fake accent to outshow yourself. Stick to your normal and authentic voice while answering one-way video interview questions and answers.

One-way video interviews benefits

1. Saves time and offers time flexibility

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One-way video interviews save you the time you waste commuting from one place to another. Moreover, it offers you greater flexibility of giving the interview whenever you want, obviously within the deadline. It is your wish whether you want to give it in the morning or during the night.

2. Cost efficient

One-way video interviews are more pocket-friendly as they save you the cost of traveling to another place. You also save the money that you spend on other expenses while traveling. For instance, if you are to give a real interview in another city, it will cost you the plane tickets, room booking, and the expenditure on food. You can save all this expenditure during the one way video interview.

3. Enough time for preparation

One-way video interview offers you enough time for preparation and practice. You can practice these interviews before you sit for the real one. The more you practice, the lesser mistakes you make.

4. Faster hiring

On average it takes 45 days to hire a new candidate. One-way video interviews lead to faster hiring which is a pro for both the recruiter and the candidate. As a candidate, your recruitment time is minimized and hence you get job stability faster. Moreover, the pressure and conflict of whether you will get the job or not end very soon, which is a good thing for your physical and mental health.

5. Less nervousness due to recording answers

The nervousness during a one-way video interview is way less than it is during an in-person interview. Here, you have to record the answers. No one is judging you directly. The level and quantity of formalities during one-way video interview questions and answers are less.

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