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The pros and cons (mostly pros) of one-way interviews

Clovers Editor

Asynchronous interviews.

Sounds like another trendy buzzword, doesn’t it? Leave you wondering what it means for your hiring process? Not sure where to start learning? 

We’ve got you covered.

More than just a trend, asynchronous, or one-way, interviews are the way of the hiring future. In this post, we’re touching on the basics, the pros, the cons, and why you’ll want to start making them work for you.

What are one-way interviews?

You know what an interview is, but what does it mean to make them asynchronous? 

Let’s break it down: asynchronous is when two things don’t happen at the same time. When it comes to interviews, asynchronous means interview questions aren’t delivered to candidates by interviewers in real-time. 

Instead, applicants are given a set of questions that they record responses to. When they’re finished, they submit their videos for recruiters or hiring teams to review.

Also known as one-way interviews, or pre-recorded interviews, asynchronous video interviews help streamline the hiring process. They help make interviews more fair, allow for candidates to share their skills and personalities better than a resume, and help organizations find top talent more quickly.

Why use them?

One-way video interviews aren’t meant to replace real-time interviews. They’re a tool recruiters can use to ensure the best candidates make it through the hiring process. They can be offered to any job applicant, or just to applicants who’s resumes meet initial screening criteria. 

Early in the recruitment process, hiring professionals can use them instead of traditional phone calls to get to know candidates. When teams assess applicants via video, they have an easier time evaluating soft skills, comparing applicants, and making informed decisions.

A few challenges

Making one-way video interviews a part of the hiring process isn’t always easy. Here are a few problems that sometimes come up for new users:

Choosing the right software

Using one-way videos requires specialized technology. It’s up to the hiring team to choose the right software that fits into their budget and workflow. Some platforms easily work with popular video conferencing software, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, while others might be harder to use.

Some systems can also automatically screen candidates using artificial intelligence (AI). While this can help save time, recruiters also risk missing out on strong candidates in the long term if screening technology is biased or of poor quality. 

Adjusting to change

Not everyone even knows what asynchronous interviews are—as a new technology, some applicants might be uncomfortable. Candidates less used to tech might even feel discouraged from moving forward in the hiring process. 

Recording answers to interview questions might also feel awkward to someone who’s only ever done face-to-face interviews. These discomforts could narrow the talent pool unnecessarily.

Connecting less

Without speaking with a hiring manager in real-time, it’s possible that candidates feel removed from the interview process, or like the interview process is impersonal. They feel like they’re missing a human connection or the chance to get to know the company they’re interested in working for.

Missing important information

Asynchronous video interviewing eliminates the natural flow of conversation that takes place when two people come together for an interview. Applicants might lose their train of thought or forget to fully answer questions without the guidance of an interviewer. 

Hiring teams also miss out on the opportunity to ask clarifying questions, and applicants don’t have the chance to ask deeper questions about company values, culture, or expectations.

Considering accessibility 

Asynchronous interviews often have a time limit for responses, which can be a challenge for people who require more time to prepare thoughtful responses. This could also present a challenge to candidates whose first language isn’t the same as that of the interview questions. 

As with any new process or technology, there are always growing pains. One-way interviews aren’t  exempt from those challenges. Thankfully, the benefits outweigh the difficulties.

The [many] benefits of one-way interviews

Despite the adjustments one-way interviews might require, they’re an invaluable tool for both hiring teams and applicants. 

For hiring teams

Asynchronous interviews support and improve the interview process for hiring teams from beginning to end.

Reduce time to hire

With one-way interviews, hiring managers are able to screen several candidates at once. Instead of taking the time to call each applicant individually, multiple potential hires can be sent links to self-record responses to initial interview questions. 

When more candidates move through the screening process, recruiters are more likely to find the best candidates. All in less time than the traditional interview process takes.

Asynchronous interviews also save time by eliminating the back-and-forth that goes into scheduling calls and meetings. All the HR staff has to do is forward personalized emails, then they can turn to other tasks while awaiting responses. 

Save money

When candidates move through the hiring process efficiently, they’re able to start in their roles sooner rather than later. Saving time is saving money—new employees can get comfortable in their roles and contribute to the company’s success in less time than before. 

One-way interviews help hiring teams make better hiring decisions too, and increased accuracy with hiring helps avoid the significant cost of employee turnover or the employee not being able to meet job expectations. 

Screen early

When recruiters only get to know candidates through the resume or a brief phone call, they don’t get to know candidates as well as they would using one-way interviews. Especially when AI is used to help flag potential assets or issues for hiring teams, employers can get a clearer picture of candidates early on in the hiring process.

Video responses also give recruiters a chance to evaluate things that might not come through in a screening phone call—like body language, nonverbal communication skills,  or the candidate’s ability to adapt to new technologies.

Improve collaboration

With screening phone calls or early interviews, the interviewer only has personal notes or thoughts to share with other members of the hiring team. With one-way interviews, each candidate’s video responses are shareable with everyone on the hiring team. No one has to rely on second-hand information to make a smart hiring decision.

Another perk of asynchronous interviews is that the hiring team doesn’t have to review applicant information immediately, while it’s top-of-mind. Everyone involved can review video content when it fits best into their schedules.

Deepen insight

With a more convenient and more efficient tool for screening candidates, hiring professionals can expand their talent pool and screen more applicants than they have in the past. This way, they’re more likely to find the best-fitting candidate for each role. 

Recorded video responses to interview questions also give evaluators a chance to see more of each candidate’s personality. They can get to know each candidate a little better and feel confident in their assessments as they move applicants through the hiring process.

For candidates

Not only do one-way interviews benefit the hiring team, they improve the candidate experience too.

Showcase their skills

One-way interviews give candidates the chance to showcase their skills and abilities in ways that simple screening calls or resumes cannot. When they’re able to record responses to interview questions at their convenience, candidates have a chance to organize their thoughts, practice responses, or re-record videos they aren’t comfortable with.

When applicants feel comfortable, they’re also more likely to perform better in interviews. Each job seeker will be able to put their best foot forward.

Improve connection with your brand

Companies that use asynchronous interview tools also give candidates a chance to get to know the business’ brand in a unique way. Intro messages, outro messages, and personalized communications all help make the experience more personal. Good branding can even help make candidates feel more relaxed to interview or more excited about the job opportunity.

Increase their comfort

Some job seekers might prefer the opportunity to share their personalities through one-way interviews. They may feel that a video gives them a chance to highlight their special skills or backgrounds in a way that a resume can’t. 

Some professionals are even more comfortable with video interviews than phone calls or traditional interviews. Instead of on-the-spot questions or rushed real-time interviews, they appreciate the control they have over the pace, their schedule, and their environment. 

One-way interviews may even appeal more to remote workers, who are already comfortable with the technology required to succeed away from an in-person work environment.

Benefits for both candidates and hiring teams

One-way interviews benefit both applicants and hiring professionals—like interview win-wins.

More convenient

Without the pressure of fitting a real-time or in-person interview into a busy schedule, scheduling difficulties no longer complicate early phases of the hiring process. One-way interviews also eliminate the difficulty of lining up calls for people who work in different time zones. This makes the overall experience easier for both applicants and recruiters. 

More fair

Building a more fair interview process benefits both candidates and organizations. Providing the same one-way interview to each applicant ensures consistency and makes sure everyone has the chance to succeed. 

Asynchronous video interviews also help remove unconscious bias from the decision making process. Without bias in the way, every candidate is given the same opportunity to share their skills and talents and people are able to hire more diverse talent.

When every applicant is given the same set of screening questions, teams can make smarter, better-informed hiring decisions. It’s easier to compare and contrast candidate responses when responses are recorded. 

When the right person is hired, the job seeker is more likely to succeed in their new role and find satisfaction with their work.

More compliant

For companies aiming for compliant hiring practices, one-way interviews are invaluable. Using video interviews to screen and evaluate candidates keeps a record of each interaction. One-way interviews also make sure each question posed to candidates is appropriate and relevant.

Job seekers will also feel more comfortable knowing that they are engaging with a company that is compliant and non-discriminatory. They can be confident that they’re being evaluated fairly and in line with their rights as potential employees.

From beginning to end, asynchronous video interviews improve the hiring experience for recruiters, decision makers, and applicants. While incorporating them into a traditional interview process might take some adjusting, they’re well worth the effort.

Let one-way interviews work for you

The thought of using one-way interviews to get to know applicants might seem impersonal, unfamiliar, or stressful at first glance. In practice, though, taking advantage of asynchronous video interviews is a way to greatly improve the overall interview experience. They help hiring teams make smarter decisions more quickly, and help provide a fair, convenient, and positive interview experience for every applicant.

If you’re considering utilizing one-way interviews to enhance your hiring process, definitely give them a try—you’ll be surprised at how well they’ll work for you. And if you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to our Clovers’ sales team to learn more about our one-way interview offering. Get started with an interview tool you’ll never want to do without again.

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