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

February 7, 2023 Updated: December 14, 2023 10 min read

What are one-way video interviews?

“One-way 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? 

Asynchronous interviews

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

How does a one-way interview work?

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

When it comes to interviews, asynchronous means interview questions aren’t delivered to candidates by interviewers in real time. 

Instead, applicants are given pre-selected interview questions that they record responses to. When they’re finished, they submit their videos for recruiters or hiring teams to review.

How job seekers feel about one-way video interviews

On-demand interviews are great for remote candidates. It gives them the flexibility they need to pursue new jobs on their own time. This is especially helpful to busy caregivers, workers with set hours, and applicants in different time zones.

Why companies should use this kind of interview

Early in the recruitment process, hiring professionals can use them instead of a traditional phone interview 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.

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

A few cons associated with one-way video interviewing

Incorporating one-way video interview software into the hiring process isn’t always easy. Here are a few problems that sometimes come up for new users:

Choosing the right software

One-way videos have technical requirements. 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 software platforms 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 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.

Connecting less

Without speaking with a hiring manager in real time, it’s possible that candidates feel removed from the interview process, or that 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 job expectations.

Considering accessibility 

Asynchronous interviews often have a time limit for responses, which can be a challenge for people who require more time to offer thoughtful responses. This could also present a challenge to the job candidate who speaks several languages. 

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 video interviews for hiring teams and recruiters

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

Asynchronous interviews also reduce your time to fill by eliminating the back-and-forth that goes into scheduling calls and meetings. All the HR staff has to do is forward personalized emails, and 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. 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. Increased accuracy with hiring helps avoid the significant cost of employee turnover or the employee not being able to meet job expectations. On-demand interviews also avoid travel costs.

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 in a video interview. Employers can get a clearer picture of candidates early on in the interviewing 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 personality traits.

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 response is shareable with the entire 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 can review video content when it fits best into their schedules. No one is inconvenienced or rushed into a decision.

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.

The [many] benefits of one-way video interviews for candidates

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

Showcase their skills

One-way interviews give candidates the chance to demonstrate their skills and abilities in ways that simple screening calls or resumes cannot. When they’re able to record responses to interview questions, candidates have a chance to organize their thoughts, practice responses, or re-record videos they aren’t comfortable with. Each job seeker is 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 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 appreciate the chance to highlight their skills or backgrounds in a way their 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 value the control they have over the pace, their schedule, and their environment. 

One-way interviews also appeal to remote workers, who are already comfortable with the technology required to succeed in a hybrid environment.

The benefits of one-way video 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 the early phases of the hiring process. One-way interviews eliminate the difficulty of lining up calls for different people who work in various 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 gives everyone the chance to succeed. 

Asynchronous video interviews also help remove unconscious bias from the decision-making process. Every candidate has the same opportunity to share their skills and talents and recruiters can build more diverse teams.

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.

One-way video interview frequently asked questions & answers

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!

Are one-way video interviews suitable for all roles?

On-demand interviews work any time you’d typically complete a screening phone interview. As you get further into the hiring process, live interviews are more appropriate, but asynchronous conversations are a great way to get to know job seekers early on.

Do candidates have a time limit to respond to each question?

Hiring teams can set time limits for the candidate’s answers. Retake opportunities can be limited by recruiters as well. However, the chance to re-record answers to questions is helpful to neurodiverse job seekers.

How do you evaluate one-way video interviews?

Recruiters can review recordings of one-way interviews at any time of their choosing. They can review batches of interviews to easily compare and contrast candidates and streamline their workflow. Some one-way video interview software will also analyze content for keywords or highlights for an even more efficient review.

Are there any potential biases in evaluating video responses?

It is possible for bias to interfere with hiring decisions. Using preset questions for each applicant will help reduce bias. It’s also easy to share interview recordings with other members of the hiring team, which helps ensure more decision-makers are involved and can work together to overcome any individual biases.

Can you use AI to evaluate video responses?

AI can be used to surface insights from on-demand video responses. It can generate interview transcripts, analyze content for keywords, provide information on speaker sentiment, or highlight important moments. AI shouldn’t replace human decision-making, but it can help support the process.

Do one-way video interviews replace traditional interviews?

Asynchronous interviews can replace traditional interviews if your company does high-volume, short-term hiring. More commonly, one-way interviews are best used as a supplement to the traditional hiring process. They support good hiring decisions by giving recruiters insight into candidate skills and abilities early in the interview process.

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.

Doug Leonard

Doug is constantly working to make the hiring process more objective, insightful, and informed. As a trusted leader in the recruitment industry, Doug is always ready to guide candidates and companies to (and through) a person-first hiring experience.

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