One Way Video Interview Guide

Author Nico Roberts Date Aug 02 2019

When used in the right way at the correct time, one-way video interviews (or on demand video interviews) can be a very valuable part of the hiring process and one of the growing HR technology trends.

As each company will have different hiring needs, the way they plan, structure and execute one-way interviews could vary slightly. However, there are some things they can do to get the most out of these interviews.

Read below to find out more about how to use one-way video interviews to boost your hiring process with the right plan, structure and execution.

What is a one-way video interview?

In essence, you set pre-selected interview questions, then candidates record their responses and send them back to you. These responses are then reviewed by your hiring team and a decision is made as to whether the candidate will proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process.

When should you use one-way video interviews?

Anyone can use one-way video interviews, but they will be especially helpful if your company does the following:

  • Uses a lengthy interview process. Using one-way video interviews may help to reduce the steps in the hiring process. For example, you could replace a phone screening with a one-way video interview. ‍
  • Attracts a high number of qualified applicants. If you’re hiring for a role that has attracted a lot of candidates or you need to hire several people (for example, for on-demand work), one-way interviews can help save a great deal of time because you won’t have to go through each candidate separately. You simply get your candidates to record a one-way interview and review it at your leisure. ‍
  • Hires remote workers. If you’re hiring remote workers, it makes sense to find out how your candidates will communicate long distance via on demand interviews. ‍
  • Has a tight recruitment budget. One-way interviews help reduce the amount of travel to face-to-face interviews and save you time and money (which go into setting up facilities).

The benefits of one-way and on demand video interviews

There are many advantages of one-way interviews. First, they can be included as part of your recruitment strategy and become one of the hiring steps that move candidates faster and more efficiently along the talent pipeline.

Using one-way video interviews will help you:‍

Reduce your time to hire. For example, if you need to screen 40 candidates for one job vacancy, doing this over the phone means making 40 separate phone calls. However, if you use modern hiring software that enables one-way video interviewing, you only need to come up with your questions once and send them to all your applicants. When you’re assessing the applicants’ answers, you just need to watch the videos at your convenience to make a decision.

Click here for a practical example of how Fountain drastically reduced the time to hire for The Turas Group.

  • ‍Make the video interview process less daunting for applicants. Your company will be seen in a good light if the application and interview process are less stressful for candidates. Interviews can be very stressful and sometimes phone screening or face-to-face interviews can negatively affect an applicant’s performance. With one-way interviews, some candidates may feel more at ease in speaking about their experiences in a comfortable environment. ‍
  • Enable a more efficient hiring team. One-way interviews allow your hiring team to work together at the beginning of the hiring process. They will come together to watch the videos and give feedback on candidates early on. This encourages them to share comments and raise any issues or concerns before moving on to a face-to-face interview. ‍
  • Have better screening. When you go through the hiring process, you should use the best recruiting tools to screen applicants in a fair way. Sometimes, this includes deal breaker questions. For example, do you have experience in sales? If a candidate says no, they’re automatically disqualified from the rest of your process. However, if your candidate answers the deal breaker question in the affirmative, one-way interviewing can help you find out more about the person’s skill set. For example, if you’re hiring for retail sales personnel, you can ask applicants to prepare a pitch on how to sell a specific item of clothing.

The limitations of on demand video interviews

  • ‍Some candidates may not be comfortable with the technology. It’s more likely that millennials and post-millennial generations will be more comfortable using modern hiring technology to record one-way interviews. However, other generations may not feel so comfortable. This could have a negative impact on how they perform.  For this reason, it’s recommended that you use other criteria to assess a candidate’s performance. One-way interviewing is just one aspect of making a decision. If you conduct a one-way interview and suspect that the candidate’s answers are negatively affected by the use of technology (that is, they’re very nervous while recording themselves), you could then schedule a phone interview to find out more to be able to decide if they should progress to the next stage.‍
  • It can be difficult to create a human relationship. One-way interviews should just be one part of the hiring process. If all of your hiring process is automated, this could give your company the appearance of being cold and not engaged with applicants, which could have a negative impact on your brand. When using one-way video interviews, if the candidate has been unsuccessful, ensure that you send an email rejection letter to give them personalized and customized feedback. If you’re looking for sample job applicant rejection letters, click here for eight templates that you can use for candidates who haven’t made it through to the next stage.

Plan your one-way video interview

You need to develop a reliable one-way interview process for all your applicants. The process should be built into your hiring strategy. You need to ask candidates the same questions during these interviews. This ensures objectivity and that you’re assessing all candidates based on the same criteria.

  • ‍Utilize the best video interview technology. To get the most out of one-way video interviews, make use of modern hiring software. Using video software, like Skype, isn’t going to give you the same benefit. With modern hiring software, like Fountain, one-way video interviews come as standard. The video feature integrates with different workflows, so the one-way interview process is seamless. It’s also very easy to use as it’s mobile-first and candidates can record, upload and send their videos using their mobile phones. This makes it easy for candidates.

Click here for a full list of Fountain features, including our simple one-way interview platform.

How to plan a one-way video interview

  • ‍Include one-way video interviews into your recruiting strategy.  You need to figure out which part of your hiring process will be the most suitable for one-way interviewing. It all depends on the roles you’re interviewing for and the number of candidates you’re expecting. You also have to know how candidates who have submitted a one-way interview will be moved through the pipeline and how they will be notified of your final decision. When deciding to use one-way interviews, you need to determine factors such as the amount of time candidates can take to answer a question before recording. You can also set a limit as to the number of attempts a candidate will have to record and how long an answer should be.‍
  • Make a plan for answering objections. Although there are many benefits of video interviews, some applicants will still be wary of using this new and emerging technology. ‍
  • Issues with using the video interviewing technology. It’s easy to show candidates how to use Fountain for one-way video interviews. There’s not much to do and it’s as simple as child’s play to record and send answers. Therefore, applicants can record themselves in a comfortable setting to get the most out of their one-way interview. ‍
  • Issues about legality. Your one-way video interview provider should have covered the necessary steps to ensure that interviews are encrypted and data is protected.

How to structure your one-way video interview

You need to figure out the questions you want your candidates to answer in their one- way interview. Below you’ll find a list of one-way video interview questions and answers.

One-way video interview sample questions:

  • Tell me about your last job and a project you’ve worked on. You’ll want your candidate to answer this question by describing how they employed their skills in the past to contribute to their team.
  • Where do you see yourself in three years’ time? Asking this question will help you get an understanding of what the candidate plans to do in their career. If you’re working in an on-demand economy, you can figure out whether the candidate has aspirations of progressing in your field or if they’re literally using this as a side gig to move onto other things.
  • Tell me how you coped when you faced a problem with a team member. This will help you determine the applicant’s decision-making skills, how they process information and how they manage conflict.
  • Explain a time when things didn’t go your way. This will show you how the applicant handles disappointment and failure, giving you insight into how they cope with negative incidents and bounced back when disappointed.

How to conduct an on demand video interview

In the execution of a one-way interview, ensure that candidates have access to the right tools and platforms and they have all the instructions required to record the best on demand interview.

You can give them tips and advice for how to prepare for the one way video interview by telling them :

  • Where to record the one-way interview. Let your applicants know that they should find a space with the least number of distractions as possible, somewhere with little to no noise and a neutral background.
  • Remind them to remain professional. It may seem like a no-brainer, but remind them what to wear for their online video interview. If candidates aren’t used to one-way video interviews, they could become very casual when answering video interview questions from the comfort of their own homes.

When executing one-way interviews, be sure to set a deadline when applicants need to submit their responses. If they submit their video interviews later, you have to decide whether this automatically disqualifies them from going further.

You should determine who will be on the panel to review the video interview answers. The selection panel can include different people such as HR personnel, line managers and other hiring managers. Arrange a time for them to view the interviews as a group. Although this can be done on a one-on-one basis, it’s more likely that you’ll bounce ideas off each other when reviewed as a group.

When reviewing one-way interview questions, keep an eye out for how candidates come across – whether they’re super relaxed because they’re in their home environment, if they use assertive body language like sitting up straight, how they make eye contact and whether they have a lot of gaps in their speech. You’re trying to find out if your applicants come across in a professional way when communicating even though they’re not sitting across the table from you and your team.

When using the right software for one-way video interviews, you’ll receive notifications about when they have been sent, so you can get the right people together to evaluate the answers. You should have designed a rating system to assess the different skills you’re looking for to determine whether the candidates may progress to the next stage.

You can also use different features to highlight various aspects of the video interviews. At this stage, use Fountain’s workflow to ensure that everyone involved in assessing the one-way video interviews knows exactly what they’re doing. They will be allocated tasks and, if anyone missed the deadline, the person in charge of the recruitment process will see where the blockage is and contact the appropriate person.

After everything has been done, all the answers have been assessed and decisions made, it’s in your company’s best interests to notify the applicants as soon as possible. This will help strengthen your company’s brand and provide candidates with reassurance as to whether they’re moving onto the next stage or if they should continue with their job search. When notifying your applicants about whether they have made it or come to the end of the hiring process, you should use the same modern hiring software employed for one-way interviewing.

With Fountain, we automate your communication and either use SMS or email to notify applicants.


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About the Author

Chief Business Officer

Nico Roberts

Nico Roberts is the CBO (and employee #3) at Fountain. He has worked with many global Fortune 1000 companies, helping them standardize and scale their high volume operations and hiring practices.