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The Recruiter’s Guide to One-Way Video Interviews

One-way video interviewing offers a structured interview experience that candidates and raters complete independently. An interview platform takes the place of an interviewer, prompting candidates through interview questions and capturing their video responses for a rater to evaluate later. Learn how using one-way interviews can improve your recruitment process.

What Is a One-Way Interview?

A one-way interview invites candidates to record short video responses to predetermined interview questions using any device with a camera. Unlike a live interview, there is no interviewer present. A hiring manager or recruiter reviews and rates the applicants’ video submissions using a digital interview scorecard asynchronously.

Questions are presented in a written or video format or a combination. Applicants have a set amount of time to prepare and answer questions. 

Organizations of all sizes rely on digital interview platforms to conduct one-way interviews because they help structure, digitize, and automate existing processes. The settings in the interview platform — including the prep time, number of questions, response time limit, and number of retries — are set by the employer and are consistent for all applicants. 

A one-way interview is also called a pre-recorded interview, on-demand interview, self-paced interview, or asynchronous interview. This type of interview is primarily used as a screening step because it boasts benefits phone interviews don’t offer.

What Is a One-Way Interview

What Are The Benefits of an On-Demand Video Interview?

Benefits for hiring teams

During a screening call, sticking to the script, keeping the conversation on-topic, and staying neutral can be tough. On-demand interviewing simplifies screening so you can focus on assessing the candidate’s answers.

Reduce time-to-hire

Setting up the process once, then reviewing and rating videos requires less time than scheduling and conducting screening interviews.

Eliminate scheduling

No more scheduling phone screens. On-demand interviews free up time for other tasks and offer raters more flexibility.

Easily conduct structured interviews

Every applicant is asked the same questions, in the same order, in the same way, with the same time constraints.

Accommodate remote candidates

Coordinating time zones to book a screening interview is no longer necessary. On-demand interviews are an ideal way to expand the talent pool.

Simplify collaboration

Several raters can remotely review and rate an interview then discuss and decide as a team if the candidate is moving forward.

Minimize hiring bias

Built-in interview guides standardize the process and streamline it for both candidates and evaluators, leading to better interview compliance.

Automate repetitive tasks

Drastically reduce time spent on manual tasks like candidate communication with automated reminders and notifications.

Build a talent pool

If a company has multiple job openings, different hiring managers can view a candidate’s interview for consideration without asking them to reinterview.

Allows raters to replay answers

Avoid relying on hindsight. Review interviews as many times as needed to help make ratings even more accurate.

Benefits for candidates

On-demand interviews can help you offer a positive candidate experience, which is what dictates your ability to keep job seekers engaged throughout the hiring process.

Offer flexibility and convenience

Candidates complete the interview where and when is ideal for them, allowing them to balance their job search with their other commitments.

Save time and money on travel-related costs

Remove barriers for candidates who don’t have the time or resources to attend every stage of the interview process in person.

Create an opportunity to showcase skills

On-demand interviews better allow candidates to demonstrate their strengths and level of proficiency.

Keep candidates up-to-date

Automated candidate communication protocols allow you to maintain effective communication with applicants.

The Best Strategy for Selecting One-Way Video Interview Questions

Offering as many people as possible the opportunity to do a screening interview is a great way to establish a more equitable process. However, this means you still have a lot of interviews to evaluate.

In a screening process, the questions and the order you ask them dictates how quickly you’ll know if a candidate has the skills and competencies you’re looking for. It’s more effective and time-saving to know which questions are the most powerful predictors of job performance so you can move it to the front of the interview. If there is a question that is particularly important to your organization, it’s ideal to put it in the screening interview.

If you use this strategy, by the end, you’ll have an optimized question set to help improve your quality of hire.

The Best Strategy for Selecting One-Way Video Interview Questions

Top tip for further improving one-way interview questions

Get input on your questions from industrial and organizational psychologists and diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists.

Tips for One-Way Video Interviewing

Showcase Your Employer Brand With Video-Based Questions

Using video-based questions in place of or in addition to text-based questions sets clear expectations about your corporate culture and expresses your brand’s personality. Adding a message from upper management or a genuine testimonial from an employee allows your organization to showcase the job and work environment.

Video-based questions are also a great way to make the interview process feel more personalized and interesting for applicants.


The importance of employer brand

According to Ceridian’s research, maintaining a well-defined employer brand online and throughout the hiring process can help your organization attract and compete for top talent.


of people would consider changing jobs to work at a company with an excellent corporate reputation


of HR professionals surveyed said recruitment is becoming more like marketing


of active job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand

Test Your Interview Settings

Interview software allows you to customize everything: the prep time, the questions, the length of responses, and whether or not applicants can re-record their answers. Test your interview to make sure the instructions make sense and confirm if you are setting realistic time expectations based on the types of questions you are asking.

Use Data-Driven Insights to Improve Your One-Way Interviews

Study reports from your interviewing system to see what you can learn from them. They often include detailed descriptions of the status of each candidate, individual activity logs, the candidate’s rating compared to others, and more. Use this data to gauge progress.

Debunking Myths About One-Way Video Interview Discrimination

One-way interviews are still hotly debated despite widespread adoption. There are many myths surrounding video interviews. It’s always important to speak to the facts since there are many ways to implement one-way interviews.

As you’ll see, there’s no reason to hesitate if you are considering using this interview format for hiring.

Myth: Self-Paced Interviews Introduce Bias

Fact: Some argue that a self-paced interview can introduce hiring bias, especially the types of bias related to seeing the candidate. In actuality, self-paced interviews mitigate some of the biases that adversely affect diversity-identified groups. If your process is properly structured and your raters are trained correctly, a candidate’s video setup should not affect the ratings. 

By standardizing the questions and interview scorecards, keeping them competency-focused, and removing the interviewer, everyone is treated equitably, thanks to a proven process.

Myth: Self-Paced Interviews Are Discriminatory

Fact: It’s well documented that self-paced interviews make interviewing more accessible by expanding the applicant pool and removing geography, time, and resource barriers. Removing the need for scheduling and coordinating time zones can open your process up to more candidates from a broader geographic area and appeal to people with specific time constraints. Self-paced interviews can also be designed or customized to be more accessible for all candidates by adding design elements like re-recording attempts and preparation time.

Pre-recorded interviewing is flexible, and part of this is because of the tech that powers them. Interview software integrates with accessibility technologies that candidates are already using and can offer other forms of accessibility accommodations easier as well.

Myth: Self-Paced Interviews Harm Candidate Experience

Fact: While it’s true that self-paced interviews remove the opportunity to interact with someone from the company in the initial screening step, there’s no need to rely on recruiters to make a great first impression with candidates.

Here are some ways to create a positive candidate experience within a self-paced interview:

  • Explain that structured one-way interviewing is the most equitable way to assess them partly because it allows more candidates to attend screening interviews
  • Embed engaging introduction, conclusion, and question videos with key people at your organization into the process
  • Establish consistent communication using automated SMS and email messages so they always know where they are in the process and what’s next
  • Customize automated notifications, and add images, GIFs, and messaging to showcase your employer brand
One Way interview

Applicant attitudes toward asynchronous interviews

How do asynchronous interviews compare to other screening selection techniques in the eyes of candidates?

A 2016 Frontiers study found that pre-conceived ideas about video interviewing, and individual characteristics and personality traits, impact how people feel about pre-recorded interviews.

Applicant attitudes toward asynchronous interviews


People who feel stress due to being challenged by an unfamiliar format or who might be concerned about the safety of their personal data will have less favorable attitudes toward a video assessment.

Asynchronous interviews landed in the same favorability rating range as other non-interactive procedures like personality inventories or cognitive tests.

Perceived usefulness and ease of use were significant predictors of applicant attitudes toward this type of screening interview.


It can be beneficial for candidate confidence to provide more preparation time, as well as the ability to review and resubmit answers. Additionally, you can inform candidates that the videos that are captured in an asynchronous interview are just as safe as data that’s stored in an ATS.

Make it clear that even though candidates don’t have an interaction live, they are guaranteed that someone is interacting with their interview. This is the biggest difference between human-rated asynchronous video interviews and personality inventories or cognitive tests.

Choose an interview software provider that offers applicant tech support and a simple interface for candidates and raters. Explain somewhere in the process that asynchronous interviews guarantee all candidates an interview, so no one is filtered out before getting a chance to be on camera.

Frequently asked questions

What Is An AI Video Interview?

AI interview software conducts one-way interviews and then uses AI to evaluate candidates. This interview format is typically used to screen for entry-level positions or in high-volume hiring scenarios.

These interviews can be AI-led, where the AI scores the interviews based on inputs and algorithms and advances candidates, or AI-influenced, where it provides ratings and recommendations.

There’s also human-led, AI-augmented interviewing (also known as interview intelligence) that assesses the interviewers, not the candidates. In this instance, AI is used to provide feedback on, and improve, the process.

As you can tell, not all one-way interviews get reviewed by AI. Most organizations disclose the use of AI in recruiting to candidates at some point in the interview, but it’s not always clear.

How Do I Prepare a One-Way Virtual Interview?

Get familiar with the structured process and how to use the software, read the digital interview guide, and step back and look at this as an opportunity to conduct a more textural screening interview.

Why Do Organizations Conduct One-Way Interviews?

As we’ve already covered, there are several benefits to conducting one-way interviews but here are some other reasons:

  • Speeds up the process of approving or advancing candidates without requiring multiple interviews
  • Allows candidates to present their best selves both because of the settings and the ability to do it when the time is right for them
  • Removes some anxiety candidates may have about doing the interview in an unfamiliar location
  • Assess candidates for current and future opportunities in a single interview by keeping the interview on file
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