Thursday morning I sat on the fifth floor of O’Neill library locked away in a study room and talked to myself for an hour. Well, actually I talked to my computer camera as the green light next to it stared back at me.
I’d never done a video interview before, nevertheless a one-way video interview. For those who don’t know, a one-way video interview, or asynchronous interview, is usually used in the beginning stages of the interview process as a way to quickly and easily get to know candidates. An employer will present questions to the candidate either through text or video form, then the candidate will be allowed a period of time to think about their answer and a number of takes they can use to record their answer and potentially re-record. The questions, the amount of think time, and the number of takes is all decided by the recruiter or hiring manager. Before viewing each question, the candidate is told how long they have to think their answer through and how many takes they are allotted.
So, for my one-way video interview I wore my best (well, my roommates best) solid-colored blouse, put on a fresh-face, and styled my hair. I had my BC padfolio sitting next to me with my resume ready to reference in case the nerves got the best of me and I completely blanked on my own past experiences (luckily, that irrational fear never happened). I had a pamphlet I received from an employee of the company describing the position ready at hand, and I had two pages of notes/potential questions and answers by my side to quickly reference during the think period. I was locked and loaded, but behind my seemingly unwavering smile, I felt nervous and awkward.
Digitally infused interviews are a controversial way of conducting interviews, although for the past decade it appears that video interviews are the popular trend especially for entry-level to mid-level positions. With six in ten HR managers turning to virtual interviews, it is an important feature in the interview process that doesn’t seem to be letting up. Even so, there are pros and cons specifically for one-way video interviews for both the employer and candidate through the digital process.
- Time efficient for both parties. For one-way video interviews neither party has to coordinate with the other to schedule the interview. A candidate can record within the allotted time whenever they see convenient and the employer can review the interview whenever they see convenient and however many times they choose to. They also can have multiple HR managers and recruiters review the interview on their own time.
- Cost effective for both parties. The employer and candidate don’t have to fund a trip to fly or drive out a candidate to an early stage interview. Or vice versa, the company doesn’t need to fund an employee to go out to a campus or conference to meet with the candidate. The cost for a company to subscribe to an interview site would be worth it especially when they’re interviewing multiple out-of-state candidates.
- Employers can gauge a candidates presentation skills and how well they handle slightly uncomfortable situations, like speaking to a camera alone in a room.
- As a candidate, the one-way interview
of course felt unnatural and quite awkward. There was no way to gauge how I was performing throughout the interview. Without a real-person interviewer on the other end of the video, I couldn’t read if my answers were clear and concise enough for the company.
- As a candidate, a one-way video interview can deter a potential employee from the job. It is impossible to learn more about the position or the company. It can make a candidate feel undervalued in the interview process.
- As a candidate, apparently employers can
watch each take you record, even if you re-record! Imagine my reaction when I found this out after re-recording each answer about four times until I got the perfect response down! I tried my best to sound natural in my answers, however, now they will know each “natural” decision I made was rehearsed in my previous takes. (Hopefully this can be seen as caring a lot about the position and not OCD).
- For employers, they can wrongfully judge a candidate. Some people do better avoiding face-to-face interactions, which may show in later stages of the interview process, however, through a video interview they can avoid telltale signs.
As you can see, through my experience I was able to find more cons than pros in the one-way interview process. Yes, it was convenient, but overall I would have respected the company’s recruiting process more had there been an actual person on the other end engaging in conversation with me.
I would love to hear your guys thoughts or experiences on the one-way interview process. Are there any pros and cons I forgot to consider?
Let me know your opinions, as I’m sure this will not be the last time someone in our class encounters a slightly awkward online interview!