How to Prepare for a One-Way Video Interview

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I just finished recording my first ever one-way video interview!

I’ll admit that I procrastinated for a day and a half because I was nervous about recording myself. The whole experience was:

  • Interesting.
  • Nerve racking.
  • Odd speaking to air with no feedback.
  • And, like most things, not as bad as I thought it would be.

The company used an app called HireVue. It was really user-friendly. It did all the audio and video checks automatically when I got to their page and the instructions were straightforward. The tech worked well.

The employer chooses the number of questions and customizes the timing. For this job, I was allowed unlimited prep time after I saw each question. However, there were time limits on the video answers. They can also mix in non-video questions. In my case, one of the seven questions required an answer in writing. Last but not least, once my video was recorded, there was NO way to view or change it.

Here are some one-way-interview tips based on my (very limited) experience…

  • Prepare for a one-way video interview as much as you would for a Zoom call or in-person meeting.
    • Keep your resume and cover letter on hand as a reference.
    • This is important for me because I customize my resumes and letters to each role.
  • The employer might limit prep time for each answer.
    • Write down your answers to the most common questions in advance.
    • There is tonnes of information out there on the most asked interview questions. (I really like Madeline Mann’s YouTube channel Self-made Millennial!)
  • DO THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS!
    • This is the best way to get used to the app.
    • You can record and review your answers. (You likely won’t be able to review your video answers to the real questions.)
    • Use the playback to make sure you have good lighting, you don’t have anything in your teeth, there is nothing in the background that shouldn’t be there, and you are showing your enthusiasm about the open role as you answer each question.
  • Look at the camera lens, not your screen.
    • Making eye contact builds a connection with the viewer, even in one-way videos.
    • I put a sticky note with a happy face on it right beside the lens as a reminder. (Make sure it doesn’t cover the lens!)
    • HireVue allows you to hide your image when you record your answers to help keep you focused on your answers and not how your hair looks…or whatever.
  • Note the time you have for each video answer.
    • Use that time to gauge how much detail they are looking for; e.g. if an answer is limited to one minute, they want something short and sweet.
    • Keep an eye on the countdown timer! In my case, there was no way to go back and redo or add to a video.
  • Be yourself!
    • Perfection is not the end goal.
    • The employer wants to know you to gauge your fit to the role and the organization.
    • If you aren’t the right person for the role/company, you don’t want to work there.

I hope my experience helps you rock your future one-way interviews! If I get to the next round of interviews, I’ll put an update in the comments.

Do you have other tips to add? Was this helpful to you?

Unlike wild bears, feeding the content creator is encouraged! 🙂

There are several similar programs out there but I have only used and can only speak to HireVue.

© 2021 Tracey Copeland, Rolling Sands Consulting.

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