What Is a One-Way Video Interview? (Including Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers usually screen candidates for a role by contacting them over the phone. As video conference technology improves, some employers utilise the format of a one-way interview to screen candidates. They provide instructions to the candidates that include a set of questions for which they can record their answers. Knowing how to prepare and stand out in this interview format can increase your chances of advancing through the hiring process. In this article, we learn about a one-way video interview, explore how to stand out and prepare when recording your video and share some example questions and answers.

What is a one-way video interview?

A one-way video interview involves recording a brief video that you can then send to a prospective employer, which helps them screen and select candidates for the next step in their hiring process. Employers may provide instructions and a set of questions to answer when recording your video. Employers choose questions to learn about your personality, career interests and a summary of your professional profile. This method can also help them save time in scheduling on-site interviews, particularly for remote positions.

In this type of interview, you typically sit in front of your phone camera or computer webcam to record your responses. There's no interaction with an interviewer and the questions are already set. Employers who request this type of interview provide a deadline to submit the video, which gives you time to practise your responses and record your video as many times as you want.

How to stand out in this type of interview

Here's how to stand out when recording for your video interview:

1. Review all necessary information for the interview

Before you commence recording a video, gather the necessary information to assist you with the process. This involves reviewing information, such as instructions for introducing yourself and the format regarding your responses. They may also provide instructions, such as saving the video file in a specific format and using no editing. You can also take this opportunity to learn about the company, its mission, vision and values by reading through its website and social media pages, which may provide valuable information when creating your responses.

2. Choose an appropriate space

Find a space to record your video that provides ample lighting, with little or no shadows and as plain a background as possible. If a company provides any instructions regarding specific backgrounds or lighting, you can recreate the setting according to their instructions. A plain background such as a single colour wall helps you be the focus of the video and limit any distractions in the background. Use a bright light source, like a lamp, that shows your face clearly in the video.

3. Keep your video-recording equipment ready

To ensure your equipment is working correctly, make a short test recording. If you have a digital or a phone camera, make sure to prop it on a suitable stand or on a stable surface high enough to focus on you. If you prefer to use your desktop or laptop's webcam, ensure that the relevant software is up to date. Laptops may have built-in microphones that can capture audio. For desktops, you can use a headset that features a built-in microphone.

4. Practise your answers

As soon as you receive the questions from a company, spend time going through each question and then plan your response for each. Write down your responses and then practise speaking them. You can practise as many times as you like until you feel you can speak without looking at your notes. Try not to use your notes as a reference when recording your video, as it may cause you to look away from the camera often and may make you sound less natural when speaking. When speaking, direct your answer as though you're talking to an interviewer.

Related: 5 Common Video Interview Questions (And How to Answer Them)

5. Display confidence

Rehearsing your responses can help you build confidence when speaking to the camera. To further enhance your confidence, look directly into the camera when recording and avoid looking away for extended periods while speaking. Consider how you position yourself in the video, such as maintaining a straight posture and moving your body less while recording. Frequent shifting of posture may distract an interviewer from your responses. If you've recorded any videos of yourself, observe how you behave in the video to make further improvements.

6. Review the video and submit it on time

Consider recording a few versions of your video and reviewing them. Doing this allows you to observe any mistakes or areas for improvement. You can shortlist the videos you've recorded and choose the best version for submission. Make sure to adhere to any specific video file formats that a company may request and submit it according to their instructions. Ensure your Internet connectivity is stable enough to send it, as video files can be large and may require time to upload.

Related: 10 Video Interview Tips to Help Make a Good Impression

Tips to prepare for this type of interview

Consider the following tips to prepare for your video interview:

Time your video

A company may designate a time limit for your video. Use a timer on your phone, computer or watch to ensure that you don't exceed the time limit. You can also ensure good time management by reviewing your responses to each question and reducing pauses between each answer. You may also trim the beginning or end of the video using a video editor application.

Dress appropriately

Ensure to select appropriate attire for the video to demonstrate your professionalism to a prospective employer. Consider learning about the company online or asking professionals in that company or the industry about the work culture and its values to better plan your attire for the video. Some companies may also provide specific instructions on attire for a video interview. Alternatively, consider asking them before recording your video if they have a preference for specific attire such as business formal or business casual.

Related: Guide to What to Wear For An Interview (And What to Avoid)

Control your environment

Control your recording space to ensure that it's free of distractions and issues that may impede your recording. Apart from the lighting and background, also ensure that the room is as quiet as possible to capture your voice effectively. If there are loud noises in the vicinity of your recording space, consider recording at a different time or muting them by closing doors or windows. If your family members are at home, you can let them know when you plan to record to limit any external noise.

Make notes about your professional profile

When planning your answer to their questions, read through your resume and reflect on your previous work experience. Doing this can help you select relevant information, such as important skills and achievements with which to frame your answers. These notes, with sufficient practice, can enable you to speak naturally when discussing them.

Example one-way video interview questions

Below are a few example interview questions you may have to answer in a video interview:

Tell us about yourself

A company uses this to learn more about you as a candidate beyond what you shared on your resume. You can briefly introduce yourself by sharing a summary of your professional experience, abilities and your interest in the industry. You can also include your future career goals and professional interests that showcase your value as a candidate.

Example answer: "I am currently a marketing manager at AF&G agency managing marketing requirements for many clients. Before that, I had worked as an analyst in the marketing department of a retail brand. My current role involves designing and tracking the success of a client's campaign from conception to completion and delegating campaign tasks to a small team to manage the operations. I enjoy my work and I'm looking for an opportunity to use my experience and abilities to help in building a brand."

Why do you want to work in our company?

Companies may ask this question to understand your knowledge about them, which includes their business goals, values and work culture. Consider learning about a company through its website and social media pages. You may also learn more about current and former employees' experiences through news articles and online review websites. Use this information to share what you know about a company and how its values align with your own.

Example answer: "I am interested in working at GHP Solutions as I've been keen to get into the financial technology industry. GHP Solutions have been a pioneer in the industry with products such as electronic payments and creating a retail network of payment acceptance that is currently unparalleled by others in the industry. As someone deeply passionate about financial technology and with my current experience as an app developer, I would love an opportunity to work with you to scale these new technologies."

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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