Tips for Running a One Way Video Interview

With a 67% increase in the use of video interviews between 2020 and 2021, it's clear that one way video interviews are making a sharp rise.

Interestingly, more than half of employers say they'll continue with video interviewing when Covid restrictions are lifted. This suggests that recruiters are experiencing very real benefits switching over to video interviews.

In this blog post, we will look at practical tips for employers running a one way video interview.

Why do Employers Use One Way Video Interviews

In response to the Covid pandemic, many companies turned to video interviewing to comply with social distancing. As a result, many companies have had a positive reaction to digitizing their interview process.

So what is a one way video interview?

A one way video interview is conducted remotely. A recruiter uploads a set of interview questions onto a platform, that appear on a screen for candidates (either via smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop). The candidate's video record themselves answering each question. The recording then gets sent to the recruiter to review.

Companies typically opt for one-way video interviews over live video interviews as there are distinct advantages.

  1. Companies can screen a larger candidate pool. - They can avoid scheduling problems associated with the limited availability of the hiring manager.
  2. Interview recordings can be viewed and reviewed at the leisure of the recruitment team. -Some live video interviewing platforms don't have the recording features.
  3. Employers can reach a wider range of better talent. Top talent candidates who are tied up in their current roles can apply and interview at a time convenient for them. -Without needing to take leave from their current role.
  4. One way video interviews enable non-bias hiring as all candidates are asked the same questions. This means there's no delving from the script and no bias formed between recruiter and candidate. This ensures successful candidates are selected based on merit and fairness.
  5. One way video interviews are a huge time-saving tool for recruiters. They drastically reduce the time to hire.

What Equipment is Needed for a one way video interview?

Unlike a face-to-face interview, one way video interviews are conducted in remote places.

For recruiters, all they need to do is to set up a question pack, then review each interview as they are completed. The equipment needed for this is minimal, either a desktop, tablet or smartphone!

For candidates, not only do they need to think of equipment, but they should think about the location too. Usually, this is the home where a quiet, distraction-free environment is needed.  The equipment a candidate needs for the interview include:

  1. A desktop, smartphone or tablet
  2. A webcam (if using a desktop or laptop without a camera)
  3. A mic (if desktop or laptop has no mic)
  4. Internet connection
  5. A tripod or freestanding selfie stick (important to keep hands free)
  6. Strong light
  7. Plain and distraction-free background
  8. Reduced background noise

Why use a tripod when filming?

While not necessary, many candidates should consider using a tripod when filming their one-way video interview. This is to give their smartphone stability when recording themselves.

If a candidate doesn't have a tripod, then they can always balance their smartphone or tablet against something sturdy while filming with the front-facing camera.

However, using a desktop with a webcam is a reliable set-up. The interview questions can be displayed on the screen clearly while using a webcam on the laptop or desktop to record allows candidates to see how they look and hold themselves clearly.

Why use a headset microphone?

It's a good idea for candidates to use a headset microphone when answering their video interview questions to ensure recruiters can hear them clearly.

This should especially be used if a candidate has completed a practice video recording before the actual interview and found the audio to be poor.

Going the extra mile in the preparation of a video interview shows recruiters how professional and serious they are as candidates.

Why use a strong light source?

A strong light source in front of the candidate’s face is important when recording a video interview.

This is to ensure recruiters can see the candidate properly. If the light is stronger from behind the candidate then this will create a shadow on the front of the candidate and the recruiter will be unable to see them clearly.

Being able to see candidates, their facial expressions, attire and body language is an essential part of the interview as it will help recruiters determine if the candidate is right for the role. - Especially in customer-facing roles.

Why is the camera positioning important?

Positioning is an important part of preparing for the video interview.

Candidates should ensure at least two-foot is between them and the wall behind. This makes the light more flattering and reduces shadow.

The background should be clutter-free and blank if possible. If candidates don't have a blank background, try to reduce the background to be free of items. Ensuring there is nothing behind that is compromising or embarrassing!


Preparing the interviewee for a one way video interview

Always test the set!

Candidates should always test their equipment and set it up prior to beginning their video interview. Check the lighting, sound, camera angle, background, their own body language, voice and interview answers.

Candidates should also practice answering their questions within a time frame. Usually, with one way video interviews there is a timer to each question. Candidates should ask recruiters how long they have to answer their questions in advance if this isn't provided already.

Then, armed with this information, candidates should practice making their answers effective but concise. Which is harder to do when talking with no one there!

With one way video interviewing platforms, candidates receive tutorials and tips on how to set up. Within the preparation instruction, candidates are usually be given a practice session to check over the quality of the recording. Plus this gives the candidate a true expectation of the interviewing format and how long they'll have to answer questions.


Examples of good one way video interview questions

For recruiters, thinking of interview questions can be challenging.

Your interview questions need to reveal if the candidate fits not only the role.

The best way to do this is to analyse the job first.

What does the job entail? What skills, education and experiences are needed for the role? Use the job description and to guide what type of qualities you want to find out from your candidates.

Then look at the company culture and values. How important is it for your candidate to fit into this? Are you looking for like-minded candidates who can fit the company mould? Or is it time to switch up and diversify the company for new ideas and innovation?

Next, build your questions around the role and company needs.

Does the job require a certain personality? Does the role have physical challenges that the candidate will be required to meet? Should the candidate have long-term career prospects within the company?


What questions to ask?

There seem to be standard questions that all recruiters ask. How relevant are these questions and why are they asked?

Let's look at some examples and what the recruiters are looking for in these common interview questions.


1. What is your biggest weakness?

Almost everyone who has been interviewed multiple times will have come across this question. But very few answer it well.

It's important to understand why this question is asked.

Most people fail to recognize the importance of this question and will take a very positive trait of theirs and paint it as a negative. So they may say something like, "I work too hard and will not leave myself much time to relax".

Answering questions in this way will just make recruiters roll their eyes. They've heard it all before and it doesn't tell them anything of true value.

Recruiters are looking to see how self-aware you are and if you're able to answer honestly.

2. Tell me about a time when you had a work-related conflict?

Recruiters are looking here to see how well you can resolve and approach issues, not hear about the specific details of your past conflict. By demonstrating that having the awareness and ability to pro-actively resolve an issue yourself is what the recruiter is looking for.

3. Tell me about a time when you failed to meet expectations

Don't feel embarrassed or lie about not achieving something perfectly. Recruiters are using this question to see how you can learn from past mistakes and rectify your mistakes. So think of any example in your life where you failed to meet a goal. If you don't have any work-related examples then you refer to your experiences in your hobbies.



One way video interviews are not just rising in popularity due to circumstance. It's clear they improve the hiring process. Out of 506 companies, a huge 47% of them use video interviewing to shorten the hiring time frame.

We will see this number increase as video interviewing software adapts and improves to meet more needs of recruiters and candidates.

The tips above will help put your recruitment process head and shoulders above your competition. Thus, improving your candidate experience.


A bit about us

We are a software company dedicated to improving the hiring process through our digital platform.

Our one way video interview software helps organisations find and acquire the right talent for their organisation as quickly as possible while making the process seamless and simple for both recruiter and candidate.

For more advice on one way video interviewing tools, take a look at our video interviewing platform here at Reworking.

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Candidate journey customisation software that helps provide a better experience for your applicants, 'stand out from the crowd' as an employer and attract more & better talent.

Wesley Clover Innovation Centre
Coldra Woods
United Kingdom
NP18 2YB

Phone: +44 (0) 204 536 4774
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