On One-way pre-recorded Video Interviews

CategoriesAdventures in Recruitment Land
It’s a good idea when you use it very specifically.

A while ago I was applying for some job and one of the requirements was for me to record a video answering questions for them, and upload it. Very quickly: my comment on this is that it may work for some blue-collar jobs where you have large churn, and need to interview 1000’s of candidates. It would not work for white-collar jobs, for example I usually require my time to be matched one-for-one during the interviews (e.g. if I spend 30 minutes on something, someone has to sit there for 30 minutes and watch me do it). This makes the process more fair, in my view, and less of a DoS (denial of service) on the interviewee.

To further clarify, I say an interview can be a DoS because everything takes time, and since the interviewee usually doesn’t delegate interview tasks, it may take him (or her)¬†prohibitively large amount of time to do low-reward interview tasks. For example, if one of the interview steps is filling out an online form for 15 minutes, before any opportunity to talk to a human, the interviewee may end up spending days doing such manual tasks, whereas on the receiving end is an automated process that spends only milliseconds accepting results of these tasks. The interviewee may find himself spending prohibitive lengths of time on these, with no actual progress being made – that’s what I mean by a denial of service,¬† because that’s effectively what it is.

Having a recording of yourself on an interview is also concerning, due to privacy reasons, but in my mind, less so that the amount of time it takes to record (without that same time being matched by an interviewer). I actually agree that looking at something through a third eye so to speak, through the lens of a recording device, allows for some additional clarity and for catching details not visible if the process was to take place live. Just re-reading a text, or re-watching a recording, it likely to give the viewer insight that wasn’t easily accessible upon first viewing.

Another time I was asked to record a video interview when I applied for a startup accelerator. That use case sounds reasonable to me.

When I interview, I actually prefer to give candidates tasks and not match my time 1-for-1 with them. A lot of candidates, in fact the majority, are taken out of the race on the first step. As an interviewer, I definitely prefer the first step of the process to be automated.

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