What To Do When Live Video Interviews Don’t Work Anymore

Written by
Joe Latham
Last updated:
Created on:
May 30, 2022

You were so excited to run a remote hiring process. 

Then you realized your day would be the same, just on Zoom instead of on the phone. 

Suddenly, remote video interviewing felt more constricting than a phone call from an office because you had to stare at a screen all day. And it’s started to burn you out, which makes sense when you google around—SHRM reported that recruiters are burning out at a fast pace, often due to the pressures of doing more with technology.

When live video interviews just aren’t working for your company anymore, whether due to admin burnout or simply managing too much volume, you need to keep the machine going in a different way. 

Here’s what causes live interviews to stop providing value—and what to do about it.

Where live interviews aren’t efficient

The joy of talking live (whether in-person or virtual) gets bogged down when the following happens:

You have high candidate volume, leading to scheduling nightmares and some candidates falling through the cracks. 

Your work plate gets over-full, leaving less time to interview candidates. In the end, you feel like you’re not able to be fully present in conversations, leading to a lower quality candidate experience than you’d like.

You have binary screening factors, for instance language proficiency, that are inefficient to assess in a live conversation. 

Your notes aren’t cutting it anymore and you wish you could just get the candidate to repeat that one cool thing they said so you can remember it.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you have a structural issue at hand—live interviews were never built for these kinds of challenges. Sure, you make it work as best you can and hope for more resources later. But the solution is not more resources… it’s to change up how you structure interviews in the first place.

The solution: asynchronous video interviewing

When live interviewing doesn’t cut it any longer, the solution is to switch gears and try asynchronous (“async”) video interviews, also known as pre-recorded video interviews. 

In an asynchronous system, candidates are provided questions and record their answers independently, on their own schedule. Typically, recruiters will give a specific time allotment per question (for instance, 30 seconds to introduce yourself), but candidates can retake the videos as many times as they want before submitting. 

There are three core benefits to asynchronous interviews that make them helpful where live interviews fall short: 

  1. Save time: Recruiters switching to async video interviews save 15-25 minutes per candidate in admin work (which adds up to an average of six hours per week). 
  2. Manage volume: The business world changes rapidly, and with it talent needs. Async interviewing allows recruiters to scale interview efforts up or down quickly without a hassle.
  3. Improve the candidate experience: Async interviewing gives candidates the power to respond to questions on their own time rather than schedule a midday phone screen.  

How async video interviews fit in the recruiting process

Video interviews work throughout the recruiting process.

Screening: Candidates can answer introductory questions and pass any binary screening requirements (like spoken language proficiency).

Mid-stage interviews: Candidates moving into different interviews (like a culture interview or technical interview) can answer specific questions in advance to help centre the conversation.

Late stage conversations: Candidates can submit a short presentation video or similar so hiring managers can see them in action ahead of the final live interview. 

What to look for in an async video interviewing software

As you look for a video interview software tool, keep in mind a few necessities. 

Integrations: Every new software needs to integrate into your existing applicant tracking system and other platforms.

Video shareability: Make sure you choose a video interview software platform with sharing permissions so you can respect candidate confidentiality but also share relevant answers with relevant stakeholders. 

Email automations: Choose a system with easy email functionality so you can send out interview requests, remind candidates of deadlines, and follow up as needed.

For a more comprehensive guide to choosing a video interview platform, check out Willo’s video interview software decision rubric. And if you’re curious about the software platforms out there, check out Willo’s guide to the top free video interview platforms.

Async and live can work in harmony

Including asynchronous portions to your interviews doesn’t mean removing humanity from the process. Quite the opposite—strategic use of pre-recorded videos will help candidates feel like you care more about them, not less. 

The key is not just figuring out the right tool for the job, but also where async video interviews fit for your unique candidate experience and recruiting process. 

Joe Latham
Sales Manager
LinkedIn profile

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