One-way interview via the internet

Q: I am a RN and been invited to participate in a “one-way” initial video interview as a screening tool. I have never encountered this before and wonder how common this is in healthcare. My initial feeling is one of discomfort as I have no give and take with the potential employer and have no idea who will be viewing it or what happens to it after the fact. I applied, they wrote back saying I was of interest and now this. Is this just the way it is?

A: I understand your concerns. It sounds like the “one-way” video interview refers to a process where a prospective employer poses questions to a candidate over the internet and the candidate responds from a webcam. It is a “one-way” process as the candidate cannot ask questions, but instead responds to questions on camera. The questions are usually asked using pre-recorded voice or via text. Often the questions are standardized so that every applicant for the position is asked the same set of questions. The applicant’s responses are usually recorded can easily be shared with the employer’s hiring team. The process is different from the more common technique of conducting a live two-way, interactive interview using a video calling technology.

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An employer can save time and resources by avoiding having to conduct multiple phone or in-person screening interviews. The employer also can compare responses from candidates to the same set of questions. Finally, the employer can share the applicant’s responses with various reviewers. Unfortunately, there is no give and take – the employer cannot ask follow-up questions and the candidate may give awkward responses. I can understand that a candidate may feel anxious with the process, which could impede the ability to perform well.


I consulted Jeffrey Dretler, a partner at the Boston office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. Dretler advised: “In Massachusetts, employers need to be aware that some states (such as Massachusetts) require both parties to a conversation to provide consent prior to making an audio recording – but that should not interfere with this one-way video recording process so long as the employer requires the applicant to provide consent (i.e., by clicking on a link) prior to the recording. Both employer and employee should also be aware that if, for any reason, a lawsuit were to arise concerning the employer’s decision not to hire the applicant, the recorded interview responses could provide direct evidence of discrimination or the lack thereof, for use in the litigation.”
You raise a valid concern about the confidentiality of the interview responses. A responsible employer should treat the recorded interview responses confidentially.
I would suggest preparing for this interview as you would an in-person interview. Dress appropriately and eliminate distractions. Done right, a one-way video interview can be a great way to demonstrate that your relevant skills and experience.
by Pattie Hunt Sinacole

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