The One-Way Interview

The one-way interview has quickly made its way into the mainstream recruiting process, as companies review video footage of candidates before a live virtual or in-person interview. While I am unsure how I feel about such a digitized process, I know that mastering a one-way interview is vital to moving forward towards a job offer and not as difficult as it may seem.


During a one-way interview, you record yourself responding to a set of questions the company has prepared. You are not speaking to anyone at all – merely yourself on a screen. Except for a few programs, all answers are final, and feedback after that is minimal. Though it may be strange to conduct an interview this way, preparing is more straightforward than you might think.

Since this process is highly automated, you can rest assured that questions will be generic at best. So, while you should always have answers prepared to more challenging questions that dive into job gaps or resignations, this part of the process will likely be more manageable, such as: What about this position interests you? What strengths do you have that you feel would be great within this role? Tell us about three significant professional accomplishments you have had over the past five years. And so on.

Here is how you can prepare:

1.) Research the company and role thoroughly. Practice answers beforehand (in a mirror if needed or with a partner/friend), clearly expressing your interest in the role while conveying your accomplishments. Focus on your most recent work history rather than diving into positions from more than 10 or 15 years ago.

2.) Look directly into the camera when answering questions, not at your screen.  I know it is hard to not stare at your beautiful face (I see you, gorgeous!), but when you look directly into your camera, it will appear as if you are looking directly at the person reviewing the interview footage. This will help you seem confident, friendly, and approachable.

3.) So many people try to speak in a way that is not them when recording a video. Be professional, of course, but honest about who you are by using your regular voice. You always want to appear authentic. 

4.) First impressions are critical, and while you should never be judged by how you look, not dressing up may show a lack of interest or care for the role. Instead, dress to impress as you would for an in-person interview.
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