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Live Vs. Asynchronous Interviews: Benefits and Drawbacks

live vs asynchronous video interview

With the many tech wonders of our modern age, it’s no surprise that video-based job interviews are now commonplace.

If you’re job searching out of state, for example, or if the prospective employer is headquartered in another area, you may be asked to engage in a video interview of some kind. In order to land that dream gig, job seekers must be aware of what to expect with the different types of video interviews they may encounter.

Live Video Conference Interview

A live video conference, conducted by Skype for example, allows you to sit face-to-face with your interviewer(s) from the comfort of your own home computer.

On the positive side, these interviews still allow you to have real-time interaction with the people on the other end of the conversation. You can ask questions and enjoy the organic back and forth of normal conversation. This tool is great for a first step interview; you can engage with the prospective employer without the hassle of travel.

However, because you’re not there in person, building rapport can be more difficult (though not impossible). You also don’t have the ability to look around and really feel the vibe of the environment. As a job seeker, this can limit your ability to accurately assess the opportunity.

Also read: 5 Tips to Ace a Video Interview

Asynchronous Video Interview

Another form of video interview happens when the prospective employer utilizes an asynchronous video interview tool. This kind of system allows you, the interviewee, to answer pre-established interview questions via recorded video, without a live interviewer in attendance with you.

When invited to participate, you’ll receive login instructions for an online portal. There, you will find instructions for using the platform. The system will walk you through what’s required, but you’ll need to have a web cam of some sort for recording yourself.

The drawbacks for this kind of interview are many. First, the most obvious: You’re talking to yourself, not a real person. You don’t have the opportunity to interact, ask questions and build rapport. For those who aren’t used to talking to a camera, this can be an awkward, uncomfortable process—and the people who view your responses may sense that.

Also, you typically have a relatively short time limit for your answers, so it’s important to be concise. This, however, can actually be a good thing for people who tend to ramble and go off on tangents. The time limit may help to focus your thoughts and keep you on track.

The upside to these systems is that you usually have the ability to re-record your answers several times. That way, if it’s not perfect at first, you can try again—a luxury you just don’t get when interviewing in real time.

Also read: 3 Mindset Shifts to Rock Your Job Interview

Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about scheduling. Since you’re recording your answers via video, you can do it on your own time, late at night or early in the morning if that works for you.

Whatever type of video interview you’re engaging in, be sure to take it as seriously as you would a traditional in-person interview. The basic rules of interviewing remain the same: Be professional and friendly, and cite accomplishments whenever you can. Finally, remember that technology doesn’t always simplify things the way we would hope. Be prepared to troubleshoot issues that pop up, and don’t let them rattle you!

About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach, corporate trainer and public speaker who believes work can be a nourishing part of the life experience. Her website, Eat Your Career, is devoted to this mission. Chrissy is currently a contributing career expert for U.S. News & World Report and the author of the book, The Proactive Professional: How to Stop Playing Catch Up and Start Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life!), available on Amazon.