Asynchronous Interview Strategy & Tactics

Candidates shun asynchronous video interviews: How to fix this - Workable

What are Asynchronous Interviews? 

  • Asynchronous interviews are pre-recorded video interviews where employers send a link where you record your answers to pre-arranged questions. 
  • Questions often have a time limit on the length of your response. 
  • Some platforms provide you as much time as you need before responding; other platforms provide only a few moments to consider a response before the recording starts.
  • On some platforms, you can view your response and elect to start over. 
  • Common platforms include KIRA and the CASPER test for medical and dental school applicants. 

Advantages to Employer:

  • They can review, rate, and share responses online with other decision-makers in their organization.
  • All candidates respond to the same set of questions, to ensure consistency and guard against potential interviewer bias.

Advantages to Candidates:

  • You have control over where and when the interview takes place, and can set yourself up in a comfortable environment. 
  • It may be difficult to step away from your current position to conduct the interview during work hours. 

Challenges for Candidates: 

  • The lack of visual cues from the interviewer makes it hard to determine if you are on the right track with your responses. 
  • You are limited in your ability to collect more information about the employer (e.g. values, culture) and you won’t be able to ask any questions.
  • Recording a monologue can be particularly hard for some candidates who are not speaking in their native language. 

How to set the stage: 

  • Take advantage of practice questions or sessions if provided, to test the logistics of the platform.
  • Focus on limiting distractions in the background (e.g. ceiling fans). If the platform allows virtual backgrounds, consider using one of our UW Virtual Backgrounds
  • Focus your gaze on the camera to emphasize engagement and ensure that your face is well-lit from a lamp or window behind the camera, to minimize shadows on your face.  
  • Nervous behaviors (e.g. swiveling in your chair) might be misinterpreted as immaturity or disinterest.
  • Avoid very bright or white clothing and busy patterns in favor of solids in light blue or another light color. Consider dressing slightly more formal than less formal. Check out our new Husky Career Closet Style Guide for more guidance on dressing to impress in an interview, and come by the Career & Internship Center if you need to add to your interview ensemble.

How you respond to questions: 

  • Take advantage of time provided before you begin your recording to compose a well-thought-out response. 
  • Be aware of the amount of time provided for each response, as well as the passage of time. Use a timer on your computer or phone and glance at it to be sure you’re on track.
  • While you should sound upbeat and personable, make an effort to use your typical talking voice. Trying to squeeze in too many keywords that might win favor with an Artificial Intelligence can appear insincere. Applicants should assume their recordings will be reviewed by a human and apply the same courtesy as in a normal conversation.
  • Use the STAR Method to tell compelling, concise stories about your skills and accomplishments.
  • Provide time to wrap up each response and reiterate your interest in the position. If possible, thank the interviewer after you complete your response to the last question. 

Next Steps: 

  • The Career & Internship Center is pleased to offer StandOut, a mock video interviewing platform, to help improve your interviewing skills. You can also record yourself on your phone or laptop. 
  • Our career coaches can help! Current degree-seeking undergraduate & graduate students at UW-Seattle and recent graduates who have received a degree in the past 36 months can schedule an Interview Prep or Practice Interview appointment with a career coach to prepare and practice their responses to common interview questions.