Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Spark A Conversation: Different Video Interview Types

Here at Spark Hire, we want to help companies utilize the power of online video to find the best candidates. We get a lot of questions from readers about best practices for using online video in the hiring process. These posts will address those questions about how to find your next superstar employee.

Question: When should I use a one-way video interview as opposed to a live video interview? -Jason From Spokane

Thank you for your question, Jason. It’s a great one because the two are pretty different and there’s definitely a best time to use each. For starters, let’s talk about the differences between the two kinds of video interviews. In one-way video interviews the hiring manager sends job seekers a series of questions to answer in video format. The job seekers have a deadline to turn their responses in and once received the hiring manager can review the job seeker’s answers whenever they like. The hiring manager isn’t in the video interview, but is rather watching the job seeker’s video responses to their questions. On the other hand, in a live video interview the hiring manager or employer is actually in on the interview. Both the hiring manager and job seeker sign on and take part in the live video interview.

So when would you use one or the other? One-way video interviews are the perfect substitute for a phone screen, so it is great to use early on in the hiring process. In fact, Spark Hire talked pretty extensively a while back on why HR professionals should ditch the phone interview and use one-way video interviews instead. Instead of wasting valuable time on the phone with multiple candidates- especially since a lot of them won’t even work out- start sending one-way video interviews. They are perfect to use early on in the screening process. Think of all the questions you ask in a phone screen and send those questions along in a one-way video interview.

One-way video interviews are a great tool to use when you receive a large amount of candidates. If you are looking to fill an upper level position though, where you don’t receive quite as many applications, then live video interviews are a perfect screening tool. With the live video interviews you can virtually meet and speak with a candidate to see if they have the qualifications before you ask them to come into your office for an in-person interview. The live video interview is perfect for this because you can get more in-depth with a candidate early on in the screening process.

To be sure you are making the most of your time, you can use both one-way video interviews and live video interviews in your hiring process. You can first screen with the one-way video interviews and then invite the best candidates to participate in a live video interview. After that you should be able to cut your candidate pool down to a smaller number like two or three. You can then spend the time to have those two or three candidates come into the office for an in-person interview. That way you know that every candidate that comes into your office is time well spent.

Do you have a question you need answered? Spark a conversation with the Spark Hire team by submitting your question to blog(at) or in the comments below.

The 5-Day Crash Course to Video Interviewing

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.