What Is An Asynchronous Interview?

Also known as one-way or self-guided interviews, asynchronous interviews can help recruiters speed up their hiring time.

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What Is An Asynchronous Interview?

The modern state of recruiting is rapidly evolving. Traditional interview methods remain viable today as they have always been. However, they are progressively moving slower compared to the newest wave of digital hiring solutions that have appeared over the last few years. As such, companies that still rely heavily on traditional interviews without supplementing them with interview solutions are seeing more and more recruiter burnout as a result. The strain to remain competitive without modern help is becoming too much.

One such tool that has appeared in recent years is the one-way interview also known as an asynchronous interview. Which naturally brings us to the question, “What is an asynchronous interview?”

Simply put, asynchronous means two events occurring at separate times. An asynchronous interview is an interview with two separate responses, the first from the recruiter and the second from the candidate.

Also known as an on-demand interview or self-guided interview, there is a screening tool to help recruiters determine if candidates should pass on to the next round of the interview process. The recruiter first simply records their end of the interview, and delivers it to the selected candidates. Those candidates can then respond at their convenience.

As such, on-demand phone interviews allow recruiters to automate one of the most tedious parts of the hiring process — the screening interview. According to Yello, the interview process is where recruiters spend two-thirds of their hiring time between conducting interviews and 2-3 hours scheduling interview times per candidate.

Benefits of Asynchronous Interviewing

Quickly becoming the new standard in candidate screening, the benefits of asynchronous interviewing allow recruiters to create a better, more efficient hiring process to find the best talent available and fast.

Let’s start with the most apparent benefit to recruiters, time.

As we discussed, recruiters spend most of their time in the interview stage of the hiring process. There are interviews to schedule and candidates to screen. That’s not even to mention the tedious clerical work that comes between. If only there were a way to automate the process, right? Well, on-demand interviews do just that.

Self-guided interviews allow recruiters to offer immediate interviews to their candidates, and the candidates typically respond within 24 hours. With audio interviews, recruiters are able to screen candidates in little as 5 minutes as opposed to the typical 30+ minutes it traditionally takes. This cuts multiple days from the ever-vital time-to-hire and allows recruiters to screen more candidates than ever before.  

The next benefit worth looking at is the marked improvement in passive recruiting — the practice of reaching out to candidates not actively looking for a job but may be tempted by a better opportunity. This popular sourcing technique allows recruiters to target the highest quality candidates that aren’t prowling the job boards.

The key to attracting this talent is creating an easy hiring process. Those comfortable in their current positions are less likely to apply to consider another position with another company when faced with a lengthy interview process. Asynchronous interviews provide the means to get the attention of these valuable candidates by offering an easier alternative.

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Asynchronous Video Interviews vs. Asynchronous Phone Interviews

When we talk about asynchronous interviews, the conversation inevitably turns to asynchronous video interviews vs. asynchronous phone interviews. Both offer benefits, but one clearly outshines the other.

Let’s start by taking a look at what they have in common.

Both asynchronous phone and video interviews provide a consistent hiring experience. Every candidate receives the same interview, giving them equal opportunities to shine during the hiring process. This eliminates the risk of any deviations during the hiring process causing recruiters to pass up a qualified candidate.

Another commonality is their capacity for maintaining the human connection in automated screening. It’s a common misconception that automating the hiring process will cause it to become impersonal. However, it’s quite the contrary. Although, while automation is less human-focused, it remains candidate-focused, eliminating a lot of the bureaucratic processes that cause a slow and frustrating hiring experience.

But that’s where their similarities end.

The downsides of automated video interviews are numerous. The foremost is their failure to provide an accessible interview medium that mitigates bias.

In terms of accessibility, on-demand video requires a candidate to have three things: a camera, microphone, and interview space. None of which are available to every potential candidate, and that can exclude qualified candidates from your talent pool. Contrast this with an on-demand phone interview which only requires a phone, something almost everyone has. In fact, 97% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind.

Then there are video’s shortcomings in bias mitigation. Many biases are inherently based on physical appearance. Video, obviously, is an inherently visual medium. Therefore, video interviews do nothing to prevent these biases from influencing recruiter decisions whether the interview is live or on-demand.

Contrast this with an asynchronous phone interview that eliminate visuals from the hiring process, and consequently does much to mitigate bias.

What’s worse, screening video interviews is a slower process compared to audio. That subverts one of the biggest draws to on-demand interviews. Whereas recruiters can screen an on-demand phone interview in as little as 5 minutes, a video interview can take anywhere from 30 minutes or more.

It is this slow review time that’s part of the reason that on-demand video interviews are not suited for high-volume hiring. High-volume recruiting requires tools that not only automate scheduling but enable recruiters to screen large numbers of candidates in the process.

As such, on-demand phone interviews offer a superior on-demand interview solution to your hiring needs.

Asynchronous phone interviews:

  • Mitigate Bias
  • Handle High-volume Recruiting
  • Offer Accessibility
  • Are Consistent
  • Provide Faster Review Times
  • And Maintain a Human Connection

Asynchronous Interview Software

With traditional and in-person interviews becoming less popular in recent years, we will see the appearance of more and more remote interview solutions. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 70% of recruiters already use virtual recruitment. Contrast that with the 10% of companies using asynchronous interview software in 2012.  

The Covid-19 pandemic certainly accelerated the technological advancements that allowed companies to offer better remote interview experiences. However, this trend was well underway already. Many of the top companies if the world have come to see the value asynchronous interviews bring to the hiring process — saving time, increasing candidate pools, and improving team collaboration.

There is little surprise that this interview format is here to stay, and can only be expected to grow as recruiters continue to look for more ways to make their recruiting practices more competitive. As the labor market evolves, so too must your recruiting tactics.


Check out on-demand phone interviews to see how you can upgrade your interview process to screen more candidates and make better use of your recruiters’ time today.

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