Do candidates need retakes in pre-recorded video interviews?

Yes, candidates need retakes in a video interview​. It provides the best possible experience for the candidate and helps them give their best answers.

Miikka Tuomola

Lately we have been facing a question every now and then about the possibility for the candidate to retake the answer in a video interview. It appears that some recruiters believe, that having the possibility for retakes is a negative thing – that the candidate should be put under pressure and should be allowed only one opportunity to record the answer. This is something we have carefully considered, and decided not to include to our video interviewing tool.


One shot, one opportunity – fair in recruitment? 

Why retakes matter?

Why do we want to give candidates unlimited opportunities to record their answers?

It’s about candidate experience

We want to provide the best possible experience for both the candidate, and the recruiter. Creating a positive candidate experience works as a great marketing tool for the employer – it is an excellent way to do employer branding. Putting the candidate under pressure to a ”one shot, one opportunity” – type of interview does not support this.

We have an excellent answer rate (87% of all sent invitations have resulted in a video reply) . Candidates are not afraid to answer video interviews, when they know they have the opportunity to record their answers again, if needed. In other words, retakes help in creating a positive candidate experience and in increasing the reply rate.

Allow your candidates practice their answers

Some of your candidates might have had participated in a similar video interview before, and are more relaxed and confident in talking to a camera than your other applicants. Regardless of their previous experience, we believe it’s best to allow your applicants to practice talking to a camera. Let your candidates loosen up and get comfortable, so they can give their best answers.

According to a candidate we interviewed, Juan Gaona, just the fact that there’s a chance to re-record answers already took away the pressure to get it right from the first take and made him feel more relaxed.

Don’t forget about external factors

Unforeseen external factors might let your candidates and their application down. For example, imagine your candidate is in the middle of recording their answer, and then their fire alarm goes off, or their Internet connection goes down, or someone disturbs them (remember that BBC interviewee who was interrupted by his children?). Things happen, and sometimes they happen at the worst possible time. Don’t miss out on your perfect candidate due to factors they have no control over and give them a chance to retake their answers.

What do you think? Are there some recruitments where you believe that it would be absolutely necessary to allow only one take per video question? Leave a comment.

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