What are Online ACs and Pre-recorded Video Interviews?

Which selection tool should I use to identify the best suited candidate for my vacancy? This is not a trivial question, since you certainly want to make a good decision and know you cannot rely on your gut feeling, right? That’s why we will have a closer look at two selection tools which have proven to be very useful in everyday recruiting: online assessment center andpre-recorded video interviews. Just to remind you, in the last post, we presented two other smart selection procedures and their pros and cons:Realistic Job Previews and Situational Judgement TestHave a look at them to complete your knowledge about effective recruitment tools.

So, let’s move on. Here is what you should know about online assessment center and pre-recorded/automated video interviews:


ACs consist of a variety of classic exercises in which candidates show their job-related skills and competencies. They are rated by trained observers. Many of these exercises are now also available online, such as mailbox tasks or complex case studies in a “serious gaming” format. In contrast to Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs), which assess intended actions, an online assessment center relates to actual behavior.


  • close to the actual job requirements
  • online solutions can be used for high volume recruiting in contrast to classic ACs that quickly reach capacity limits


  • adaptation to specific job profiles necessary
  • not all exercises can be put online (e.g. group discussions)


Video interviews are an effective tool for candidate pre-selection. You can use, for example, video conferencing systems or competency-based, pre-recorded video interviews. In the latter case, the candidates record their answers to job-related interview questions via webcam. Those video answers are then rated by HR and the technical department. As a result, you get an in-depth competency profile of your applicants, which you can use for deciding on which candidates to invite to an in-person interview or an assessment center.


  • structured interviews are a valid means to assess a candidate’s job-related skills
  • coordination and scheduling problems become a thing of the past


  • unstructured interviews and untrained interviewers can lead to misjudgements and make the method less valid

Smart combination is the key!

The whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. This also applies to the selection process. We strongly recommend combining several selection methods (e.g. online tests and pre-recorded video interviews) to be able to make more valid decisions, than when using only one method. Through clever combination, you will be able to assess different areas of expertise (cognitive skills vs. procedural knowledge). Read more about how to combine methods in a clever way here.

Imagine you are looking for a consultant. You will look out for someone with strong analytical skills, presentation and communication skills, and assertiveness. In this case, it will be useful to have your candidates take a cognitive test (to see their analytical skills) and then a pre-recorded video interview (to see their presentation and communication skills).

As a result, you will gain a complete picture of their abilities requested for this particular job.

What is your experience with using these methods?  

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