Humanizing asynchronous video interviews for job seekers.

I was a co-lead UX researcher, spearheading research initiatives to explore the ambiguous problem space. I focused on conducting qualitative research, generating actionable insights, and collaborating closely with the design and product teams to craft an MVP that aligned with business goals and user needs.
Jan. – Feb. 2023 (8 weeks)
Client Work
Figma, Notion

Project Overview

UX Cabin is a remote-first design agency that provides design, research, and web development services for clients. 

Async is an in-house product concept for UX Cabin. It aims to use asynchronous video interviews (AVIs) to improve efficiency in recruiting and hiring UX professionals. Job seekers are able to get feedback on their public pre-recorded videos, allowing them to improve their presentation and show their growth to employers.

The Problem

Job candidates tend to find these interviews impersonal and stressful, because they often don’t receive feedback from hiring teams. They also find it hard to determine if there’s a culture fit with the employer.

UX hiring managers want to know if job seekers have their desired “soft” skills, which is why they’re interested in using asynchronous (pre-recorded) video interviews to assess candidates.

So, we asked:

How might we humanize asynchronous (“one-way” pre-recorded) video interviews?

Async MVP: 3 Main Features

1/ Employer-Created Videos
One problem that existing AVI platforms have is how one-sided they are. Job candidates mentioned a desire to evaluate companies for a culture and value fit. Adding in a video message from employers allows them to introduce their role in more detail, and shows job candidates that the employers also take the time to record asynchronous videos.
2/ Relevant Sample Questions
Async provides targeted, role-specific questions for job candidates to better prepare for their interviews. In addition, top answers from community members will be featured as examples, so if users are stuck, they can watch them for inspiration.
3/ Community-Centered Feedback
People are social creatures, and the UX community in particular is open to giving and receiving feedback to support others. The community comment feature provides a space for users to receive and share feedback on recorded videos, thus helping them improve their interview skills.
Research Process

How did we get to these features?

We started the project with the goal of understanding how asynchronous video interviews (AVIs) are perceived. As a research co-lead, I created a research map for each week, and oversaw production of our interview guides, concept tests, and data analysis.

01/ Discover – Secondary
How can we improve the experience and stand out?
02/ Discover – Primary
Who are our users and what do they need?
03/ Synthesize
Concept testing our ideas with users
04/ Evaluate
Concept testing our ideas with users
1 / Discover

What are the problems with AVIs?

Asynchronous Video Interviews (AVIs) are automated interviews where candidates are guided through  text-based questions and prompted to record videos of their answers.

During the initial stakeholder meeting, our client mentioned that as an employer, he liked the efficiency of AVIs. However, he also mentioned that he faced an issue in people actually recording and submitting these videos.

Using a competitive analysis of 11 AVI providers, our team identified pain points and preferences from candidates and hiring managers.

Competitive Analysis Insights
2 / Discover

What does the hiring/ interviewing process feel like?

To better understand the emotions that are felt in the hiring and interviewing process, we conducted 1-hour-long user interviews with 6 hiring managers and 13 UX job candidates.

We then affinity mapped these interviews to identify key themes from both groups, shown below:

3 / Synthesize

Who are we designing for?

From our user interviews, we created 2 representative personas for potential users of the Async product. We focused on their pain points in the hiring and interviewing process. (Please click on the photos for an expanded view.)

Check-In: Scoping Down

We realized that multiple hiring manager pain points (candidates lying about experience, recruiters without UX experience, and losing candidates due to slow hiring processes) were out of our control. I met with the Design and Product leads, and we jointly decided to focus on the job candidate experience for the rest of our project.

With a narrower scope, we created our platform to address the three main needs from job candidates: a desire for quality feedback, role-specific practice questions, and evaluation of the company for a culture and value fit.

4 / Evaluate

What do job candidates think about our proposal?

We handed off our personas and main interview insights to the design team so that they could work on ideation and mid-fidelity prototypes. At the same time, the research team developed sketches of main screens for the Async product – we wanted to evaluate our idea before committing to creating high-fidelity screens.

We used remote moderated video calls and concept tested three low-fidelity ideas with 9 job candidates, and received positive feedback on all three ideas.

Introductory video of the role from a hiring manager or team member, which would give the candidate more information about the company’s culture and values.

P2: “It will show to me that a company has cared to take the time to speak with me... I can assess whether I feel like they put effort into expressing their values.”
P6: “If person is also actually connected to the work, the person I would report to, I want to see ... how they talk about the work.”

Job candidates liked the idea of recording themselves and practicing answers to track improvement. They also preferred role-specific questions to better prepare.

P10: “I can see the first video and my fifth video, I can compare how I'm improving myself. And also I can review my peers comments”
P3: “it can be helpful to see yourself, even if we don’t always like it”

There was a strong desire for substantive feedback on their videos, like the one in the yellow circle.

P4: “I really like the yellow [bubble] because it's very specific. I don't want this:  “Oh great example.” You're not saying anything. But this one, the yellow one. That's what I will be hoping for.”
P10: “I think it's quite good that I can get my feedback from my peer or mentors. It's great.”

P2: “But I do like the idea of, you know, providing feedback”
5 / Results

From Concept to High-Fidelity MVP

To distinguish Async from existing AVI platforms, we emphasize human connection throughout the process. Employers play a more active role by sharing a video about their team, while job candidates are provided with a platform that helps them practice and improve on their video interview skills.

At the end of our two months, we defined the current AVI space, understood how job candidates and other hiring managers feel about the use of AVIs, and prioritized three core features for Async. The Design team created high-fidelity versions of the three tested concepts for our MVP, shown below.

Research Limitations

One major limitation was the lack of quantitative research in this project. While we had rich insights from the user interview and concept testing, we didn’t implement a survey in this research, which would have increased the validity of our research findings.

Another limitation is the challenge with convincing hiring managers to use this platform, as opposed to other AVI services. Employers would have to take an extra step to record information about their open roles, which is a concept that we would need to test before implementing this product.


It was my first time co-leading a research team, and I really enjoyed planning the research stages and being involved in all parts of the process. I gained experience with managing stakeholders, facilitating cross-team collaboration, and conducting Agile research.

Working with a client taught me how to leverage storytelling and prioritize client participation in the design process. By presenting our work in product-friendly language, we were able to get more feedback from UX Cabin, which helped us define our MVP scope to match their needs.

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