The Most Effective Video Interview Questions & Answers

Esteban Gomez | September 9, 2022

The beauty of one way video interviews is that interviewers have the opportunity to prepare, while candidates have the flexibility to answer those questions in a written, video, or voice format at their convenience. This means candidates don’t have to wait until an interviewer can fit them in their schedule and interviewers can attend to the responses at all. Both candidates and recruiters have the freedom and flexibility to engage in the process at their own pace – often cutting down the time it takes to move onto next steps and improving candidate experience.

When preparing for a one-way interview, recruiters need to determine the best questions for each candidate, along with the format that best fits the candidate’s role. The two most common types of one-way video interview questions are the written and video response formats. So, what is the difference between one-way written and one-way video interviews, and what are the most effective video interview questions to use for each format?

One-Way Written Interviews & Questions

Just like they sound, one-way written interviews require candidates to respond to questions in writing, while video interviews record candidates’ responses via webcam or another video capturing device. Each virtual interview format typically demands a different type of targeted questions depending on what recruiters are screening candidates for.

Companies use written questions to elicit more fact-based responses for prerequisite questions. One-way interviews help recruiters weed out candidates who, based on their responses, are not adequate for the role. One-way written interviews give the candidate the freedom to say what they want to without being evaluated so much on how they say it. Some typical on-demand written interview questions could include:

  • Are you legally authorized to work in our country?
  • Have you been convicted of a criminal offense?
  • What technical skills do you have that are relevant to this position?
  • Do you have any supplemental skills, knowledge areas or experiences that we should know about?

One-Way Video Interviews & Questions

One-way video interviews on the other hand capture candidates’ actual responses as well as soft skills, such as communication skills, social skills or personality, that you would typically gain from a face-to-face interview. As recruiter know from in-person interviews, how a candidate reacts to a question can be telling, if not more telling, than what their answer actually is. Companies use video interviews to ask questions that give them insight on the candidate’s likelihood to succeed within the role as well as within the company. Some typical video interview questions could include:

  • What is your best quality?
  • Why should we hire you for this role?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What about this job excites you the least?

Ultimately, one-way interviews help recruiters and hiring teams speed up their screening process and decrease their overall time to hire while making sure they get to know their candidates before moving them to the next steps in the hiring process. To learn more about interviewstream’s one-way interviews, talk to an expert today.

10 Things to Look for In Video Interview Answers

  1. Thorough Responses: The platform or setting may be different, but typical interview standards still apply. Does the candidate provide thorough answers without rambling?
  2. Real-World Examples: Can the candidate describe concrete examples of his experience and how he helped past organizations succeed? Maybe he even has a few impressive stats on hand to share with you.
  3. Technical Answers: A recorded video interview allows you to ask technical questions earlier in the process, because their answers can be shared with and evaluated by a hiring manager. Ask detail-oriented questions and evaluate whether the candidate has a firm grasp on the breakdown of day-to-day tasks.
  4. Career References: With a video interview, you can actually hear someone’s career story. Ask open-ended questions to find out how they got where they are as well as any experience they might have picked up along the way.
  5. Preparation: If you sent questions or an assignment beforehand, does the candidate seem to be thoroughly prepared? Does he have to get up and look for something halfway through the interview?
  6. Does the Personality Match the Resume? Just like a great resume might be a dud candidate, a dud resume might actually make for a great candidate. The brevity of a video interview allows you to review more candidates in less time, so use this as an opportunity to assess candidates that you wouldn’t normally have time to take a closer look at.
  7. Presentability: Did the candidate put noticeable effort into his appearance or just roll out of bed in his PJs?
  8. Professional Environment: Are there questionable posters up on the walls in the background? Home is home, but candidates who take the effort to make their interview space look professional can stand out.
  9. Attention to Detail: Is the room quiet and well-lit? Taking care of these minor touches makes the video interview go smoothly and demonstrates attention to detail on the candidate’s part.
  10. Enthusiasm: Does the candidate appear enthusiastic about the opportunity? Did she come prepared with genuine questions about the opportunity?

If your candidate checks all of these boxes, they’re a superstar! But not every interviewee is perfect – it’s important to remember that many potential employees are still getting accustomed to video interviewing in any format. Use these 10 things as a reference, not as an end-all-be-all list of must-haves, and you’re bound to find a stellar employee who still has room to grow within your organization.

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About The Author

Esteban Gomez is a marketing consultant with interviewstream. He loves learning and has a passion for traveling, having visited many countries including China, Colombia, Italy, and Peru.


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