Video Interviewing Best Practices for Recruiters

Caroline Chessia | May 19, 2023

A guide on how to effectively screen and interview candidates with an interviewing platform

Most employers now use video interviews during routine recruiting efforts—82% of them, to be precise. They report efficiencies like shorter recruiting timelines, easier interview scheduling, and even a more insightful first look at applicants.

For these reasons and more, recruiters who aren’t using this tool are quickly falling behind in the competition for good talent. 

Why Use Virtual Interviews

Video interviewing software is so common that many candidates have simply come to expect it as an option during their job searches. And, according to a 2021 study, a whopping 65% of candidates said they preferred recorded or real-time video screenings over in-person interviews.

The benefits of video interviewing are abundant for hiring teams, too, and even better, many of them make a lot of economic sense:

  • greater geographic reach for a wider talent pool (interviewstream users widen their candidate pools by ~30%)—without the need to pay for travel to and from multiple rounds of interviews
  • greater scheduling flexibility for recruiters, candidates, interviewers, and hiring managers
  • more empowerment for candidates to complete screenings independently (and with that, improved candidate experience), with smaller time investments required from recruiters

It’s crucial to remember that a candidate’s interviewing experience plays a key role in determining whether they’ll accept an eventual job offer. 49% of job seekers have reported declining offers due to poor experiences with this process—and those rejections cost a lot of time and energy.

To ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved, recruiters must invest some effort in learning video interviewing best practices that will help the process run smoothly. But don’t worry; this investment is sure to pay off quickly. Video interviews yield shortened time to hire while empowering both candidates and companies. 

So what are those best practices—and how do they differ between different types of video interviews? Keep reading to find out.

The Two Types of Video Interviews

Before we dig into the best way to conduct a video interview, it’s essential to highlight the two basic types of remote interviews available to recruiters: on demand (or one way) video interviews and live video interviews.

What are Live Video Interviews?

When most people first imagine a “video interview,” they’re likely picturing this format. Like typical meetings you might conduct via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, two-way, live video interviews feature candidates and interviewers interacting in real time. One may be in Chicago and the other might be in London, but they’re able to connect virtually and have a “face-to-face” conversation without disrupting their days (or evenings).

During these sessions, as with any other type of virtual meeting, participants can exchange questions and answers and converse as they normally would—with important cues like facial expressions still visible—from the comfort of their homes or distributed offices.

What are On Demand Video Interviews?

One-way, recorded video interviews offer a more dynamic alternative to phone screening interviews and similar, higher-level check-ins with candidates. During these types of interviews, candidates are given pre-loaded questions by the system and are able to independently record themselves answering those questions via webcam. 

The benefit of this format is that recruiters can get a better first impression of how candidates deliver their responses, with a unique hint at personalities and communication styles that can’t be gleaned from phone conversations. At the same time, candidates are able to respond to one-way video interview requests at a time that’s convenient for them—without having to book overlapping openings of time with recruiters or hiring managers. 

How to Conduct an Effective Video Interview

The way you conduct your video interviews should look a little different from how you might conduct an in-person interview. Candidates know this, too, so help them make the best possible impression by providing them with logistical details ahead of time. 

Make sure they know expectations on manner of dress, backgrounds, and what materials you’d like them to share in advance. The most successful recruiters include a short guide on how to take a video interview. You can point candidates to this article on video interviewing tips, or to our training site. We also recommend letting candidates practice interviewing and giving them more than one attempt to record their response.

Additionally, ensure you and your interviewers are well prepped on the software you’ll use to conduct the interview. If it is an on demand video interview, let the interviewer know they can record their questions and an intro and outro. If it’s live, make sure your tech is functioning so you can conduct the interview effectively.

The questions you present can be much the same as those used during in-person conversations, however, you should definitely use different questions in the first video interview to the second interview. Use video screenings as your first round of interviews and a second video or in person interview to dive deeper into interviewee responses.

Finally, follow up thoughtfully to provide feedback to candidates and update them on next steps as appropriate—and make sure you’re being considerate of the platform in your evaluations. It can be helpful to automate these follow-ups within the platform so you aren’t manually sending out dozens of status update messages.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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