Good Video Interview Questions

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Good Video Interview Questions

As we move into 2023 and the economy continues to struggle, companies are tightening belts and looking for ways to save money. One of the best ways to reduce your cost-per-hire and improve your quality of hire is to use video interviewing. Video interviews allow you to screen candidates more efficiently and get a better sense of their personality and fit for the role.

To help you make the most of video interviewing, we’ve put together a list of good video interview questions to ask candidates. These questions will help you assess a candidate’s technical skills, behavioral characteristics, cultural fit, and motivation to see if they're a good fit for your team.

First, some ground rules. Hopefully, you're familiar with EEOC's (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) list of questions that are off-limits to ask in an interview. If not, check out, "What Not To Ask In An Interview." Questions about a candidate's age, race, religion, national origin, disability status, or genetic information should never be asked in an interview.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff! Here are some great video interview questions to ask candidates:

1.) What attracted you to this role and our company?
2.) What do you think makes you a good fit for this role?
3.) What are your top three career accomplishments? What primary characteristics helped you to achieve them?
4.) Why are you interested in leaving your current role?
5.) What do you think sets our company apart from other companies in our industry?
6.) Have you ever tried our products before?
7.) What would you improve?
8.) Describe a time when you had to overcome a difficult challenge at work. How did you overcome it?
9.) Tell me about a difficult team member you worked with. How were you able to keep a positive relationship?

While the questions above are only a handful of the millions of possible questions you could ask in an interview, take a second look at the categories that each question falls into:

1.) Timing Questions,
2.) Behavioral Questions,
3.) Technical Skills Questions,
4.) Past performance,
5.) Cultural Fit.

Each of these categories is important to consider when building out your interview process and assessing candidates. Keep in mind that video interviewing is an opportunity to see how a candidate performs under pressure, communicates, and solves problems.

One pro tip would be to use interview intelligence software. This type of software allows you to score each answer and track how the candidate did overall. This is valuable feedback that can help you make a more informed hiring decision. Often powered by AI, interview intelligence platforms offer features like interview recording, transcribing, and indexing so you can highlight and share different aspects of the interview with others who will interview the candidate next.

Sample Video Interview Questions and Answers

A video interview is often the first time an interviewer will meet a candidate. That being said, it doesn't have to be an impersonal experience. A great way to start a conversation is by breaking the ice. Icebreakers can help you get to know the person behind the resume and set them at ease. The way I like to start an interview is by looking for something the interviewee and I share in common. Whether the commonality is an influencer we are both following, a network we're both parts of, an alma mater, rivalry, cause, or interest, the purpose is setting the candidate at ease and hopefully making them laugh.

Here are some sample video interview questions and answers that can be used as icebreakers:

-"Hey, I noticed you follow GaryVee, did you see his video on XYZ? His words really hit home."
-"I see that you graduated from the University of Virginia - I saw that game Sunday. Big win, congrats!"
-"Tell me about the (young entrepreneurs) network - I've been curious about joining it and know (member) who says great things, but I've not been able to make it to an event."
-"I see that you played (sport) in high school and college, what position did you play?

These sample interview questions are a great way to start building rapport with your candidate and get to know them on a personal level. The goal is to make the interviewee feel comfortable so they can do their best. Studies have shown that we're more likely to be comfortable and honest with people who are like us, so building rapport is vital.

Next, you'll want to ask some questions that will help you assess their qualifications for the role. In the previous section, we talked about a couple of categories to cover. Say, for example, we're hiring an Account Executive, and we need to understand whether this person is a good cultural fit with a record of past performance that shows they'd be able to succeed in the role.

Sample interview questions and answers might look like this:

-"Hey (candidate), I see that you sold (software) at (previous company), can you tell me about your largest transaction?"
-"How did you find the prospect?"
-"Did you use an existing sales process to turn them into a customer?"
-"What needs did the prospect have that your product was able to fill?"
-"What obstacles did you overcome to make the sale?"
-"What do you think you did well in that transaction?
-"Tell me about how you could've done better?"
-"How long did the sales cycle take?"
-"Was this transaction shorter or longer than usual?"

Asking questions like these will give you a much better idea of whether the candidate has the experience necessary to be successful in the role. It'll also help you decide whether this person has the necessary skills to perform well in the role you're hiring them to do.

If you're hiring for a position that requires customer service, you might want to ask questions about how they deal with difficult customers or handle angry phone calls. If you're hiring for a position that requires creativity, you might want to ask questions about how they come up with new ideas or solve problems. No matter what position you're hiring for, be sure to ask questions that will help you assess whether the candidate has the skills and experience necessary to be successful in the role.

Finally, you'll want to wrap up the interview by asking if the candidate has any questions for you. Pay close attention to the questions that they ask. Are they curious? Genuinely interested? or does it feel like they're reading off of a list or script? Interview intelligence can help you analyze these nuances and give you a better idea of which candidate is right for your open role.

Pre-Recorded Video Interview Examples

Due to the war for talent, and the need for effective hiring processes, many new interviewers are asking, "what is a pre-recorded video interview, and is it right for our organization?" Pre-recorded or one-way video interviews are becoming more popular as companies look for ways to speed up the hiring process. In a pre-recorded video interview, the candidate is given a set of questions and records their answers using a webcam or smartphone. The interviewer then watches the recording and decides whether or not to move forward with the candidate.

Pre-recorded video interview examples have several disadvantages. First, it can be difficult to build rapport with a candidate when you're not in the same room. Second, candidates may feel like they have to put on a "show" for the camera and might not be as genuine as they would be in a live interview. Finally, pre-recorded video interviews open up opportunities for misunderstandings and communication errors as the questions are all prompted.

One way to solve this is to give clear instructions and only use the one-way video interview format as a top-of-funnel candidate screening mechanism. Meaning that you're not looking for things like cultural fit, just making sure that the candidate has the qualifications and experience you're looking for. Once they've been approved to move on to the next step, a live, two-way video interview is probably a far better option to actually get to know them.

Whether you're doing a live video interview or a pre-recorded one, remember that interviews are daunting and a candidate can feel deep emotions about the decisions you're making. So, even if it's not the "perfect" format for every question, give them the benefit of the doubt, provide clear instructions, and be respectful of their time.

When it comes to formatting, there is no perfect answer for every organization. Consider what will work best for your team, your culture, and your budget. At Pillar, we've helped teams from some of the top SaaS, Martech, Software, and recruiting companies build efficient hiring processes, if you'd like to see our process for making better hires, check out, "The Ultimate Interview Checklist for Hiring Teams." It'll walk you through each step from writing the job post to making the offer and has helped our customers lower employee turnover by 50% in the last 12 months.

Our interview intelligence software was created to help you make better hires. If you're looking to create an efficient, effective, and equitable hiring process, we'd love to show you how our platform can make your life easier and save your company money.

Schedule a demo to see how it works!