Video Interview Questions

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Video Interview Questions

Interview questions are the primary way to assess a candidate's fit for a role early in the interview process. Before the candidate has taken any tests, their communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and personality can be evaluated through their answers to carefully crafted questions.

With today's hybrid working environment, companies have been leaning heavily on video interviews to increase convenience, eliminate costs, and save time until applicants make it to the final phases of the interview process. Whether these interviews take the shape of a phone screen, a pre-recorded one-way interview, or a live two-way video call, these formats require careful consideration of video interview questions before conducting the interview.

Interview Questions for One-way vs. Two-way Video Interviews

Video interview questions and answers give a candidate the platform to showcase their previous work. Like a standard in-person interview, your video interview questions should be rooted in the job description and essential skills- but, there are several differences to consider between one-way and two-way video interviews.

One-Way Video Interview Questions

A one-way video interview is a pre-recorded assessment where a candidate answers questions without an interviewer present. Most often the candidate will have a list of questions and a set time in which to answer them. Pre-recorded interviews allow hiring managers to evaluate applicants in the early stages of the hiring process, saving them time and resources.

When crafting one-way video interview questions, consider the following:

  1. Keep your questions concise and specific to the role: Avoid vague or open-ended questions that may confuse candidates and make it challenging for them to tailor their responses.
  2. Use behavioral-based questions: These types of questions ask candidates to draw on past experiences and provide specific examples. This approach helps assess the candidate's problem-solving skills, communication style, and ability to handle challenges.
  3. Ask situational questions: These questions present hypothetical scenarios that test a candidate's critical thinking abilities, decision-making skills, and adaptability.
  4. Don't overload on technical questions: While it's essential to assess a candidate's technical knowledge, don't overload them with too many technical questions. Remember to balance these with behavioral and situational questions to get a well-rounded view of the candidate.

Two-Way Video Interview Questions

A two-way video interview is a live, face-to-face conversation between the candidate and the interviewer conducted via a video platform like Zoom or Teams. In these assessments, the interviewer has the opportunity to use communication skills like active listening to dig deeper into the candidate's responses and engage in a more in-depth discussion of their qualifications.

Some tips for crafting effective two-way video interview questions include:

  1. Start with an ice-breaker: Begin the interview with a few warm-up questions to help put the candidate at ease and establish rapport. A great place to start is their alma mater.
  2. Dive into job-specific questions: Use this format to get more in-depth responses from the candidate. Ask about specific examples from their previous experiences that highlight their qualifications for the role.
  3. Allow time for follow-up questions: Unlike one-way interviews, two-way interviews allow for real-time conversation and the opportunity to ask follow-up questions based on the candidate's initial response.
  4. Use behavioral-based and situational questions: Just like in a one-way interview, it's important to ask questions that test the candidate's critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and how they handle team dynamics.

Overall the anatomy of effective video interview responses should boil down to the candidate's brevity, clarity, and ability to highlight their qualifications in a virtual setting. Discover how well-crafted interview questions can enhance candidate responses with our personal interview guide creator. Click this link and paste your job description into the text window. In a few minutes, we'll email you a comprehensive guide with structured interview questions for your next interview. You can also try out our interview intelligence software which includes a library of interview questions baked in to make your interview prep a cinch!

Sector-Specific Video Interview Questions

If you look at leading retailers like Best Buy and Target. In that case, sector-specific video interview questions are used to evaluate a candidate's ability to adapt to ever-changing customer requests, handle customer service challenges, and assess the sales skills of the candidate. These behemoths view their stores as a dynamic retail environment and want to ensure their employees have what it takes to thrive in a fast-paced retail setting.

Both companies choose to use video interviews for efficiency, adapting pre-recorded video interview questions and answers as well as one-way video interview questions to streamline the early stages of their hiring process.

For a position at Best Buy, candidates might face sector-specific video interview questions that engage them on the topics of home electronics, appliances, computers, car audio, photography, and gaming. For example, candidates might be asked to walk through how they would approach a customer who is having trouble with their new computer or how they would handle an angry customer looking to return a faulty product.

At Target, pre-recorded video interview questions and answers could include scenarios like, "Describe a situation where you were dealing with an irate customer and you were able to de-escalate the situation." Or "Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond to provide excellent customer service".

Questions like these are great one-way interview questions as they can easily be responded to in video form. A great question for this setting could be: "Imagine a customer is dissatisfied with a product that is no longer returnable. How would you handle the situation?" This type of question allows a retailer to evaluate problem-solving skills and diplomacy, which are key to creating a great shopping experience.

Even more than the questions themselves, understand what you need to obtain from a candidate's response to know if they're a good fit. This is where interview intelligence software can help you uncover interview insights that human eyes often miss. Using the power of AI, Pillar can assess a candidate's skills for a match to your job requirements and provide you with data to make better hiring decisions.

Insights Into Tech Industry Video Interviews

Let's transition the conversation from retail, which is generally customer-facing and requires the assessment of a candidate's soft skills to software which has aspects that are far more technically complex and require the assessment of a candidate's hard skills.

The tech industry was an early adopter of video interviews and has continued to evolve the format, integrating value-added technologies like applicant tracking systems, digital sourcing software, and interview intelligence over the last decade. As the space grew, so did the need for qualified applicants - and video interviews allowed the development of efficient assessment of large pools of highly skilled candidates.

Insights into tech industry video interviews reveal that they're run very differently than many other industries- preferring to place a heavy emphasis on culture fit first, and technical skills second. At IBM, one of the global leaders in AI and hardware, video interviews play a pivotal role in the hiring process - allowing for flexibility and a more careful selection of candidates that are aligned with their culture.

The team at IBM often use video interviews to seek a deeper understanding of the candidate's technical skills but also how those skills can be applied to solve real-world problems. IBM's specific approach often involves sample video interview questions and answers that test a candidate's problem-solving abilities, coding skills, and understanding of software development principles. For example, the team could present a coding challenge to a candidate that requires them to design a solution to a complex technical problem. Using pre-recorded video interviews, they could watch as the candidate solves the problem and learn about their thought process and problem-solving approach.

Sample Video Interview Questions and Answers

Candidates looking for diverse roles in tech will be faced with fascinating questions. I've heard that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as well as Elon Musk, Larry Ellison, and the Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page all have a favorite interview question they like to ask. They use this question to assess one vital aspect of a candidate's critical thinking to see if they're a fit for the team.

Your questions should be the same way. Ask yourself, "What's the one key metric they must hit to be considered a success in this role?" and use that as the foundation for your interview questions. Here are some examples to get you started across various departments:

  • Marketing: "Can you describe a campaign you executed that didn't meet its objectives? What did you learn from that experience, and how did it shape your future marketing strategies?"
  • Sales: "How do you approach creating a sales strategy for a new market or product that the company is targeting?"
  • Product: "Explain a situation where you had to make a critical decision about a product's direction without all the necessary data. How did you proceed, and what was the outcome?"
  • Software Engineering: "Describe a challenging software development problem you encountered in the past. How did you solve it, and what was the impact of your solution on the project?"
  • Project Management: "How do you handle a situation where key stakeholders have conflicting requirements for a project?"

These questions should help you make better hiring decisions and in turn, a winning team. If you'd like to see more, book a demo of Pillar today. We'd love to show you how interview intelligence can greatly impact the quality of your hiring.