Video Interview Best Practices

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Video Interview Best Practices

Video interviews have become the norm in our post-COVID world. As the workforce has transitioned to a hybrid or remote model, so has the interview process. There are several benefits to conducting video interviews, including the ability to connect with a larger pool of candidates, the convenience of not having to travel, and the ability to get a feel for a candidate’s personality and communication style.

However, some distinct challenges come along with video interviews. It can be more difficult to establish a rapport with a candidate over the video, and it can be easy to get distracted by your surroundings.

Here are some video interview tips to help you make the most of your time with a candidate:

1. Prepare:

As with any interview, it’s important to do your homework before meeting with a candidate.

Research the role and the company, review the candidate’s resume and application materials, and think about the skills and qualities that you’re looking for in a successful candidate. 

2. Test your equipment:

Make sure that you have a good internet connection and that your webcam and microphone are working properly.

You don’t want to waste time troubleshooting technology issues during the interview.

3. Get familiar with your ATS, interview intelligence, video conferencing, and assessment software.

If you’re using any type of interview software, make sure that you understand how to use, it and how it integrates into the other tools you're using before the interview. This will help the interview flow more smoothly and avoid any technical issues.

4. Find a quiet, well-lit space:

You want to create a professional environment for the interview, so make sure that you find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.

You should also be sure to sit in a well-lit area so that the candidate can see you.

5. Dress the part:

Just because you’re not meeting in person doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress for the occasion.

We've all seen videos on youtube of someone in a dress shirt and "tighty-whiteys," and I think I can say for certain- none of us want to be that person as hilarious as those videos are to watch.

Dressing professionally is considered a video interview best practice will help you to get into the right mindset for the interview and will show the candidate that you take the process seriously.

6. Make sure you’re ready to engage:

When you’re on a video call, it’s important to be present and attentive.

Make sure that you’re not multi-tasking or doing anything that would take away from the conversation.

Also, be sure to look directly into the camera so that the candidate feels like you’re making eye contact.

7. Ask engaging questions:

At Pillar, we prefer a semi-structured question format to keep objectivity in the interview, but that doesn't mean you can't ask deep and engaging questions.

Questions like: "When was the last time you had to fire someone? How did you approach the conversation with them? How did you help them transition into a new role that was a better fit for them? What feedback would they have on how you handled the situation?"

This is a difficult series of questions about a very sensitive topic, but you begin to truly understand someone's motivation when you see their care for another human being.

Pre-Recorded Video Interview Questions

Pre-recorded video interviews are a great way to screen candidates efficiently while still getting a sense of their personality and communication style.

With a pre-recorded video interview, you can send the candidate a list of questions ahead of time and they can record their responses in their own time.

This type of interview is especially helpful if you have candidates who are located in different time zones.

But they also have disadvantages.

The biggest disadvantage of a pre-recorded video interview is that it can feel less personal than a live video interview.

Live video interviews still offer you the opportunity to communicate with someone and see their responses and body language in real-time. This allows you to get feedback, build rapport, and ask deeper follow-up questions.

When you can't ask follow-up questions at the moment, it can be more difficult to assess a candidate's qualifications and fit for the role.

If you’re not careful, pre-recorded video interviews can come across as impersonal or even robotic and candidates can misunderstand the pre-recorded video interview questions.

Which will skew their interview results.

Pre-recorded interview software companies have done a good job of trying to mitigate this effect by giving candidates the option to record their answers in their own time and space.

And by providing more conversational interview questions.

Even with these advances, it’s important to keep in mind that a pre-recorded video interview is not the same as a live video interview, and these dynamics should be accounted for when assessing candidates.

Video Interview Questions and Answers

When we tell people that our software has helped hiring teams lower employee turnover by 50% over the last 12 months, the first question we're asked is, what interview questions are you asking?

As a company, we've seen the best results with semi-structured questions. Our users have a library of questions aligned with the necessary skills required for a role at each level.

These questions can be used as prompts during the interview, with immediate feedback from the interviewer on each response.

Some of our favorite video interview questions and answers are:

-How long have you worked in a remote environment? Do you have any tips or tools to keep focussed?
-What experience do you have in customer service? How would you handle a situation where a customer is unhappy with our product?
-Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you defuse the emotion and help find a resolution?
-Have you ever had a completely overwhelming project? How did you deal with stress?
-Tell me about what you think former teammates would say about you if they knew you'd never hear their responses.

These questions help us to understand how a candidate would react in specific work-related situations, as well as their ability to manage stress and stay focussed.

We've found that this type of interview question allows candidates to show their true colors, rather than simply telling us what they think we want to hear.

Interview questions like these also help to level the playing field for remote candidates, who may not have had the opportunity to interview in person as often as their on-site counterparts.

By removing some of the barriers of traditional interviews, we're able to connect with top talent no matter where they are in the world.

Breaking down the interviewer's line of questioning into 3 or 4 distinct categories can also help you understand candidates dynamically.

1. Behavioral Questions
2. Technical Questions
3. Past Performance
4. Situational/Cultural Questions

Depending on the role you're interviewing for, some categories may be more important than others.

Behavioral questions help you to understand how a candidate has reacted in specific situations in the past and can give you insight into whether they have the skills required for the role.

Technical questions test a candidate's knowledge of the specific tools and technologies required for the job.

Past performance questions assess a candidate's ability to meet deadlines and deliver results.

Situational or cultural questions help you to understand how a candidate would fit into your company's culture and whether they would be a good team player.

No matter what type of questions you're asking, it's important to allow candidates to ask their questions at the end of the interview.

Creating a time for this is invaluable to you and them. How they communicate, through the questions that they ask allows you to see clearly how they understand the role.
A designated time to address questions raised by the candidate also allows them to get clarification on any points they may be unsure about and shows that they're not just a number to you.

Video Interview Examples

The old way of interviewing is dead.

Questions like, "what are your strengths and weaknesses?" have been played out.

With access to a global, diverse workforce, hiring managers and recruiters have to think outside the box to find the best talent.

This is where video interviewing comes in.

Video interviewing allows you to connect with candidates anywhere in the world, at any time and video interview software makes this possible.

With video interview platforms, you can:

- Conduct one-way or two-way video interviews
- Automate the scheduling and reminders process
- Record and store interviews for later review
- Share interview recordings with team members
- Use pre-written or semi-structured questions as prompts.

Video interview examples allow interviewers and candidates to experience many of the benefits of an in-person interview without the drawbacks.

Some of these benefits include:

- Increased convenience and flexibility
- A larger pool of candidates to choose from
- The ability to review interviews multiple times.

And, virtual interview examples are just as predictive of job performance as in-person interviews, while eliminating travel expenses as you can interview candidates from the comfort of your own office.

So, if you're looking to add a little something extra to your interview process, consider using video interviews.

Pillar's interview intelligence platform allows you to multiply your interview effectiveness with the power of AI. If you're looking for an edge in today's competitive job market, schedule a demo to see how our team can help you create an efficient, equitable hiring process.