Video interview questions every employer needs to know

Vicki Mann

Posted 03/02/2023
by Vicki Mann

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Video interview questions every employer needs to know

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have all become accustomed to working remotely in one way or another. For employers, the recruitment process has completely shifted to adapt to this new normal. A pre-recorded video interview or face-to-face Zoom interview is all too common now; 82% of employers now use virtual interviews, according to one Indeed survey, and 93% plan to continue using virtual interviews in the future. 

And yet, just because video interviews are common these days, it doesn’t mean that all employers are using them effectively. With video and online interviews it’s harder than ever to get a sense of a candidate’s personality, so hiring managers and recruiters need to go the extra mile to ensure the candidate opens up. 

Whether you're struggling to figure out how to get more out of your interviews, or just are looking for some inspiration to breathe new life into your interview process, we’ve put together this list of the crucial video interview questions every employer needs to know. Let’s get hiring! 

The different types of video interviews

Video interviews and online recruitment processes are here to stay – but they don't all have to look the same. A hiring manager can use two main interview styles when conducting an online job interview: live interviews and pre-recorded video interviews.

Live video interview

These are the most familiar types of interviews. This is most similar to a real-time, in-person meeting; only an employer would conduct this over Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime.

In this type of interview, questions are asked in real-time and (virtually) face-to-face. Live online interviews are often preferred by employers and candidates because they provide an opportunity to build rapport and ask follow-up questions about a candidate’s answers.

Pre-recorded video interview

Pre-recorded video interviews are also called one-way or on-demand interviews.

With a pre-recorded video interview, questions and answers don't happen at the same time. You, as the employer, would pre-set questions the interviewer would then answer on their own time. The answers are then sent to the employer for review. 

While this method of interviewing can save time for the interviewer and is especially useful for high-volume recruitment, the downside is that it makes it harder to get to know the candidate. 

Video interview questions to ask & responses to look out for

Once you've decided on a pre-recorded video interview or another style of video interviewing for the specific role you are looking to fill, you will have to be very conscious of the questions you'll ask.

Let's go through a series of the most common video interview questions you should be ready to ask a potential employee in a video interview. Then, we'll take a closer look at some of the answers hiring managers should look out for.

What can you tell me about yourself?

Without meeting a potential hire in person, it can be tricky to determine if they are a personality match for your company. By opening up the floor with such an open-ended question, you can better understand the job seeker's personality, values, and ethics.

Answers to look out for

Some job seekers miss the mark with this question because they are too humble. This is their opportunity to show that they know themselves and their work ethic.

An answer that succinctly summarises interesting facets of their personality while relating it to the job is a good sign. It shows that they pay attention to themselves and understand how to express that about the job.

In general, this question is where you should be keenly aware of their personality quirks to better understand how they could fit into your company culture.

Why are you interested in this job?

This is one of those interview questions geared toward understanding a candidate's motivations. It helps to put all their other answers into perspective by bringing out their real values or revealing their potentially empty promises.

This is also a good opportunity to make sure the candidate isn't all about money – they should be aware of your company culture, at the very least.

Answers to look out for

They should have a genuine interest in the job and understand how their values stack up against the position. They should also understand what their greatest asset is and how they could be of use to your company.

If you could pick your perfect working environment, what would it be?

A question about the working environment is another gauge to determine whether the candidate will fit your company's culture. If, for example, the candidate prefers group work, but the position is remote-only, it might not work for them.

This question also helps you get an idea of the candidate's personality with its open-ended nature.

Answers to look out for

Here, you should be looking out for honesty and self-awareness. Depending on the job type that you are offering, this question will be a great way to gauge whether this person is suitable for the role.

If the position is remote-only and the candidate says they prefer working independently and are very self-motivated, there's a good chance they're a good fit.

What makes you the right hire for this role?

This question will weed out those who have not read the job description. It's an easy way to thin out the herd – you wouldn't want to hire someone unaware of the job they're interviewing for.

Answers to look out for

The candidate should be able to refer to the job description when answering this question. They should also be able to genuinely answer with specific examples and visible passion.

When a candidate knows what they are good at and can express how it relates to the job they are interviewing for, it shows they have a genuine interest and know themselves well. This is always a good sign.

Can you tell me a bit about our company and what we do?

Many people looking for work these days aren't just applying for their dream job; they're applying to whatever jobs they can find.

This means that, sometimes, they might not know about your company, which is a red flag. Asking this question helps you to know that they are serious about the role and understand what it is they are applying for.

Answers to look out for

This answer has to be specific. It should reference a specific product or service that your company offers, and the person should be able to summarise what your company does.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Employers are often looking for employees who hold themselves accountable and have relevant skills that could benefit the company. This question serves to understand both of those qualities.

Answers to look out for

The person should be able to articulate relevant strengths that apply specifically to the job they are interviewing for.

Someone aware of their weaknesses – and how to work through them – is better than a person who can't name any.

What are some of your accomplishments that you're most proud of?

Asking about accomplishments helps give you a gauge for what they see as their most valuable assets. This is a great opportunity to see what they can deliver and how they can be a great asset to your company.

Answers to look out for

They should have some real, concrete examples to share when answering this question. For example, the candidate may talk about a time when they helped their team to achieve a specific goal. 

Where do you want to be in five years?

As an employer, you're more than likely looking for career-focused employees. By asking for a long-term plan in a video interview, you can better understand the candidate's intentions with your company.

Answers to look out for

Someone who can clearly lay out their 5-year plan to a hiring manager is a great sign. Even if it doesn't align with what you expect, an employee with forethought is a great quality to keep around.

It's also important to assess whether their goals are realistic to better understand their self-awareness and personality.

In conclusion

Whether you conduct a pre-recorded interview or hold live video interviews, online job interviews are here to stay. However, treating them exactly the same as an in-person interview is a mistake: it’s important to ask effective and open-ended questions such as the examples above in order to get to know the candidates effectively. 

Looking to enhance your remote hiring process? Get in touch with Skillsarena for all of your staff-related needs. We also offer resources for employers who need some extra help and advice. 

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