The 10 Best Video Interviewing Questions

December 17th, 2016 by lewis

best video interview questions

By Alan Magelssen and Lewis Lin

Recorded video interviews are becoming more popular, primarily because video interviews are:

  1. More effective in saving time for both for candidates and interviewers
  2. More convenient for candidates and interviewers, especially since responses can be recorded anywhere, anytime
  3. Easier to share and get a second opinion with co-workers

The big challenge with recorded video interviews is that it’s a one-way broadcast. In other words, unlike a face-to-face interview, you can’t ask clarifying questions.

Given this difference, it’s important to ask the right questions that can reveal who the candidate is and what the candidate can offer, without the need for clarifying questions.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most effective video interview questions. Try these with your favorite video interview platform, and you’ll be glad that you didn’t settle for just a resume in your applicant process.

1. Why should we hire you?

This is one of the best video interview questions because it asks the interviewee to describe what sets them apart from all the others. This question also gives the organization a clear picture of what the candidate feels their strongest qualities are in relation to this position.

Whether you choose to ask this question up front or save it for later, we recommend using it in every interview. It can be a great question to start with when you are sharing recorded candidate responses within your team.

2. From everything you’ve learned about our organization, tell me how you feel you’d make a contribution?

This is a great question because it immediately lets your team know three things:

  1. Has this person done their homework?
  2. Does he or she seem enthusiastic about the role?
  3. Is he or she ready to make an impact on day one?

The best candidates will shine in all three aspects of this question, giving you a good idea of who to focus on for the job.

3. If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Prompting the candidate to describe some of their good or bad past decisions can be a great way to gauge their thought process when it comes to career decisions. Does this person have the commitment and/or experience necessary to thrive in this position? How has his or her attitude changed with experience?

4. When I contact your last supervisor and ask which areas are your greatest strength, what will they say?

Getting to know your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of the evaluation process. This is an effective method for getting to know your candidate’s strengths by having them explain their previous experience from the point of view of a coworker or boss.

Double checking with the candidate’s references is always a great idea for those that make it to the next round.

5. When I contact your last supervisor and ask which areas of work need the most improvement, what will they tell me?

Similar to the last question, this is an excellent question because it will provide an honest assessment of the candidate’s weaknesses. As with the last question, you can always check the candidate’s references for more detail.

6. Tell me about what motivates you?

Simple and straightforward, this is one of our top ten questions to ask because it gets to what is beyond the resume and lets the candidate share that with you directly.

7. What was the last thing you learned from working with others?

If you are looking for someone can work well with your team, ask them what they have learned from others in their career. This question not only gives you an idea of their teamwork abilities, but also can also lead to illuminating insights into their personality.

8. Tell me about the toughest negotiation you’ve ever been in?

Most positions will involve negotiation whether it’s with customers, co-workers, and yes, the boss. This question is important to see how the candidate weighed a particular decision, how the candidate assessed the outcomes of that decision, and whether or not the candidate was successful in negotiating an agreement.

9. Describe a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker, how did the issue get resolved?

Asking this question is important to see how candidates deal with conflict-resolution in the workplace. Not only is the fit to team culture important, but also how all your candidates deal with problems when they arise.

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Finally, what long term goals is your candidate focused on? Does the candidate have a plan for the next few years? This is important because it can tell your team whether your candidate’s goals are aligned with what he or she will be asked to do in the new position.

Photo credit: Dion Hinchcliffe

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