Video interview tips. Man talking to laptop.

Video Interview Skills

Welcome to our Video Interview Skills page. You may be feeling concerned in advance of completing your first video interview. The content below make very useful video interview tips.

Top tips for video interview prep

  • Firstly, remember that many of the good practices you’re familiar with for face-to-face interviews will still apply. In particular, you will need to dress smart and to appear well-groomed. Also, ensure that you maintain eye contact as much as possible with the camera.
  • Secondly, answer the video interview questions as concisely as possible. Make the most efficient use of the time available for each question. There will be a countdown timer, so use it as your guide!
  • Finally, show some consideration for your video interviewing company. If it is a reputable, research-driven video interviewing company (such as HireVue) there will be software analysing your changes in facial expression and body language. Plus, content analysis software to analyse your interview answers.

– – – Online Video Interview Tips – – –

Before conducting your video interview, remember to…

  • Keep your camera steady
  • Have your head and shoulders positioned square on to your camera
  • Rest your camera on a flat surface
  • Ensure that the room where you are conducting the interview is well-lit.

STEM Graduate Video Interviews

Video interviewing on demand is gaining traction across industries as a better way to identify top talent. In this article, we’ll cover how to leverage video for the best talent, faster. Interviewing with an on-demand video is different than interviewing one-on-one. Since it happens earlier in the hiring process, tips and tricks associated with good interviewing are generally not applicable.

Video interview tips

When considering what questions to ask candidates in an on-demand video interview, you need to establish what you want to learn from each candidate’s answers. Here at HireVue, we’ve identified five metrics you should consider when creating your on-demand video interview:

1. Personality

Personality is critical for customer-facing roles. In the age of social media, a single bad experience with a disgruntled employee can result in long-term customer loss. The organization that provides an engaging customer experience with a highly personable workforce holds a great advantage over its competitors. But personality is not only important for customer service positions, as is becoming evident with research on “cultural fit“. Employees that “mesh” well with their organizations are:

  • More satisfied with their job.
  • Less likely to quit.
  • More committed to the organization.
  • Higher performing.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to add to your company culture (rather than create an echo chamber) and leverage the advantages a diverse workforce brings, gauging each candidate’s cultural identity from the get-go is vital. Either way, gaining insight on each candidate’s disposition as early as possible is critical for finding the applicants most likely to succeed in your organization.

2. Communication Ability

The ability to communicate is consistently rated as the most valued “soft skill.” Employees who are able to effectively organize their thoughts and succinctly present them will be valuable in any role. Identifying the best communicators with on-demand video interviewing allows you to fast-track them through the hiring process before your competitors know what they’re missing. Many organizations are also starting to tackle the issue of data “siloing,” a problem that arises when departments do not share data with one another and are unable to make comprehensive decisions as a result. New hires without pre-existing departmental bias and stellar communication skills will play a huge role in dismantling these data silos.

3. Thinking on the Fly

Crisis happens; they are an unfortunate fact of life. Filling your talent pipeline with candidates who are able to quickly react to these situations as they occur will do wonders for the long-term health of your organization. At the end of the day, organizations need problem solvers.

HireVue Video interview tips

4. Interest in the Position

It should come as no surprise that applicants with only a passing interest in the position probably won’t be the best performers. Applicants who do their research, digging into the responsibilities of the role and where it fits in the structure of your organization are far more likely to produce results. Gauging interest is also beneficial when it comes to ranking applicants for pursuit. Candidates who are already employed and are only passively looking for work should be prioritized below those who are actively searching (and will be off the market quickly).

5. Passion for the Industry

An employee who is passionate in their work is almost always preferable to one who is not. Like the other metrics on this list, industry passion is not something that can be learned from a resume but is critical when predicting a candidate’s long-term performance.

Evaluate these metrics with strong questions

Since there is no interviewer to ask follow up questions, each question must be strong enough to stand on its own. When putting together your on-demand video interview, consider these questions to measure the metrics that matter.

1. Off the Wall Questions

Mercedes Benz’ internship ranks among Vault’s Top 25 Most Prestigious. So when they continue to ask their internship candidates questions like: “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” you know they must be onto something. Entirely unexpected questions like these are great gaugers of personality and the ability to think on the fly. If an interviewee relishes the opportunity to examine the intricacies of the ostrich, chances are you’re watching a candidate who would thrive in a customer-facing role. But if the interviewee shows palpable disdain for the experience, how well do you think they would handle incidents in the workplace? Unexpected questions like those used by Mercedes Benz offer another unexpected upside: they provide much-needed breaks in the monotony of candidate screening.

HireVue Video interview tips

2. Applied Reasoning (scenario-driven) Questions.

Questions that present a candidate with a given scenario and ask how they would respond are incredibly useful for measuring their ability to communicate and think on the fly. During on-demand interviews, HireVue provides each candidate with thirty seconds to prepare their response. Interviewees who put together comprehensive solutions in those thirty seconds and communicate them in a way that makes sense are going to be your star achievers. When asking questions like these, many organizations use video to present each scenario. Providing a visual element to these questions makes each scenario seem more realistic, and helps more visual learners align their thoughts.

3. What does our company do? Or: What does this position do?

If a candidate chuckles when they see this question, it means they’ve probably done their research – and are very interested in the position. On the other hand, if a candidate starts to sweat (or blows it off entirely), you’ve caught an applicant with an only passive interest in the opportunity. To the prepared, passionate candidate, this question is a walk in the park. They will relish the opportunity to show off their experience in the industry or depth of research in your organization. The unprepared, aloof candidate won’t fare so well.

4. Why do you want this position?

This question is a passion-magnet. The easy answer is something along the lines of: “I have a great deal of experience in similar roles.” And while this answer is not bad, it probably doesn’t tell you anything new: chances are you have their resume. A passionate candidate will not only use this question as an opportunity to explain past experience, they will also explain what drove them to the industry (or why they’ve stayed).

HireVue video interview tips

Putting it all together

Let’s be frank: passion, personality, and interest can’t be wholly ascertained by the content of an applicant’s answer. But that’s what makes video interviewing so great – there’s so much more to work with. Emotion, intonation, smiles: you can’t see these on a resume, cover letter, or text-based response. The content of an applicant’s answer is a fraction of the insight gained from a video interview. It’s the recruiter’s job to take all the additional, non-textual cues and identify the most passionate and personable. None of this is to say that passion, personality, and communication ability should be given greater weight than years of related work experience. Sometimes the best candidate isn’t the most personable or intellectual. But more often than not, they are – and the ability to gauge the above metrics is a powerful advantage that the video interviewer should not ignore.

Competency-based interviews are the basis of most graduate interviews, hence the need to read our graduate interview tips.

Interviews that are structured around a set of competencies have been shown to be considerably more reliable and predictive of future work performance than the traditionally “unstructured” interview format. In fact competency-based interviews (CBI) have become such an established part of recruitment processes that it is not unusual to encounter candidates who have learnt their best competency examples by heart!

HireVue Video interview tips

Interviewing Introduction

A well-conducted interview should form the basis of every selection process, but it does have limitations because no matter how skilled the interview process is, it can still only collect self-reported information from the candidate.

Thus, the most effective way of predicting job performance is to use a mix of assessments. In addition to a graduate interview.

Matching assessment exercises to the role and level

Graduate level roles typically involve several online aptitude tests and a personality profile.

Managerial roles require a range of assessment exercises and psychometric tools. These are complex roles requiring a broad range of skills, knowledge and abilities involved. It is fairer and more professional for a company to use this multi-assessment approach.

Graduate Assessment Options

  • Graduate interviews at Assessment Centres
    • Group Exercise
    • In-tray Exercise
    • Fact Find Exercise
    • Role Play design / Interactive Exercise
  • Graduate Interviews and Graduates Interview Guides
  • Development Centre design and development exercise

Graduate Interview tips

A well conducted interview should form the basis of every selection process, but it does have limitations because no matter how skilled the interview process is, it can still only collect self-reported information from the candidate, for example:

The panel might ask a candidate to give examples of problems they have tackled and explore their knowledge of problem solving techniques, but an assessment exercise which allows the candidate to demonstrate this ability in practice is likely to be more informative.

HireVue Video interview tips

Safer and Fairer

Additional methods of assessment can, therefore:

  1. improve the quality and quantity of information on which to base the selection decision
  2. allow candidates to demonstrate how they meet requirements, rather than relying on self-report and performance at interview.

No perfect method of assessment exists, but the most effective way of predicting job performance is to use a mix of assessment methods and look at the results in an integrated way to build up a picture of the candidate. At the simplest level, this may involve no more than looking at examples of candidate’s past work (e.g. for a post which requires experience in producing clear and concise Committee reports, or information leaflets, publicity materials or instruction manuals). At its most complex and sophisticated it might be a full Assessment Centre using a range of tests and exercises for Senior Management positions.

Graduate Panel Interviews

Panels need to decide if it is appropriate to use additional assessment techniques beyond the interview. Think about the job level, the pool of candidates you need to attract and the criteria you need to assess against. For many jobs, the interview alone will be the most appropriate approach.

  • For many basic level operative and clerical jobs, particularly where there is a constant need to recruit, the best method is to use the Fast Track to Interview approach, where all interested job seekers are automatically invited to interview, helped if necessary to complete a simplified application form and interviewed against the person specification without delay as the only method of assessment.
  • Recruitment initiatives targeting jobs to unemployed residents should not use methods of assessment beyond the interview, unless this is strictly essential. The interview should be conducted in as informal and encouraging way as possible.
  • It is not appropriate to use a battery of assessment techniques for jobs requiring basic level skills. Rather than enhance the outcome, this is more likely to put potential applicants off.
  • Never use assessment tools for their own sake. Selection decisions will only be enhanced if the assessment tool is really needed to get at information that cannot be obtained otherwise.

HireVue Video interview tips

Getting the Basics Right

Quality Standards and Preparatory Steps

In all cases ensure that:

Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

  • The choice and construction of each assessment method flows from the requirements of the job;
  • The Job description and Person Specification have been reviewed and are up-to-date
  • Tasks in assessment exercises compare with tasks found in the job;
  • Tests and exercises assess requirements for the job, at the right level to do the job
  • When using a newly devised test or exercise, wherever possible pilot it with a group of existing employees in the area of work.
  • Always offer feedback on test and exercise results.

Never just reuse tests or exercises without reviewing their effectiveness in the past.

Our Other Application and Interview Tips

Our interview Tips for Tech Jobs / Video interview tips  / Learning Styles Quiz.

HireVue Video interview tips – Graduate interview tips