The Complete Video Interview Guide for Recruiters

Recruiter working computer to improve his video interviewing process

Being adept at video interviews can determine a recruiter’s success when the competition for top talent is intense. As remote work becomes more prevalent, video interviews have become a staple in the hiring process across most industries worldwide, offering unmatched convenience and flexibility to talent teams big and small.

By implementing top video interviewing tips into your end-to-end recruitment process, you can effectively assess candidates’ qualifications, skills, and cultural fit, ultimately leading to more successful and satisfied hires. As an added benefit, a well-executed video interview process reflects positively on your company’s brand and values, enhancing its reputation as a top employer.

That’s why investing time and effort into mastering video interview techniques is not just beneficial—it’s essential for staying ahead in today’s dynamic recruitment landscape.

This video interview guide for recruiters gives you the tools to navigate the digital landscape effectively. From choosing the right type of video interview to ensuring a smooth technical setup and crafting engaging interview questions, each tip is a cornerstone in securing the best candidates.

Here’s a look at the best video interviewing tips and how to prepare for a video interview:

Table of contents

Video Interview Guide for Recruiters

Key Takeaways

  • Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the video interview platform or software you’ll be using. Being comfortable with all of the available features enhances professionalism and minimizes technical disruptions.
  • Create a welcoming and professional experience. Personalize the interview process by sending detailed instructions to candidates and incorporating organizational branding where possible to enhance engagement.
  • Prioritize building rapport with candidates. Use introductory small talk to ease nerves and demonstrate genuine interest. Actively listen during the interview and provide clear, timely feedback to ensure candidates feel valued and informed throughout the process.

What is a video interview?

Video interviews have become increasingly popular in recruiting, offering convenience and efficiency for both candidates and recruiters. As a recruiter, it’s essential to understand the two primary types of video interviews: one-way video interviews and live video interviews.

In a one-way video interview, candidates respond to pre-recorded questions at their convenience. They typically have a set amount of time to record and submit their responses, which are later reviewed by the recruiter. This format provides flexibility for candidates and allows recruiters to evaluate responses at their convenience, making it efficient for initial screenings.

On the other hand, live video interviews occur in real time, where recruiters and candidates interact synchronously over a conferencing platform or video interview software. This format simulates a traditional interview setting but takes place virtually, enabling recruiters to assess candidates’ communication skills, professionalism, and cultural fit in real time. 

Both types of video interviews leverage technology to streamline the hiring process, offering convenience, flexibility, and efficiency for recruiters and candidates alike.

How do video interviews work?

Whether live or one-way, video interviews can save time and give recruiters a complete picture of the candidate’s communication and presentation skills. To get you started, here are a few tips for video interviews:

One-Way Video Interviews

One-way video interviews, or asynchronous video interviews, involve reviewing pre-recorded responses from candidates to a set of predetermined questions. Here’s how they typically work:

  • Preparation: Recruiters provide candidates with a set of questions, often related to job-specific skills, experiences, and behavioral traits. Candidates have a deadline to record and submit their responses.
  • Recording: Candidates record their video responses using a designated platform or software. Each question has a specific time limit, usually one to three minutes. Depending on the platform and recruiter’s preferences, the questions may also include think time or the ability to review and re-record responses. Candidates can record their responses at their convenience, eliminating scheduling conflicts.
  • Review: Recruiters or hiring managers can review the recorded responses at their convenience. They can watch the videos multiple times to assess candidates’ communication skills, professionalism, and suitability for the role.
  • Evaluation: Based on the recorded responses, recruiters evaluate candidates’ qualifications and determine which ones to move forward in the hiring process. They may also share the videos with other team members for collaborative decision-making.

One-way video interviews offer flexibility, streamline the screening process, and allow recruiters to assess candidates’ communication skills more effectively.

Live Video Interviews

Live video interviews, also known as synchronous video interviews, involve real-time communication between recruiters and candidates via video conferencing. Here’s how they typically work:

  • Scheduling: Recruiters coordinate with candidates to schedule a specific date and time for the live video interview. They send invitations with meeting details and instructions for accessing the video conferencing platform.
  • Connection: At the scheduled time, both parties log in to the video conferencing or video interview platform and join the virtual meeting room. Recruiters greet candidates, introduce themselves, and provide an overview of the interview format.
  • Interview: Recruiters ask candidates a series of questions similar to a traditional face-to-face interview. Candidates respond in real time, sharing their experiences, skills, and suitability for the role. Recruiters may also ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into specific topics.
  • Evaluation: Recruiters assess candidates’ responses, communication skills, professionalism, and overall fit during the live video interview. They may take notes or use evaluation criteria to compare candidates and make informed hiring decisions. Recorded live video interviews may be reviewed again or shared with peers for collaborative hiring.

Live video interviews enable recruiters to interact with candidates in real time, assess their interpersonal skills, and gauge their ability to think on their feet. Compared to one-way video interviews, they also offer a more personal touch.

Table: Comparison of Live and Pre-Recorded Video Interviews

FactorLive Video InterviewPre-Recorded Video Interview
InteractionReal-time conversationNo real-time interaction
SchedulingRequires coordinationMore flexible for candidates
PreparationTest tech setup, environment checkSimilar preparation, record anytime
AssessmentImmediate feedback possibleReview at the recruiter’s convenience

Both one-way and live video interviews have their advantages and are valuable tools in the recruitment process. Recruiters can choose the most suitable format based on their hiring needs, preferences, and resources.

For both types of video interviews, recruiters should:

  • Select an appropriate video platform
  • Verify their equipment is working
  • Test the internet connection to avoid disruptions
  • Clearly explain the process to candidates
  • Provide instructions on dress code and interview etiquette
  • Involve other team members as needed

Top one-way video interview tips for recruiters

One-way video interview techniques for recruiters involve critical candidate experience elements such as setting realistic deadlines for interview submissions, asking an appropriate number of questions, and offering timely and thoughtful feedback. These strategies are pivotal to video interview preparation and setting candidates up for success. They facilitate a comprehensive assessment process while ensuring a smooth and efficient interview experience.

Choose the right type of one-way video interview questions

Recruiters conducting one-way video interviews can optimize the process by following several best practices. It’s essential to select the right types of questions. Open-ended inquiries are crucial to eliciting detailed responses and steering clear of simple yes/no answers. 

Focus on behavioral questions that reveal a candidate’s potential future actions in the workplace or past experiences. Encourage candidates to draw from their previous roles, providing concrete examples to support their answers.

Questions should be relevant to the roles, responsibilities, and requirements of the role and structured so that all candidates interviewing for the same position are asked the same questions for fairness and accuracy in the evaluation process.

Ask the appropriate amount of questions

Striking a balance regarding the number of questions is crucial. Typically, 4-7 questions suffice for this stage of the hiring process, allowing for thorough candidate screening without unnecessarily prolonging the video interview. This highlights the significance of posing relevant questions that provide valuable insights, showing consideration for both the recruiter’s and the candidate’s time.

Be conscious of one-way video interview question settings

Consideration should also be given to question settings. While candidates can be given unlimited time to ponder their responses and attempts to record, imposing some constraints can introduce spontaneity. However, unless necessary, opt for settings that afford candidates flexibility, ensuring they feel at ease and can present themselves in the best possible light. 

For example, offering think time, or time to consider a response before the timer begins to respond to a question, allows candidates to provide thoughtful responses that represent their most accurate knowledge or experience.

Set reasonable deadlines

Establishing realistic deadlines is crucial. Balancing urgency with flexibility, provide candidates with 5-7 days to complete their one-way video interviews, accommodating various circumstances such as weekends and unforeseen events.

Proactively communicate with your candidates

Proactive communication is key to guiding candidates through the process. Clearly outline the role of the video interview within the hiring process, its components, deadline, and rationale behind its use. Additionally, offer guidance on seeking assistance if needed, fostering transparency and clarity.

Video messaging is a great way to share instructions for submitting one-way video interviews with a branded touch. This channel for delivering important pre-interview information or feedback helps demonstrate your company culture and build relationships throughout the hiring process.

Make the candidate experience engaging

To enhance the candidate experience, infuse authenticity with video throughout the hiring process. Incorporate organizational branding videos on your career page and social media for a polished touch. Consider having recruiters or hiring managers record introductory and closing videos with one-way video interviews to personalize the experience.

Involving team members to pose questions on video fosters engagement and prevents the interview from feeling one-sided, creating a more dynamic and immersive experience for candidates.

Ensure alignment with hiring managers

Recruiters engaging in one-way video interviews must prioritize collaboration with hiring managers to ensure a smooth process. Establishing alignment on responsibilities within the interview process and their integration into the broader hiring procedure is crucial. This involves defining the responsibilities for each one-way video interview process stage and explaining its integration into the broader hiring process.

Additionally, consensus on the selection of interview questions is essential to ensure that all stakeholders gain the necessary insights into candidates’ suitability for the role. Setting clear timelines for reviewing one-way video interviews is essential for maintaining momentum and expediting the hiring process. Buy-in from all stakeholders in the decision-making process ensures no bottlenecks delay the process.

By fostering alignment with hiring managers, recruiters can enhance efficiency and effectiveness throughout the one-way video interview process, ultimately facilitating informed hiring decisions.

Top live video interview tips for recruiters

Mastering live video interview techniques includes a range of considerations, from selecting the optimal video interview platform or software to crafting insightful questions and enhancing the candidate experience. These tips for video interviews ensure recruiters can assess candidates thoroughly and provide a seamless interview process:

Automate the scheduling process

Automating the scheduling process can significantly reduce administrative burden and enhance candidate experience. Utilizing interview scheduling tools allows candidates to book interview slots based on recruiter availability, minimizing back-and-forth communication. Moreover, these tools should seamlessly send video interview invitations to candidates, ensuring a smooth and efficient scheduling process.

Come up with structured interview questions

It’s essential to establish structured interview questions. This promotes consistency and fairness in the candidate experience and facilitates easier evaluation as all candidates respond to the same set of questions. Ensuring alignment between the interview questions and the role requirements is crucial for extracting relevant insights from candidates. 

Moreover, a well-structured interview boosts professionalism and coherence during the process, shaping a positive candidate perception. Following best practices helps recruiters optimize live video interviews, assess candidates effectively, and uphold professionalism.

Familiarize yourself with the technology

Recruiters should ensure they are well-versed in the video interview platform’s functionalities. This involves knowing how to utilize functions such as screen sharing and session recording. Recruiters should also know how to quickly mute themselves or the interviewee in case of unexpected background noise.

If feasible, arrange a practice interview with a co-worker to experiment with these functions. Having a good command of the platform demonstrates professionalism and helps handle technical issues swiftly.

Test equipment and internet

Before any interview, checking that all technical equipment is in working order is crucial. This encompasses sound quality, video clarity, and internet connection stability. Recruiters might perform a speed test to confirm the reliability of their internet connection.

Functioning equipment ensures a smooth interview process without disruptive lags or drops in connectivity. A recruiter, for instance, should use a headset with a microphone to enhance audio clarity during the interview.

Prepare your interview environment

The environment in which the recruiter conducts the interview should be professional and free of distractions. This might involve using a neutral background and ensuring a quiet space.

A well-prepared setting prevents unnecessary interruptions and keeps the focus on the candidate. If a recruiter works from home, they should conduct interviews from a dedicated workspace, away from household noises.

Communicate clear instructions to candidates

Candidates should receive clear instructions on how the virtual interview process will work, including timelines and the platform used. Recruiters could send a prep email detailing these aspects and what to expect during the interview.

Providing detailed instructions helps candidates prepare adequately and reduces anxiety. For example, they can inform candidates about the interview’s estimated duration and the questions’ format.

Build rapport over video

Despite the lack of physical presence, recruiters should strive to build rapport with candidates, employing positive body language and active listening. Engaging in small talk or a few introductory questions at the beginning can help ease tension.

A warm and approachable demeanor sets a positive tone and encourages open communication. Reflecting on body language, a recruiter might nod or smile affirmatively while the candidate is speaking to demonstrate engagement.

Master the art of remotely assessing candidates

Recruiters must be adept at assessing non-verbal cues and communication skills over video. This includes paying attention to visual cues like eye contact, gesture, and posture and verbal indicators like tone and speech clarity.

Effective video assessment is critical to making accurate judgments about candidates. For example, if a candidate maintains eye contact and speaks confidently, this might suggest strong communication skills.

Maintain professionalism throughout (including after the interview)

Recruiters should uphold professional standards by being punctual, dressed appropriately, and following interview etiquette. Their conduct sets the tone for the interview and reflects the company’s image.

Professionalism reassures candidates about the seriousness of the process. If a recruiter starts the video call on time and is dressed in corporate attire, it demonstrates respect for the interviewee and the selection process. After the interview, recruiters should be prompt in informing candidates about the next steps in their candidacy.

How to conduct a video interview that attracts the right talent

The ability to conduct an effective video interview is vital for any recruiter aiming to attract and identify the best talent.

Certain protocols help ensure a professional and engaging experience in the virtual realm.

Technology preparation:

  • Test equipment: Before the interview, recruiters should verify that their internet connection is stable and that both the webcam and microphone are functional. Aim for high-quality video and audio. Remember, what the candidate sees and hears reflects your company brand and impacts their decision to advance in your hiring process as well.
  • Familiarize with software: They should also be adept at using the chosen video interviewing platform to prevent technical glitches during the interview.

Creating a positive atmosphere:

  • Recruiters should establish a rapport early in the interview. A simple icebreaker can ease a candidate’s nervousness. For example, “Before we dive into the details, tell me about a hobby or interest you’ve picked up recently. How did you get into it?

    This question helps to break the ice by inviting the candidate to share something personal yet noninvasive. It gives them an opportunity to relax and showcase a different aspect of themselves beyond their professional qualifications, but it may reveal valuable details relevant to the interview. 
  • Dress professionally and appropriately for the company culture: As with face-to-face interviews, attire conveys the seriousness of the process. However, you also want to reflect the company culture and not blindside candidates during or after the interview. Choose attire that balances professionalism and appropriately reflects the company culture and formality.

Interview structure:

  • Introduction: Before the interview begins, recruiters should personally introduce themselves and explain the process. A great first step is to create a candidate playbook that provides information about the stages of the hiring process and tips for how to do a video interview. Once in the interview, focusing on authenticity and connecting with the candidate is essential to making a positive impression.
  • Questions: Recruiters should engage the candidate with structured questions that probe their experience, qualifications, and fit for the role. Asking structured questions ensures that each candidate applying for the same position is evaluated fairly and accurately. It also helps streamline collaboration between decision-makers because it’s clear what is being asked and on what scale everyone is rating candidates.

Candidate experience:

  • Recruiters must respect the candidate’s time and keep the interview concise yet thorough. One-way video interviews offer this flexibility early in the selection process, while live video interviews provide accommodations for candidates who cannot interview in person. While candidates appreciate flexibility, they also want to feel a connection with recruiters, so it’s important to use personalization features like video messaging and video introductions and use the time spent in live video interviews in a meaningful way.
  • Provide candidates with a chance to ask questions, ensuring they clearly understand the role and company. Be transparent and share details about the team, company culture, and responsibilities that accurately depict a day in the role. This helps the candidate assess if they feel a strong connection.

Post-interview protocol:

  • Recruiters should offer a timeline for the next steps and express gratitude toward the candidate for their time and participation. This is also the time to provide feedback that can help the candidate improve their interview experience in the next steps or in the future. Offering candidates feedback on what to improve leaves a great impression of your brand but also ensures talent that stays in your pipelines has critical information to keep developing skills and experience.

Essential questions to ask in a video interview

In a video interview, asking the right questions is key to understanding whether candidates match the company culture. Essential questions may include inquiries about the candidate’s relevant experience, specific skills, and accomplishments related to the position. Understanding the candidate’s motivation for applying and long-term career goals can help assess their alignment with the company’s mission and values. 

Additionally, asking situational or behavioral questions allows recruiters to evaluate how candidates approach challenges, collaborate with others, and handle conflict. Inquiring about their familiarity with remote work tools and their ability to adapt to virtual work environments is also pertinent in today’s increasingly digital workplace. By asking thoughtful and targeted questions, recruiters can effectively evaluate candidates and make informed hiring decisions.

Here’s an example list of essential questions you may want to ask in a video interview:

Experience and Skills Interview Questions

  – Can you walk me through your relevant work experience?

  – What specific skills or expertise do you possess that make you a strong candidate for this role?

Motivation and Fit Interview Questions

  – What motivated you to apply for this position?

  – How do you see yourself contributing to our team and company culture?

Problem-Solving and Adaptability Interview Questions

  – Can you provide an example of a challenging project or task you completed?

  – How do you approach problem-solving and handle unexpected challenges?

Collaboration and Communication Interview Questions

  – Describe a time when you had to collaborate with a team to achieve a common goal.

  – How do you ensure effective communication with remote team members or clients?

Remote Work Skills Interview Questions

  – What experience do you have with remote work tools and technologies (e.g., video conferencing, project management software)?

  – How do you maintain productivity and stay organized while working remotely?

Career Goals and Development Interview Questions

  – Where do you see yourself professionally in the next few years?

  – What professional growth and development opportunities are you seeking in your next role?

Cultural Fit Interview Questions

  – How do your values align with our company’s mission and culture?

  – Can you provide an example of a time when you exemplified one of our company values in your work?

Role-Specific Scenarios Interview Questions

  – How would you approach [specific task or challenge relevant to the role]?

  – Can you share a relevant project or achievement from your previous experience demonstrating your capability for this role?

These video interview questions to ask candidates cover a range of essential aspects, from assessing qualifications and skills to evaluating cultural fit and problem-solving abilities, helping recruiters make informed decisions during the hiring process. Of course, it’s also a best practice to document other interview questions to ask based on the role itself.

What is video interview etiquette? 

Video interview etiquette includes guidelines for interviewers and candidates to maintain professionalism, respect, and effective communication during virtual interviews. 

  • Prepare the interview environment with good lighting and minimal distractions 
  • Dress appropriately
  • Test technology beforehand to avoid issues 
  • Maintain eye contact by looking at the camera
  • Practice active listening and clear communication
  • Be punctual and allow uninterrupted answers

Following these video interview practices will lead to success for you and your organization.

Considering the use of video interviews in your hiring process?

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