When it comes to finding the perfect candidate for your company’s open positions, the interview is essential to discovering who has what it takes and who doesn’t. The video interview is no different than an in-person meeting. Just because you’re connecting with a candidate in a video interview, doesn’t mean you should go easy on talented candidates. It’s still important to ask tough interview questions in order to find out if your great-on-paper candidate is as good in reality.
Asking tough interview questions in the video interview allows you to see how candidates react and think on their feet. If you’re connecting in a live video interview, you can see how candidates react in real-time and evaluate nonverbal communication cues.
If you’re connecting in a one-way video interview, you can and should still ask tough interview questions. Because a candidate has more time to prepare and re-record their answers, tough interview questions are needed to weed out the best candidates from the rest.
We all need some interview tips from time to time, so here are 10 tough interview questions you can ask your top candidates in the video interview, whether it’s live or one-way.
Hopefully these interview tips will get you thinking up your own, company-specific questions, so you can find the perfect fitting candidate for your company.
1. Tell me about yourself.
This is one of the most standard interview questions for a reason. A job seeker answering this question can tell you a surprising amount of information about themselves and their goals from the information they self-select to share.
2. Why should we hire you?
Another one of the standard interview questions, this one helps you evaluate a candidate’s confidence and skill match with the position. If, while watching the candidate on video, they seem stumped on how to answer why they’re the absolute best person for the job, maybe it’s because they aren’t
3. What’s your greatest career accomplishment?
Situational interview questions ask for more than the abilities listed on a resume. Situational interview questions ask candidates to use real-life examples from their own experiences to demonstrate value. This gives you a better idea of how their skills work in action.
Asking your candidate for their greatest accomplishment helps you see the candidate at their best. If you find yourself unimpressed, this is a bad sign for their overall job performance.
4. Tell me about a big mistake, how you dealt with it, and what you learned from the experience.
Once again, situational interview questions can tell you a lot about how candidates actually act and react in a real work environment. Asking situational interview questions about accomplishments is definitely important to be able to see candidates at their best. But remember, no person is on their best behavior all the time.
Mistakes happen, so it’s also important to use situational interview questions to evaluate how candidates react when they’ve made a mistake. The mistake, the response, and the lesson learned can tell you a great deal about how the candidate approaches setbacks and how they deal with high-stress situations.
5. Why do you want this job?
Another one of the standard interview questions, the answer to this can help you evaluate career aspirations. Is this just another paycheck to the candidate, or are they really interested in your company and industry? While they answer, look for sincere career passion.
6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is another one of the standard interview questions meant to evaluate career aspirations. You want a candidate who is willing to stick around in your organization since employee turnover is so expensive. But more than that, you want someone who is actually engaged and motivated by your position or industry. If the candidate sees themselves in a whole new industry or company five years later, they’re probably not right for you.
7. What type of work environment do you prefer?
This question is focused on company culture since 46 percent of small business new hires fail within the first 18 months. The reason? In 89 percent of the cases, it was a company culture mismatch. You can always train for skills, but finding someone to fit into your company culture is far more complex. Let the candidate tell you what kind of company culture they would prefer working in, so you can see if their ideal fits your company’s reality.
8. What are your biggest weaknesses?
This is truly a tough question to ask in the interview, but like the situational question about biggest mistakes, it can really tell you how the candidate approaches problems. Look for candidates who don’t give you a rehearsed answer and instead pick a weakness they are addressing and have learned from.
Just like you can train for skills but not for company culture fit, you can’t train an employee to understand and address mistakes. Everyone is human and has weaknesses, it’s what we do to better ourselves that counts.
9. Tell me about a time you went over and above to get a job done.
The answer to this question tells you two important things. First, it’s another chance for the candidate to make a great impression by showing you something really impressive. Second, it tells you what a candidate considers “above and beyond.” If the example isn’t all that impressive, perhaps it’s because the candidate is the kind of employee who punches out at 5 p.m. on the dot and does only what’s required.
10. How do you evaluate success?
While not one of the standard interview questions, this query probably should be. It gives you a good idea of what the candidate is looking for in both their job and career. Are they looking for challenging work, more responsibilities, or just a bigger paycheck? Pay careful attention to how the candidate answers to see what they consider important.
Using some of these questions and interview tips can help you use the video interview to find the very best talent for your company.