Part 2: The complete guide to video interviewing

Video interviews, by some estimates, can save an organisation 30% of their travel budget. (Image:

Video interviewing has the potential to shorten time to hire while providing a great candidate experience, but only when used strategically.

By one estimate, a recruiter can complete 10 one-way video interviews “in the same amount of time it takes to conduct one phone interview.”

However, timing is key; video interviews are best used at the beginning of the process. The reasons are twofold.

Firstly, video interviews allow a recruiter to broaden their pool of potential candidates. Video interviews make it possible for a hiring manager to get to know a candidate regardless of their geographic location or financial resources.

Some qualified candidates may be disqualified altogether from participating in the interview process due to travel and time costs.

It’s one great way to remove bias from recruitment, as hiring managers are able to reach candidates of different backgrounds, cultures, and economic circumstances.

Video interviews, by some estimates, can save an organisation 30% of their travel budget. Overall, video interviews should be used early on to screen candidates in, rather than exclude quality applicants.

Secondly, video interviews used early on can help recruiters manage the process more efficiently. More than 50% of recruiters report that lengthy hiring practices hold back managers from filling positions.

A traditional interview process takes an average of 23 days per candidate, and a lot of the time, the new hire still isn’t the right fit.

Video interviews not only allow hiring managers to screen more people at the beginning of the recruitment funnel, but also to save face-to-face interviews for the best candidates.

Employers can save valuable time and resources by only bringing in top candidates. Alternately, some companies do away with in-person interviews altogether.

The key takeaway? Add a video interview step early in the process, either as part of a skill test or to replace the phone screen.

This can dramatically impact the quality of your candidates and cut down on some key KPIs recruiters seek to improve within the hiring funnel.

Video interviewing tips

There are many things a recruiter can learn about a candidate in the video interview stage.

Some recruiters use the video interview as a way to simulate a real-life work experience, similar to a skills test. Others use it to replace the phone screen and get to know the candidate more personally.

Here are some ideas for using your video interview most effectively.

Sample questions and answers

The best questions are direct and specific. Whether you’re asking questions in-person via video link or providing a time limit in a pre-recorded interview, you want the candidate to stay on topic as much as possible.

Sample video interviewing questions:

• What are your career goals?

• Tell me about a recent project you worked on.

• Why are you interested in this role?

• What is your ideal work environment?

• What are your strengths?

• What do you know about our company?

These questions are just examples of ways to assess a combination of soft skills and a candidate’s preparedness.

Pre-recorded videos can also be used to simulate certain work scenarios. For example, call centres use video interviews to hear a candidate’s “phone personality” and how they would handle certain customer scenarios.

Focus on metrics that will predict on-the-job success, rather than broad, general questions.

Video interview considerations

Video interviews aren’t going to put every candidate in their best light. Many people are able to feed off in-person cues in a face-to-face interview that they won’t necessarily receive through a video chat. Recruiters should account for the distance when evaluating a video interview.

One hiring manager at FitSmallBusiness warns that recruiters should not be “quick to interpret fast talking or a lack of eye contact to mean a candidate is not qualified. Many people are not comfortable having a camera looking at them, so you need to compensate for nerves when evaluating the candidate’s behaviour on video.”

Nerves are just one mistake recruiters should overlook. Technological difficulties are another.

Some candidates may have trouble navigating your video platform or establishing a stable enough internet connection. Be forgiving at first; some technological challenges are beyond our control. Help a candidate put their best foot forward by preparing them ahead of time.

Keep a lookout for Part 3 of this article that will explore how to prepare candidates for video interviewing, how to record responses and how to integrate video interviews with skill tests.

This article first appeared in At Vervoe, our mission is to fundamentally transform the hiring process from mediocracy to meritocracy.