Maggie BleharJune 15, 2022
Topics: Recruiter Experience

The 5 Best Questions to Include in a Pre-Recorded Video Interview

“If you were a kitchen gadget, which one would you be?”
“What book are you reading right now?”
“If you could have dinner with any famous figure, who would you choose?”

Whether to assess creativity level, communication style, work ethic, or personality, all interview questions are intentional — no matter how unorthodox or random they seem to be.

Video interviewing has grown exponentially over the past few years, with 79% of companies planning to continue using video as a key part of their hiring process.

To help your teams capture quality candidates — and quickly — we’ve answered a few commonly asked questions about video interviews, and shared the five best questions to include in a pre-recorded video interview.

What is a video interview?

A video interview, simply put, is a job interview that takes place remotely, using video technology to communicate. Many people immediately think of Zoom or Google Meet when they hear the term “video interview,” but it encompasses more than that.

Video interviewing has developed to the point where employers can either schedule a one-way video assessment — where candidates record themselves answering questions from the company and submit their video responses — or a two-way video assessment, where candidates and recruiters are speaking to each other in real time using video interview software.

Video has become a great way for recruiting teams to screen candidates and get to know them better before scheduling an in-person interview. It also drastically speeds up the hiring process, and with quality candidates on the market for an average of only 10 days, recruiters and hiring managers need to automate as much as possible.

It’s a favorite among candidates as well: 94% report it as an enjoyable way to interview, and 83% state that they view employers that use video interviews as more innovative than their peers.

Related: Lights, Camera, Action: How Video is Changing Hiring

How does a pre-recorded video interview work?

A pre-recorded video interview — also known as a one-way video interview or video assessment — is a style of video interviewing that allows candidates to answer questions on their own time.

Recruiters send applicants a set of questions to answer with clear time limits and other criteria outlined in the directions, and those candidates respond through a self-recorded video. The recruiters and hiring managers then score each candidate (often on a scale of 1-5) based on a combination of predetermined criteria like communication style, leadership skills, strengths and weaknesses, and job-specific skill sets.

There are key benefits to a pre-recorded video interview:

  • Less time is spent interviewing one candidate. Since multiple people can review a single video interview, the candidate no longer has to conduct a live interview with the entire hiring team. Recruiters and hiring managers can also submit a score that ranks the candidate into a system that everyone has access to, which helps determine if they move onto the next stage.
  • There is less chance of bias. Each person on a hiring team must review a candidate based on specific criteria and provide a score, which reduces bias by ensuring that one person doesn’t negatively — or positively — influence a candidate’s interview.
  • Employers gain more accurate candidate profiles. Using AI to track candidate interview scores allows intelligent technology to choose better-fit candidates in the future.
  • The process can be automated. AI technology can use the fit score assigned by the TA team to bump the candidate up in the interview process by sending an automated email to schedule an in-person interview or share general next steps.

A pre-recorded video interview also benefits the candidate, as it allows them to record their answers on their own time without having to schedule a day off at their current job or secure childcare to interview with your company.

Related: Fast-forward Candidate Screening with Video Assessments

What are the best questions or prompts TA teams should include in a pre-recorded video interview?

1. Tell us something you didn't include on your resume. This prompt provides companies with a unique view of their candidates and allows applicants to share other skill sets or interests that, though they may not be specific to the job, could be helpful to the team or in their professional development as a future employee.

2. If you could do one thing differently from your past, what would that be? This question requires a candidate to think reflectively and critically about themselves — an important quality to have as an employee. Self-assessment is helpful for employee development, engagement, and retention as well, since employees like this are more likely to be engaged in their future career path, professional development, performance reviews, and goal setting.

3. Talk about your biggest success and failure with [job-related skill]. This question is important for three reasons:

  • It gives you a baseline idea of how the candidate will perform in their role.
  • It gives the candidate time to sell themself on their successes and explain how they deal with failure.
  • If a candidate can’t answer this question in detail during a first interview, they most likely don’t have the necessary skills for the job.

4. At our company, our core values are [insert values]. Which one do you identify with the most and why? This question hits on how potential candidates will fit in with your team, and the company at large. It also provides insight into what candidates find most important in the workplace.

5. Tell us anything else you think would support your application and make you a valuable team member. If there is something a candidate knows that would add value to your team, but it wasn’t asked in any of the previous questions, this is the place for them to share.

What video interview tips should recruiters keep in mind for the future?

  • Offer candidate support. Having 24/7 candidate support via intelligent automation tools like a conversational chatbot is a great way to ensure your applicants feel comfortable when recording and submitting their answers.
  • Provide clear guidelines. Providing candidates with guidelines before they begin their video interview is another way to speed up the process and prevent them from having to redo an interview due to quality or technical issues. Be clear about your requirements for time limit on questions, background and audio setup, body language, etc.
  • Rely on AI. Using AI for fit scoring candidates’ video assessments is a great way to optimize communication between hiring managers and recruiters. It also reduces bias and supports Diversity & Inclusion due to a consistent evaluation process that’s the same across the board for all talent acquisition team members.

Why should TA teams use video interview software in their hiring process?

Not only does video interview software increase time-to-hire, reduce recruiter bias, and optimize hiring team collaboration, it can also benefit your TA teams by:

  • Providing candidates with a memorable and easy interview experience
  • Boosting employer branding
  • Automating feedback, scheduling, and emails through AI and automation

With a 67% increase in the use of video interviews by employers over the past year, it’s important to have a strategy that works for your TA teams and your candidates. Whether utilizing one- or two-way video assessments, ensuring your questions are clear and your scoring process is streamlined allows you to capture quality candidates before they disappear.

Want to dive deeper into maximizing video interviews?
View our “Video Myths and Misconceptions” webinar on demand!

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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