5 top tips to get the most from video interviewing

What exactly is a video interview?

In recent months the subject of video in recruitment has become quite a hot topic amongst recruiters, so what exactly is a video interview?

For the purpose of this article, we’re looking at automated or asynchronous video interviews. This is where a candidate records their answers to questions set by the recruiter, but without the recruiter or hiring manager being there live.

It may sound obvious, but a video interview is very different to an in person interview or telephone screen and as such, to get the most from it recruiters need to think about their approach to the interview process.

1. Open up

The first thing to remember is at the moment, with a video interview you don’t have the ability to ask follow up questions or probe a candidate based on the answer they provide to your first question. We’re working on this so watch this space!

So while in a face to face interview you may ask something like, “Do you have experience of managing a team?” and then depending on the candidate’s response, you can ask a secondary question, you need to phrase your questions slightly differently to elicit a detailed response from a single question.

In this example, you may want to ask something like “Can you tell us about your experience of managing a team, how large was/is the team, how many direct reports do you have, are they all in one location or geographically dispersed for example? Put simply we need to make sure we ask open questions to encourage the candidate to provide a detailed answer.

2. Record your questions

One way to improve the candidate’s interview experience is to record your questions, this way candidates watch a video of you asking them each question. This has two main advantages, firstly it lets the candidate see and hear a “real” person asking them the questions, making the whole process more engaging and less clinical. Secondly, it gives you the ability to go into more detail and explain exactly what it is you’re asking them.

3. Keep it short and sweet

Although you have the opportunity to ask unlimited questions, for a first stage interview I’d recommend keeping the number of questions to between 5-7 or the maximum interview duration to around 10 minutes. A relatively short interview is less likely to put off a candidate and it will make your job easier when you come to review their responses.

Don’t forget this is a first stage interview, you can always ask more detailed questions when and if, you decide to invite them in for a follow up interview.

Therefore, focus your questions on areas where you can more easily differentiate between candidates. For example, ask them to tell you about a common situation such as how they handle difficult customers or prepare for an important sales pitch.

4. Mix up the questions

With Tazio you can combine Yes/No, multiple choice, multi select, free text questions with video questions. This enables you to ask questions where there are right or wrong answers, making it easier to compare candidates on a purely objective basis. Some employers incorporate numeracy or literacy assessments as part of the interview.

The video questions, help you assess the candidate’s soft skills, get a feel for their personality, attitude and general demeanor. Being able to combine qualitative and quantitative assessment of candidates is one of the key advantages of Tazio’s video interviews.

5. Make the interview accessible to all

One of the main advantages to using a video interview is you can have an unlimited number of candidates record interviews with out any scheduling headaches. Making a video interview the first stage of your recruitment process means you give everyone applying for the role a chance to record an interview. This provides two valuable benefits, firstly from a candidate’s perspective they are less like to apply for a role they’re not really the interested in if they have to complete a video interview, reducing the number of speculative applications and eventual interview no-shows.

Secondly, you are able to start your candidate screening by seeing how each answers a couple of key questions, get a feel for the person before reviewing their CV. This allows you to gain a more rounded picture of each candidate, potentially identifying a strong candidate you may have rejected had you simply looked at their CV.


Using video interviews to screen candidates will be new to most recruiters and as such it may take some time to become comfortable with the process. Importantly, it should be remembered that video interviews are not going to replace all face to face interviews or remove the need for CVs, rather they should be used to enhance an employer’s recruitment process, help them to lower their costs and improve the quality of new hires.

Views: 611

Comment by Noel Cocca on July 31, 2012 at 7:42pm

Nice breakdown...I know this is a highly discussed topic and wonder how many would like to give this a shot.  I know that my clients have been asking me about this more and more...


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