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Questions to Ask When Video Screening Candidates
Thursday, Nov 17, 2016

Interviewing can be costly. Depending on your hiring goals, you may have to spend a lot of time and energy sifting through dozens of resumes to whittle down to a group of great candidates. Or you may be trying to reduce your time-to-fill by investing more in recruitment marketing and increased job board spending to draw in a wider pool of job seekers. Even then, only half the work is done. Once recruiters and hiring managers embark on the interviewing process, the task of scheduling and completing phone and in-person interviews isn’t easy.

A good phone interview can help a recruiter discern whether a job seeker has the right experience for the role, but often doesn’t offer a complete impression of their personality. Ideally, recruiters and hiring managers will eventually meet in person with candidates to assess their soft skills and make a decision. That still leaves two problems however: the candidates offered may not align with hiring manager expectations and worse, those non-fits could end up being a waste of time and resources if they’re brought in from a remote location.

A really effective method to get to the right candidate faster is video screening. Usually inserted within the hiring process after the phone interview and before meeting in person, video screening allows hiring managers to look into the eyes of a candidate and see how they present themselves in a professional setting. When a job seeker can submit a short video answering a specific interview question, they get to put their best foot forward in an organized, creative way. The most important part of this process is selecting the right question that can be covered thoughtfully in a two-minute response, give or take. You want to choose questions that help identify important soft skills such as teamwork, customer service, adaptability and communication.

Here are eight example questions to get you started:

1. What are the top three things most important to you in a job?

By offering the candidate a chance to create a short list of their top workplace priorities, you can get a clear sense of whether they’ll be content with the benefits and growth opportunities offered. This format also helps video creators to stay on task and produce a simple, impactful statements with ease.

2. Tell me about the last time you had to learn a new task. How did you go about learning it? What, if any tools, did you employ?

Face-to-screen interviewing offers employers the chance to see the facial expressions of candidates as they speak. This is especially important when deciphering their desire to learn and identifying the spark of natural curiosity that will lead a new hire to constant betterment within their role.

3. Tell me about your biggest work failure. What did you learn?

This might seem like a tough question, but it’s also one of the most telling. A great employee has the self-awareness and humility to own up to mistakes and learn from them. Look for resilience and demonstrated problem solving skills.

4. Tell me about a time when you had difficulty getting others to work together on a critical problem and how you handled it.

Similar to the question above, it’s important to keep candidates on their toes and see how they respond to negative situations with coworkers. Every organization is going to have conflicting personalities. If the candidate can display the right leadership skills and maintain a good rapport with teammates, they’ll have a much easier time getting projects to the finish line.

5. Tell me about a time you did more than was required in your job.

Jobs in practice rarely fit the description exactly. Internal goals, processes and systems can change rapidly and that sometimes requires extra adaptability and drive to get the job done.

6. Describe when you had to pitch a proposal. How did you do? Why do you think it went that way?

Leadership buy-in is critical for any role. If there is an idea you’re passionate about or a new tool you know you need, you’re not going to get very far if you can’t explain it clearly. Presentation skills go a long way to get people interested in and excited about your plans.

7. Tell me about the last project you worked on where you were made to understand you could not fail. What steps did you take to ensure success?

The abilities to stay cool under pressure and produce a smart plan of action are extremely valuable. Use this question to assess a candidate’s organization and planning skills and to get a peek into their thought process in times of stress.

8. Why do you belong at [organization]?

This is the most open-ended question to ask for a video response, but it really works. When given fewer parameters, you can acutely see how a candidate creatively thinks and organizes thoughts to present the best version of his or her self. Let them tell you why they’re a culture fit. If they do the research to know what kind of organization you are, and they can thoughtfully align their experiences accordingly, you know it’s time to bring them in to meet in-person or make the offer!