How-to Guide for Video Interviewing


Change is happening faster than ever.

It used to be that when you had an opening for a new position, you’d put an ad in the paper and by that afternoon, you’d have a decent group of qualified individuals vying for the job.

Now, with the interconnectivity enabled with the rise of the internet, employers are considering candidates located halfway across the world to fill remote positions where they may never physically meet.

As nice as this sounds, companies are still left with the problem of how to go about evaluating these candidates.

Phone calls aren’t enough and Skype doesn’t necessarily do the trick either, so what are employers left to do?

Even when hiring locally, hiring teams are being inundated with hundreds of resumes. It easier than ever for job seekers to apply to new roles, thanks to job marketplaces such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter.  Advancements in the job application process such as “Mobile Apply” and “Apply with LinkedIn”  have further simplified things for job seekers.  As an employer, speed often becomes your greatest recruiting asset.

In comes the rise of the Video Interview!

In LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Trends Report, they surveyed and interviewed over 9,000 recruiters and hiring managers across the globe asking what trends they are seeing shaping the future of hiring. The report talks about the rise of video interviewing.

“Soft skills tests and video interviews are largely replacing the traditional phone screen, selecting for potential rather than experience, quickly and at scale.”

What is the future of video interviewing?

What exactly is a Video Interview?

What exactly is a Video Interview?

Although a video interview comes in different forms, it’s commonly referred to as an online job interview that takes place remotely where the interviewer (employer) and the interviewee (candidate) communicate using video technology as the medium.

It has seen a rise in popularity over the years due to both the rise of remote positions along with the realization that the phone screen along with other traditional hiring methods is both costly and imperfect.

This has led to employers deciding to actually use video interviewing software to gain a better understanding of how exactly it can benefit their organizations in practice.

With that said, let’s not forget that video interviewing is a broad term and probably needs to be further defined. Video interivewing is mainly offered in two different forms, pre-recorded video interviews and live video interviews.

What is a Pre-recorded Video Interview vs a Live Video Interview?

What is a Pre-recorded Video Interview vs a Live Video Interview?

A pre-recorded (or on-demand) video interview is where the employer pre-records a set of video questions and builds a virtual interview for the candidate. The candidate is then able to watch the video and record their own response whenever and wherever they’d like.  It also has the added benefit of eliminating the time-consuming hassle of scheduling interviews and frees up your recruiters time to focus on other tasks.

The process for a typical pre-recorded interview is as follows:

  1. Create questions for the interview
  2. Invite candidates to complete the interview
  3. Candidates complete the interviews
  4. Evaluate & Share their responses
  5. Make a decision based on their responses

Pre-recorded interviews are perfect for internships, college hiring, and any other high-volume role. They’re a great way to share a consistent message with a large group of candidates and efficiently get to know candidates better before inviting them onsite.

Some of the key benefits that Organizations gain from using Pre-recorded (On-demand) video interviews include:

  1. Time Savings – increases recruiter productivity and efficiency
  2. Increases Consistency & Quality – structured interviews with consistent evaluations lead to better hiring decisions
  3. Increases Candidate Engagement – promotes your company culture and brand
  4. Reduces Travel Costs – fewer in-person interviews required per hire
  5. Increases Reach – cast a wider net to find more diverse candidate pools

A live video interview gives employers the opportunity to speak with their candidates in real time and assess their abilities on the spot. Often times, these interviews are also recorded and can be shared with other people on the hiring committee or used for training. Live interviews are especially useful in fields like sales where the candidate needs to be able to think on the fly. They are also better for senior level roles where an employer may not want to use a pre-recorded interview. Some of the key benefits that organizations gain from using live video interviews include:

  1. Reduces Travel Costs – fewer in-person interviews required per hire
  2. Time Savings – in certain cases recorded live interviews can be shared with stakeholders that also need to weigh in on hiring decisions without needing to schedule a separate interview
  3. Increases Reach – cast a wider net and interview candidates that are not local
  4. Training – use interview recordings to train new interviewers

It’s important to thoroughly understand which of these would be most beneficial for various roles in your organization and work with your hiring team to determine what is the best fit for the role.

How do Hiring Managers benefit from Video Interviewing?

How do Hiring Managers benefit from Video Interviewing?

With hiring managers being at the forefront of every organization’s recruiting efforts, it’s only fair that we take a moment to discuss how exactly video interviews work to make their lives easier.

  1. Reducing your time invested in in-person interviews

I’m sure I don’t have to go into detail explaining all of the time-consuming nuisances that go into trying to find a time that works for everyone when scheduling an in-person interview. That’s why pre-recorded interviews are so great for those in charge of hiring. Simply review the candidates at your convenience then only invite the ones that you’re most interested in back for a live video interview or on-site meeting.

  1. Flexibility

Review interviews when you want and as often as you want, from anywhere in the world!

  1. Increased collaboration

Cut down on the amount of back & forth emails with your recruitment team by sharing a candidate’s video interview, comments, and feedback in real time.

  1. Reduce travel costs and overall spend on recruitment

Imagine all the money that will be saved not having to pay for the travel costs of numerous candidates. Instead, you only have to worry about paying for the ones that make it to the final round.

  1. Assess what matters

A video interview allows you to look at a candidate as more than mere words on a page or a voice on the phone. Video interviews allow you to assess the qualities that matter most to the company.

  1. Access passive candidates

If a candidate is still employed and not necessarily looking for a job, then they will be much less likely to have a phone interview with you during normal work hours when they’ll be busy. On the other hand, if you send them a video interview that they can look at in their free time, then the chances of you getting a response gets much higher.

  1. Hard copies available for legal benefits

Having a recorded hard copy of all of your interviews is a great tool to have if you ever find yourself in a legal battle concerning your candidate selection process.

  1. Evaluation needs

Your job is to ensure that your company’s recruitment is operating at top efficiency and the only way to do that is by periodically reviewing your interviews to figure out how they can be improved. Thanks to video interviews, you’ll have full recordings of every one of your interviews so that you and your team can sit down and discuss what needs to be changed or revised.

  1. Real-time exportable metrics

With the convenience of being able to observe your recruiters and applicants, video interviews make it faster than ever to point out who needs to be assessed, given proper training, and provided with tasks for skills improvement. Also, the reporting tools and feedback supplements offered with digital interviews make for a unique and informative interview session.

  1. Build a stronger employer brand

The speed and accessibility of video interviews mean that your candidates are going to rate their experiences video interviewing with your organization much higher than a typical organization. These positive experiences will manifest themselves through Glassdoor reviews, word-of-mouth, and before you know it, you’ll have a much stronger employer brand that will lead to a higher quality of candidates applying for future roles.

  1. Structured interviews

Last but certainly not least is the ability for you to have complete control over your interviews and recruiting. You have the ability to not only ask the same set of questions but to assure that your interviews are consistent for each candidate.

Structured interviews are significantly more effective in predicting future performance than unstructured interviews. A Google executive stated, in an interview with Wired, that “Structured interviews are predictive even for jobs that are themselves unstructured. We’ve also found that they cause both candidates and interviewers to have a better experience and are perceived to be most fair.” Structured interviews help to reduce unconscious bias in the interviewing process.


How do candidates benefit from Video Interviewing?

How do candidates benefit from Video Interviewing?

You didn’t think the employer was the only one that benefited from video interviews, did you? Take a look at how video interviews make the recruiting process that much better and improve the candidate experience for people looking for work.

  1. Complete the interview at your convenience

Do you ever get anxious whenever you enter an employer’s offices and worry that you aren’t going to represent yourself and your abilities accurately during the interview because of it?

With video interviews, you can do your interview at any time and location that makes you the most comfortable. So if you’d prefer to record your answers in your kitchen at 4 am, then go right on ahead! (Just keep your pile of dirty dishes out of sight!)

Also, the convenience of video interviews means that you don’t have to run to the bathroom to take a phone interview so that your employer doesn’t know that you’re searching for a new job. Just let the hiring manager know about your situation and take care of the interview when you’re not at work.

  1. Less worry about interview bias

Have you ever left an interview and thought that the interviewer might have asked you certain questions that they probably aren’t asking other candidates or have you been frustrated because you had nothing in common with the interviewer to help build rapport?

You can rest assured that the video interview that was sent to you contains the same questions that were sent out to every other candidate.

  1. Cut down on the waiting game

Let’s be real.

Even if you weren’t picked for the position, you’d still like to find out as soon as possible so that you can have closure and focus on the next job opportunity.

Video interviews give hiring managers the ability to drastically cut down on the waiting period for each candidate and lets them know about their results quicker than ever.

How do you create a good Video Interview?

How to do you create a good Video Interview?

When creating a good video interview, you want to ensure that you have all the necessary parts so that your company doesn’t come off as being unprofessional or lazy in its workings.

When it comes to physically recording your interview, the first step is to pick an area that looks nice, is quiet and has great lighting so that the candidates can clearly see your face. Making sure to dress as best represents your company. Have your list of questions handy. It helps to say them out loud a few times before hitting the record button.

If you want to go above and beyond with your video interviews, then I suggest creating transition and promotional videos. They not only make a good impression on the candidate but also informs them about your company culture to give them a better understanding of what they’re getting into.

Promotional videos

Use promotional videos to humanize the candidate journey by sharing authentic video content that gives tidbits about your company. You can share your company values, where it started, what goals you are aiming to achieve and why you do what you do.

Transition videos

Transition videos are great for welcoming candidates to the interview and giving instructions before and after completing their interviews. You can also use them to introduce members of your team, or share information about your office culture through a video tour.

What types of companies use Video Interviews?

What types of companies use Video Interviews?

One of the strongest benefits of video interviewing is that every company can use it to their advantage, from small businesses to multinational corporations.

With that said, pre-recorded interviews are very popular with companies with high volume recruiting. Pre-recorded video interviews are commonly used to interview for entry to mid-level roles, with live video interviews becoming helpful for the final rounds and senior-level roles.

Video interviews are also perfect for remote positions, college hiring, intern/trainee programs and other situations where you may prefer to cast a wider net to pull in a more diverse pool of candidates for consideration.

How do you prepare for a Video Interview?

How do you prepare for a Video Interview?

Now that we’ve gone over how video interviews work to help Hiring Managers, candidates, and the companies themselves. Let’s go over how candidates can best prepare themselves for any video interviews that they may have on the horizon.

The first point is similar to creating a video interview in that you should make sure that you’re in a distraction-free area that looks clean, professional, and is in an area where you feel comfortable.

This is crucial because if you’re in an area with distractions that make it hard for a recruiter to focus on your answers, then your interview is going to the bottom of the list. Next, make sure to dress in professional attire similar to what you’d wear to an in-person interview.

You’re going to want to build a write down some information regarding the company as a quick reference that you can point to throughout the interview. Make sure to include information about the company’s mission statement, values and how you can make an impact in one of their core areas.

When it comes to recording your responses, make sure that your technology is fully charged and working properly. Always keep these 4 tips in mind.

  1.  Look directly at your webcam’s lenses and not around it.
  2.  Don’t look at your image on the screen, focus on the camera instead.
  3.  Try to break your gaze every now and then. Don’t stare constantly.
  4.  Smile as much as you can, just make sure not to overdo it.

It’s especially important that you are calm and collected going into your interview and ensure that you’re able to answer the questions to the best of your abilities.

Closing thoughts

Video interviews are here to stay and it is best to get acquainted with the technology sooner rather than later. The internet has given us the opportunity to recruit from all over the world and the only way to get a good sense of what the candidate is capable of without spending large amounts of your budget on a plane ticket and hotel is by sending them a video interview.

So get with the times and get started creating your video interview today!