Video Job Interviews

Transitioning to Video Job Interviews During COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is transforming the world of work as we speak. As more and more companies mandate remote work to prioritize the health and safety of employees, in-person business meetings have migrated to digital means, including video.

Organizations are using virtual video interviews to maintain business continuity and keep initiatives on track—including talent acquisition. Video interviews are enabling companies to recruit all levels of employment, from entry-level to experienced professionals.

While video interviews are currently rising in popularity due to the current global health conditions, this medium is by no means a new method. Nearly 47% of companies have turned to video interview technology to shorten hiring time, according to Jobbatical.

If you haven’t utilized video interviews yet, don’t fret. While we continue to adapt to our new normal, using video doesn’t have to be intimidating and can be added to our workflow.

Here’s everything you need to know about video interviews – including the different types, benefits and best practices.

Types of video interviews

Live video 

Two-way video or live video interviews consist of connecting with candidates face to face via webcam. These interviews can take place on video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts. Typically, these specialized platforms enable recruiters to record and review interviews.

Given the current climate, video interviews are instrumental for business continuity.


Recorded video interviews, also known as one-way or asynchronous video interviews, are a video format in which employers provide interview questions to candidates who then in return, submit recorded video responses.

This type of video interview format is beneficial to both employers and candidates since neither party has to be present at the same time to conduct an interview. At their convenience, hiring teams can review candidate submissions, and candidates can record their responses. Candidates might especially appreciate this format because it relieves the anxiety of taking interviews during lunch breaks to conduct phone interviews from their car. Instead, they can interview in their free time, whether at night, after work or on the weekends—from the comfort of their home.

Employers can also leverage video interviews to replace lengthy phone screening, establish consistency during the interview process and improve collaboration with other hiring stakeholders.

Another advantage to employers with this type of recorded interview platform is the ability to ask very targeted questions that are relevant to the specific role, industry, etc. they are hiring for. These platforms make it easy for employers to ask candidates situational interview questions such as “How would you handle a situation in which a deliverable deadline was in jeopardy due to xyz situation?”

Suggested reading: Video Interview Software

Benefits of video interviews

Save time and money

When there are initiatives and projects on the line, time is money. It’s always a good rule of thumb to have an effective and efficient hiring process to avoid unnecessary expenses and costly delays.

Video interviews are a great tool to minimize the cost of unfilled positions because they help speed up your hiring process, saving your company money in the long run.

More candidates

One of the most significant drawbacks of conducting interviews locally is a reduced candidate pool.

However, video interviewing does just the opposite by expanding your talent reach. Businesses now have the opportunity to increased candidate selection, which means better odds in finding the perfect match for your hiring needs. Employing video interviewing also enables your organization to overcome geographical barriers by having the ability to interview remote workers and professionals looking to relocate.

Better screening

Video interviews furthermore equip recruiters to screen more candidates in less time.

This medium is a great resource for companies with bulk-hiring needs looking to avoid scheduling nightmares. Hiring teams can use pre-recorded video interviews with preplanned questions during the initial application phase to screen candidates.

Video helps you get to know candidates better by gathering a better sense of the person and skills behind the resume.

Be empowered with video to identify non-negotiables, qualifiers, deal-breakers and requirements earlier to avoid bad hires down the line. Investing in candidate selection in the first stages of the hiring process will only save your organization time and money.

Improved candidate experience

Video interviews don’t create better hiring experiences for just employers. Candidates have a better experience too. And we all know that positive candidate experience is critical to attracting the best talent.

It’s on employers to give a positive first impression to candidates, even if they don’t choose to hire them. This remains especially vital in this peer-review world where recommendations and perceptions influence an employer’s brand. Video is an excellent way to show your company’s tech-savviness and empathy for candidates’ needs during the hiring process.

Having a smooth and efficient process will only help attract and retain candidates during your recruiting efforts, avoiding candidate drop off when hiring timelines becomes too long and troublesome.


Making informed recruiting decisions require collaboration from your hiring team. As we endure the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and many of us are working virtually, leveraging technology to collaborate with each other is paramount.

Thanks to the convenience of video interviews, your team members can all be involved, no matter where they are physically located. Whether you decide to use pre-recorded or live interviews, internal and external stakeholders can easily view content, share feedback and decide on the next steps regarding candidates.

Having multiple interview rounds to accommodate everyone’s schedules can quickly bog down your hiring timeline. Video interviews are an exceptional tool for organizations looking to make simpler, quicker and collective hiring decisions to keep projects on track.

Make technology work for you by leveraging it to do what we might normally do in person.

Employer tips for conducting video interviews

Test and test again!

Be sure to test recording and submitting videos before inviting candidates to participate in pre-recorded interviews. You must understand your video interviewing platform and its full functionality. Will your candidates have multiple attempts to record their responses? Will their videos have time constraints? Consider these questions and more during your testing phase to ensure your candidates have the optimum interview experience.

Testing is also critical for live interviews. Before each video call, test your camera, microphone and sound to prevent any potential technical problems that could occur during the interview. Likewise, don’t forget to establish a location with good lighting and minimized distractions. While it’s often believed interviews are just for selecting the right candidate, candidates are interviewing employers too. It’s always in your best interest to be prepared and professional to give off a positive first impression.

Prepare your questions

Planning your interview questions will help structure your call and ensure that you achieve your objectives. Without proper planning, hiring managers run the risk of asking questions that don’t help make hiring decisions. When developing your questions, consider the essential requirements you need in a hire. Is there a specific skill set or background you’re looking for? Are there certain personality traits critical to your role? Consider your criteria when planning what questions you want to ask to ensure you get the answers your need for candidate selection.

During pre-recorded interviews, you have many options when screening candidates. Do you want to provide questions ahead of time to allow job seekers the opportunity to craft well-thought-out answers? Do you want to test their agile thinking abilities with on-the-spot questions? Think of these types of questions to help determine your video interview format.

Be courteous

A part of making a good impression during an interview is being your professional best. For employers, this includes making the video interview process as easy as possible for candidates. The age-old rules of being on time, dressing professional, maintaining eye contact and giving someone your full attention applies not only to candidates, but employers too. 

Be sure also to turn off any notifications, whether email or instant messages, so you can focus on communicating effectively with candidates and minimizing distractions during an interview.

Prepare to answer COVID-19 questions

COVID-19 has unprecedently affected our communities, daily lives and the world of work. In this current health climate, it’s vital to prepare for possible questions surrounding COVID-19 during video interviews.

As job seekers continue to operate within this new world of work, one’s health and safety are expected to be top priorities for candidates seeking employment. Employers should be ready to vocalize their organization’s response to this health crisis and what protections future employees can expect if hired.

Have a plan B

When it comes to technology, it’s always a good idea to have a plan B if something goes wrong during an interview. From internet connection issues to electronic failures, there are numerous scenarios that could prevent your video interview from taking place.

To prepare for unexpected events, keep your device charged and have your candidate’s phone number just in case you need to reach them if you encounter a technology issue. Doing so will allow you to call them at a pre-provided number and continue the interview as planned.

Undeniably, changing times require new ideas to solve new problems. In this rapidly evolving world of work, video interviews provide an innovative way to continue your recruiting efforts and maintain business continuity. From recorded to live video, there’s a format for your company’s unique needs. Start reaping the many benefits of video interviews to improve your hiring process and candidate experience today.

Expert Advice You Need to Land a Job in 2021