Video Interview Questions: The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Pros for Modern Recruiters

Doing video interviews and need some help with making the most out of every meeting? Asking the right questions is a great way to make that happen.

According to Modern Hire, 84% of candidates schedule their video interview within 24 hours of receiving a text invite. How you conduct the interview will affect the candidate’s interest (or lack of it). In fact, a 10% more challenging job interview process can bring you a 2.6% increase in employee satisfaction. On the other hand, if you ask the wrong questions, you can make a wrong hire. This can potentially cost your company a minimum of 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings.

Therefore, you should prepare a list of questions in advance and get ready to conduct an interview anytime.

Live Video Interviews vs. Pre-Recorded Job Interviews

Before we move to the questions to ask in video interviews, let’s clarify one important thing. There are two major types of video interviews:

  • Live video interviews
  • Pre-recorded interviews

Live Video Interviews

Live video interviews (or two-way video interviews) are similar to traditional interviews. They require live interactions between interviewers and candidates. Hence, they help recruiters get to know the candidate’s immediate reactions to the interview questions.

Pre-Recorded Interviews

Pre-recorded video interviews (or on-demand video interview) don’t require any interaction. Candidates get a list of questions and record answers to these questions. Then, they send their videos to interviewers.

To conduct each type of interview, you should use slightly different types of questions.

Let’s consider these examples.


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Questions for Pre-Recorded Video Interviews

Questions for on-demand video interviews should be simple yet compelling. Such questions shouldn’t confuse the candidates since there is no chance of asking questions for clarification. Also, they should take a candidate from one to five minutes to provide a comprehensive answer to each question.

Role-Specific Questions

Role-specific questions allow recruiters to assess whether the candidate’s motivation will fit the company’s culture and scope. The candidates that propose too high motivation or not enough/ethical motivation can be removed from the list.

First of all, you should check whether the candidate is a fit for the position. Do that by asking the following questions:

  • What were your motivations to apply for this position?
  • What interests you about this new position?
  • Which of your strengths would help your performance in this position?
  • What motivates you to stay productive while performing this job?
  • How will this job help you to achieve your career goals?

The candidate should clearly articulate why he/she wants to get this job. Also, he/she should explain how this job can benefit his/her career. Candidates who do this successfully can be a great fit for this position. Thus, you should keep watching his/her pre-recorded video. In case this candidate can’t provide adequate answers, start considering other candidates.

Personality Questions

Some studies have shown that certain personality traits play a relevant part in an employee’s job performance. Those traits are cooperation, leadership orientation, achievements striving, and creative thinking.

Personality assessment can help you find a candidate who will fit well within your company’s culture. As well as compliment your current team.

The next step you should take is to learn more about the candidate’s traits and his/her soft skills.

  • Do you prefer to work independently or in a team? And why?
  • What is the thing you are most proud of?
  • If there is one thing you could change in your character, what would that be?
  • How do you avoid conflict with coworkers?
  • What are you passionate about?

A good candidate should talk openly about his/her strong traits and flaws. Additionally, he/she should have an idea of how to improve those flaws. Such an individual can be a good candidate.

An interviewee can try to pretend to be perfect. Moreover, he/she can exaggerate his/her achievements. You should think twice before hiring such a person like that.


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Competency Questions

Finally, you should ask questions related to the candidate’s expertise.

  • Which is the best feature in ABC software and explain why?
  • What is your opinion on working in remote tech teams?
  • What type of data analysis do you find to be most effective?
  • How do you ensure that the details in data records are accurate?
  • How would you handle a client that is dissatisfied with your design?

Basically, here you need to ask questions that match the job description’s requirements. Let’s say that you want to ensure that the candidate speaks Japanese and uses Photoshop like a pro. Don’t hesitate to add such relevant questions.

Cultural Fit Questions

Have you already found out that the chosen candidate is a true talent? That’s great! Now you should check whether this person is a fit for your company culture. Do that with the help of the following questions.

  • What gets you excited about coming to work every morning?
  • What is your ideal company environment? Or, how would you describe your desired company environment?
  • Describe your ideal team-building exercise?
  • What surprises people the most about you?
  • What do you find to be the biggest problem in most offices today?

Pay attention to the interviewee whose “ideal company culture” is similar to your company culture. Invite this person to a second interview.

Questions for Live Video Interviews

In a live video interview, you can ask a candidate any additional questions. This can get you more specific information. Emily Clarkson, an HR writer, says: “Different candidates have different sets of strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you should adjust the interviewing process. Ask a few additional questions to bring the best out of candidates.”

Role-Specific Questions

In the two-way interview, you can expand on role-specific questions. Entice the candidates to speak more about their experiences within that job position.

  • Describe a time when you faced a particularly demanding monthly report deadline. How did you manage to complete the task on time? Were you satisfied with the results?
  • Provide the reasons which make you interested in working for our company. How do you think you can contribute to the company if you get this job?

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Personality Questions

In one-way interview questions, candidates provide you with an answer within a few sentences. On the other hand, the live video interview is there to get candidates to open up.

Keep the conversation alive with more detailed questions. Consequently, you’ll be able to assess their personality better.

  • Why did you leave your previous workplace? Did you have conflicts with your boss or co-workers?
  • What leadership traits do you possess? Exemplify a situation when those traits stood out.

Competency Questions

Ask questions that will motivate the candidates to show their ability or inability to handle different tasks within the role.

Moreover, in a two-way interview, you can put the candidate in a certain scenario. Or require the interviewee to do a real task. Thus, you’ll be able to assess the candidate’s capability or his/her attitude toward the task.

Ask questions that will inspire additional questions related to their job competence.

  • Can you describe the biggest challenge at your previous work? How did you overcome it?
  • What do you like and dislike about remote work?
  • Which software did you use?

Cultural Fit Questions

Confront the candidates with detailed questions that will reveal more about their behaviors and values. The more details they provide, the better. It will be easier for you to assess whether they can successfully fit the workplace culture.

  • When was the last time you made a big mistake at work? How did you fix it? What did your boss say?
  • What is your opinion about the 9 to 5 working model?

Interest-Related Questions

In the two-way interview, you can get to know more about the candidates through interest-related questions.

Leave these questions for a live interview. This will give candidates a chance to explain how their hobbies can help them excel at the position.

At the end of the interview, you can ask a candidate a few questions about his hobbies.

  • What hobbies do you have?
  • Tell us about the kind of books you like to read.
  • Can you describe your hobby in your free time?
  • Are there any blogs that you like reading? Why do you like those blogs in particular?
  • Which country or city that you have visited has made the biggest impression on you? And why?

The candidate should explain how his/her hobbies help him/her to excel in his/her career.

For instance, an interviewee can say that his hobby is competitive swimming. Then, he can add that this hobby makes him a dedicated and goal-oriented person. Furthermore, he can share that competitive swimming has taught him to do his best to win, both in sports and professional life.

Questions to Avoid

Lastly, there are some questions that will unnecessarily take away your valuable time. But they won’t contribute to creating a well-rounded impression about the candidate.

Here are some types of questions you should avoid in both one-way and two-way interviews:

  • National origin, race, sex, religion, or creed. Showing interest in any of these aspects can seem discriminatory.
  • Yes/no questions. These types of questions won’t provide you with enough information.
  • Family-related questions. Asking about a spouse, children, or anything family-related is intrusive and inappropriate.
  • Disabilities. Any inquiry about visual, hearing, or speech disabilities is prohibited.

In Conclusion

The interviewing process has immense value for your company. It is the determinative step that will lead to the right candidate. These questions aim to help you evaluate candidates’ competency, goals, and values. Moreover, they will show you whether the candidate’s character and competencies align with your company’s vision.

Author Biography

Dorian Martin is an editor, proofreader, and career advisor. He has vast experience in recruiting, academic writing, and blogging. If you are looking for someone who can “write a paper for me,” feel free to contact him.