Video interviews are a great way to introduce flexible, efficient, and low-cost interviewing components to your hiring process. However, video interviews do have one major failing: there is a clear dampening effect on a candidate’s personality when they are viewed via video. Candidates viewed through video come across as less likable, less attractive, and less competent than candidates in face-to-face interviews, according to a study from the Degroote School of Business.

Modern recruiting emphasizes personal effectiveness, culture, and personality fit, but video interviewing risks undermining candidates in these areas. In order to compensate for the personality dampening of video interviewing, you should ask more questions than you normally would about cultural, personality, and situational fits.

Below, I offer five questions to help you see the real person behind the screen in a video interview.

1. If We Were Interviewing You Face to Face, What Might You Do Differently?

This question can help you to slip behind the haze put up by the video camera. This gives candidates the opportunity to talk about their style of communication, physical mannerisms, and the way that they build rapport face to face — all things you’ll clearly miss from behind the screen.

2. What Qualities Do You Look for in a Boss? What Kind of Leadership Style Do You Work Best Under?

This question is absolutely crucial in a video interview, as manager-candidate interpersonal compatibility will be partially obscured in a video interview, and research shows manager-employee fit is a key determinant of success. Spend more time than you normally would on this question.

3. How Do You Deal With Difficult People at Work? Can You Describe Some Difficult Situations You’ve Encountered and How You’ve Handled Them?

You want to understand if the two-dimensional image in front you can really cut it in a dynamic work environment where politics, competition, and various priorities abound.

4. In What Environment Do You Work Best? Why? How Do You Adapt to Suboptimal Environments? Give Examples.

Once again, we are looking to get behind the screen and really understand the kind of working environment that this person excels in, as well as their ability to adapt to new situations.

5. What Makes You Think You Will Excel in Our Business? What Personal Qualities Do You Have Which Will Help You Excel Here?

This is a great question that can help video interviewers gauge a candidate’s engagement with their business. You’d expect a candidate to have carried out some detailed research on your business and culture and be able to provide a convincing answer that shows how well-suited they are to your business.

These questions can help you better assess the cultural fit of a candidate via video, but remember: video interviews cannot yet compete with face-to-face interviews, in terms of authentic candidate representation. For now, be sure to always follow up video interviews with face-to-face interviews before making any hiring decisions.


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