Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Top 10 One-Way Video Interview Questions

When you’re hiring for a new role the first step of the interview process, a typical phone screen, takes a significant chunk of your time. Blocking out your entire schedule for 30-minute call after 30-minute call can last for weeks on end. Yet many recruiters know after only a few minutes if a candidate should progress to the next stage. So replacing phone screens with a more efficient alternative allows you to become much more productive. One-way video interviews allow you to spend less time per candidate, without sacrificing valuable screening insights.

To gain those valuable insights, the questions you craft are critical. These interview questions should be high-level enough to get a good read on a candidate, and illuminating enough to clearly show how candidates may fit your open positions. Screening also requires a meeting of the minds between you and your hiring managers. By understanding the role’s responsibilities and day-to-day, your screening questions cater to the needs of the position.

Next time you build out the recruiting process for an open position, consider using these telling questions for your one-way video interview.

  1. What skill have you mastered in a former role that will help you most in this position?
    This question shows the depth of candidates’ understanding of the open role and sheds light on their work history. Were they constantly bombarded with requests and gained efficient time-management skills? Or maybe they developed strong communication and collaboration skills by working with colleagues around the globe. 
  2. Tell us about something you’re really good at and how you developed this skill set.
    Here, candidates can cover something that may not be related to the open position. Instead, it shows a candidate’s motivation as well as how they attack a large problem. Do they work piece by piece strategically, or do they just dive in and learn along the way? 
  3. What is the most recent book you read and why?
    Use this question to gain insights into the core of a candidate’s personality. Are they a learner? Do they love the nuance of science fiction, or a fun romance?
  4. Describe the work environment in which you will most effectively be able to contribute.
    For many, this question can make or break an interview. The candidate’s ideal work environment should match your team’s, so if a candidate prefers to work alone but the team they’d join is highly collaborative it may be a mismatch.
  5. What is an example of how you’ve become more productive at work?
    The answer could be any resource like a calendar, time-blocking, or other time-management tools. The real insight for the question is whether the interviewee already considers their work productivity. High-performing employees work to find better ways to get their work done to improve not just their own work but the whole organization.
  6. What was a job project that you feel proud of?
    What makes this question different is its ability to pull a story out of the candidate and “sell” the experience. It’s also an opportunity to anticipate the team’s needs and demonstrate how they match the open position.
  7. Tell me about your favorite working experience. Why was it your favorite?
    Not only does this question shed light on another position on their resume, it also gives the candidate a chance to explain a real work environment from the past. You will learn so much about a candidate’s cultural preference by understanding their likes and dislikes.
  8. What did you learn about us from our website?
    This should be an easy question for candidates to answer, but it might surprise you how many candidates haven’t done their homework before a one-way video interview. If the candidate is really interested in working with your team, they take the time to research and learn all they can from the website. It also gives you the opportunity to see how candidates interpret your employer brand and communicate it back to you.
  9. Tell me about a time that you received coaching and feedback at work. How did you grow from it?
    This question uncovers how teachable a candidate is. Many positions require employees to improve as they continue with the organization. Discovering how a candidate handles constructive feedback gives a good indication of what a future performance review looks like with your team.
  10. What’s something we didn’t ask that you want to tell us?
    The open-endedness of this question allows candidates to reflect on their one-way interview and provide additional information that will make them stand out. This might be a formative experience from early in their career, or a skill not even listed on their resume.

With a one-way video interview and the questions above your screening process not only narrows down the pool of applicants, it adds an additional dimension earlier in the process. More context to your shortlist allows hiring managers to make better decisions about who advances to later stages. Since one-way video interviews don’t require coordination of anyone’s schedules, the speed of the entire recruiting process improves.

Hannah Goldenberg

Hannah began her career on Spark Hire's sales team and now capitalizes on her long-standing passion for writing with the marketing team. When she's not working on content marketing efforts for Spark Hire, she spends her time baking, watching her favorite sports teams, and listening to astronomy, cooking, and history podcasts.