Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Video Interviews: The Not-So-Obvious Candidate Traits You Can Learn

When you are interviewing a candidate for an open position you are paying attention to many things. If you are a seasoned hiring manager or employer, you are looking at the candidate’s body language, listening to what they are saying, analyzing their answers and much more. Before you even meet them you are judging them based on their resume, cover letter and other application documents you require. Unfortunately with traditional hiring you can’t pick up on much until you bring the candidate into your office for an in-person interview.

Thankfully though, video interviews are making their way into the hiring process of employers all over the world. With video interviews you can pick up on so much more than if you were simply reading through their resume and calling them on the phone. With both one-way video interviews and live video interviews you can pick up on a candidate’s personality, their communication skills, their confidence level, etc. However, you can also pick up on much more than the obvious.

So what are some of the candidate traits you can pick up on in a video interview that you wouldn’t pick up on with just a resume or a phone interview?

Deadlines are an important part of any job, and there will always come a time when an employee must work under pressure. When you use video interviews in your hiring process you can see how well a candidate works under deadlines. When you send candidates questions for a one-way interview they have a window of time to complete their answers and send them back to you. The amount of time they have to work on their video responses is up to you, but you must set a deadline. Smart candidates will get their video interview responses to you in a timely manner. Candidates that make good use of their time will send their responses to you with time to spare. However, if the candidate is getting their one-way video interview back to you with little time to spare, you may have some issues if this position requires them to produce under tight deadlines.

You should also be very weary of the candidate that asks for a deadline extension at the last minute without a valid excuse. Certain situations will always come up when you are dealing with other people, and deadlines will need to get pushed back and interviews rescheduled. This is usually understandable. For instance, if you invite a candidate to complete a one-way video interview for you and they ask you for a deadline extension because they will be out of town, that makes sense. Plus, they probably asked you right when you scheduled the interview. However, a candidate that asks for a deadline extension the day of is likely very unreliable and unprofessional. It is the same as having a traditional interview scheduled and the candidate calls you the day of to tell you they have to reschedule. It’s unprofessional and a bit immature. Be on the look out for candidates that do this in the hiring process and perhaps move the other way.

Utilizing video interviews in the hiring process is not difficult by any means. However, job seekers do have to follow directions in order to participate in a live video interview or send along their responses to a one-way video interview. For one, when candidates take part in a live video interview they have to show up at the right time. They should have all of their video equipment set up and ready to go before the actual interview. If the candidate signs onto the video interview even just a few minutes late without letting you know, you may have a bit of an issue. If they sign on at the right time though- and they are even in a different time zone- then it can show you that this candidate not only follows directions, but pays close attention to detail as well. This is valuable information you can learn from a candidate early on in the hiring process.

Job seekers are told that they should treat video interviews just as they would a traditional interview. That includes their dress and the way they choose to carry themselves. Job seekers that are serious about the position will dress professionally in the video interview. Even though they are not coming into the office to meet you just yet, they are putting themselves in front of you. Smart job seekers know that they need to always show you their best- that includes the way they dress. If a candidate participates in a video interview and doesn’t dress professionally, they may not care so much for this position or may not take it seriously enough to succeed in what you need.

These are just a few of the things you can notice from job seekers in video interviews. Of course, you can always pick up on their communication skills, personality and confidence levels as well in video interviews but those are more obvious. Spend some time and really look for the not-so-obvious traits that candidates may be showing you in their video interviews.

What are some candidate traits you look for in a video interview, or even just a traditional interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Ramkarthikblogger

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

1 comment

  • This is a great article. It really is amazing how much you can learn about candidates through video interviews. I believe the two ‘not-so-obvious’ biggies are handling deadlines and following instructions.
    The candidate who requests an extension for an asynchronous video interview one hour before it’s due is no different from the employee who waits until the last minute to let their manager know they are going to miss a deadline for no good reason. Catch this habit before it affects your workplace!