Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Is Your Video Interview Candidate Naughty or Nice?

During the holiday season, we might be more focused on perfecting our cookie receipes than finding the perfect candidate. But just because we have wrapping paper on the brain and presents to hide doesn’t mean the hiring process stops. Smart candidates won’t give up looking for their perfect job this holiday season just because the winter winds are howling a little louder.

But this holiday season, how can you tell if the motivated job seeker you’re watching in the video interview is naughty or nice? Will they be a gift to your organization, find new ways of improving your company culture, and think up great innovations? Or once they get the job will they revert back to the office Grinch they’ve always been? You want to know if you’re candidate is a superstar or a lump of coal in the video interview before they ever set foot in the office.

Here are some clues to watch out for directly in the video interview in order to tell if your worker will be as efficient as one of Santa’s elves or as bah-humbug as Scrooge:

Watch Body Language
In your video interview, it’s important to watch how a candidate holds themselves in addition to what they say. Words are important, but nonverbal cues are a prime reason to use job interview videos to connect with candidates.

In the virtual interview, make sure to watch not just what the candidate says but how exactly they say it. Is their posture defensive? Do they have their arms crossed? If so, this might signal a defensive worker who won’t be open to criticism or learning from their mistakes.

Likewise, are they paying attention to you in the virtual interview or is their attention seemingly wandering along with their eye contact? Good eye contact tells you the job seeker is listening and paying attention. Bad eye contact in the video interview lets you know the candidate is either distracted or uncomfortable. You want the job seeker to be able to go from the virtual interview into the office without a hiccup and this will certainly be hard if they’re terrified.

For a successful video interview, make sure your candidate is making good eye contact and will answer questions calmly. Closed-off candidates with poor eye contact in the virtual interview should probably end up on your naughty list, because their body language tells you they probably won’t be able to fit into your company culture with ease.

Watch Out for Candidates Who Avoid Real World Examples
You want job seekers who can show you examples of the way they’ve brought value to former companies and in former positions. You will want to use job video interviews to encourage candidates to share specific examples of their prior experience. For instance, a candidate might spend the entire virtual interview telling you how good they are at keeping organized. But are they really? How do you know if the candidate is really naughty or nice when it comes to their organizational skills? They might just be telling you what you want to hear, and by keeping it general, you have no specific evidence to the contrary.

Instead, look for candidates who can answer questions calmly while also giving you specific examples of the way they’ve brought value. Instead of hearing about a candidate’s organizational skills, this smart applicant would use the video interview to provide you with specific examples of a new organizational system they established at their old company. This is an example providing you with real-world value, instead of a lot of hot air which cannot be measured.

Watch Out for Ego
When trying to determine whether your job seeker is naughty or nice, make sure to check their ego. Egotistical candidates won’t be a good fit for your organization, company culture, or open position. This is because egotistical candidates don’t learn from their mistakes and often refuse to accept responsibilities for their own failings. In the video interview, watch out for candidates who purposefully shift blame onto former coworkers or bosses.

A good way to do this is to ask a question about a time the job seeker has failed in the past. If candidates answer questions calmly and accept responsibility for their mistakes, you know their ego isn’t likely to block their ability to learn. However, if the candidate gets defensive and starts to rattle off a list of excuses, this is most likely a candidate who can’t accept responsibility for their actions. These employees will drag down your company culture with their lack of accountability.

This holiday season, remember how important it is to find the best candidates for your open positions. This talent can impact your organization and company culture in ways both big and small. Watch out for body language, look for real world examples, and steer clear of egotistical candidates

What are some ways you can tell if a job seeker is naughty or nice in the video interview this holiday season? Share in the comments!

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Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).