3 Questions to Ask to Get the Most Out of a Video Interview

3 Questions to Ask to Get the Most Out of a Video Interview
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Video interviewing is growing as a way for organizations to reach active and passive job seekers. 

In a June executive survey of more than 700 professionals by Futurestep, an amazing 71 percent of respondents reported using real-time video interviewing to assess candidates, and 50 percent reported using video interviews as a way to narrow the candidate pool. These results suggest that the video interview “trend” has become more of an HR norm.

Related: 4 Ways to Test 'Cultural Fit' During the Hiring Process

The challenge for entrepreneurs and HR professionals is getting the most out of every video interview. With that in mind, here are three questions that will provide valuable insight into candidates, and what to watch for in their answers:

1. “Imagine this was a face-to-face interview. What would you do differently?”

In a 2013 study published in the Management Decision journal, researchers found that interviewers perceived candidates interviewed over video less favorably than candidates interviewed face to face.

For many interviewers, looking at a candidate through a screen can create the feeling that they’re not getting the whole picture. By asking the candidate what they would do differently in a face-to-face interview, interviewers can learn more about how candidates build relationships in person, how they carry themselves and how aware they are of how their communication style changes in different situations.

What to watch for: Candidates who are strong in-person communicators may feel more comfortable responding to a question about a face-to-face interview situation. Keep an eye out for shifts in body language and more pronounced eye contact that suggest the candidate’s ability to build a strong rapport in person.

2. “How would you go about solving (insert challenging situation)?”

In the end, the candidate is being hired to do a job, and he or she is going to come across a challenge at some point. Use the video interview to find out more about how she would perform in that situation.

Provide a challenging task the candidate might run into and have them explain how they would go about tackling the issue. This will help provide interviewers with a framework for how the candidate thinks through a problem and, as a result, may react when presented with a stressful situation in the workplace.

Related: Will Your Interview Answers Get You Hired?

What to look for: The candidate won’t necessarily know the ins and outs of the organization’s process, and that’s OK. What’s important is that the candidate’s thought process is logical, sound and realistic. If it’s a live video interview, watch for what resources the candidate leans on. Does the candidate use pen and paper? Does he or she struggle to perform the task in his or her head? Does he or she ask what resources are available to solve the problem?

When it’s a recorded video interview, keep an eye out for fast, efficient answers that seem rehearsed. It’s possible the candidate worked the issue out first, then recorded their answer later.

3. “Do you work well with (insert various personality types)? Why or why not?”

When Hyper Island surveyed more than 500 CEOs, HR professionals, directors and employees in a wide-range of industries about their hiring habits in April 2014, they uncovered a new trend in hiring: 78 percent of respondents felt personality was more important than a candidate’s technical skills.

Nowadays, success means being able to work with others. Even in independent roles, candidates will eventually have to interact with colleagues and managers, which means how they interact with different personalities can have a huge impact on their effectiveness. It’s best to find out how the candidate will interact with the different personalities in the office up front.

What to look for: Honesty and self-understanding. Hearing a candidate gets along with all types of personalities is great, but is it realistic?

Look for candidates who acknowledge their difficulties with certain personalities and know themselves well enough to discuss the challenges they face. Candidates who understand how to approach interactions with difficult personalities and share their strategies for making these relationships work show the kind of a proactive self-understanding that can lead to success in the workplace.

The bottom line: Focus on the little things.

While candidates are answering these three questions, it’s best to focus on things such as body language, eye contact and speaking with confidence along with the candidate’s answers. These “little things” are actually big indicators for how a candidate will succeed (or not succeed) in the workplace and can help interviewers make the most out of every video interview.

Related: 5 Questions That Reveal Whether a Job Candidate Is Startup Material