Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What Questions to Ask in a Video Interview

If you have entered into the job market, or are an intelligent, breathing human being, you know what an interview is. It’s an essential step you need to make and cross before receiving a job, making a deal or getting accepted into a school. Interviews are used for countless numbers of reasons, but do you truly know what an interview is? By definition, an interview is a meeting of people face to face, especially for consultation.  Its strongest synonyms are conversation and talk.

You may be wondering precisely why I am giving you a vocabulary lesson here, but it’s very important to remember that an interview is a conversation between two or more people consulting between each other. Note that the definition does not say an interview is where the interviewer asks interviewee questions and then ends the conversation. An interview is a chance for both the interviewer and interviewee to ask questions and get the answers they need in order to make a well thought out decision. Often times as interviewees we tend to forget that an interview is our chance to ask questions too. Chances are you have tons of them and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask them. In fact, the interviewer expects you to ask them questions and will likely give you ample time at the end to ask them. If you come into a video interview with no questions, likely the interviewer will take note citing you as uninterested, unprepared or worse, an unintelligent person. To avoid all of the above, take a look at some of the questions you should be asking and make sure you have prepared a good amount of them before walking into your interview.

Important Tips on Questions
Before we dive right into the pool of relevant video interview questions, let’s first take note of some important facts about interview questioning. Before you bombard the interviewer with your questions, you should remember that your turn for questions will probably be at the end. Of course you are going to have tons of questions walking into an interview, that’s what the majority of the interview is for- to clear most of the obvious questions up. If some of your questions weren’t answered during the interview, ask them at the end.

Next, the types of questions you ask are also very important. You want to try and ask open-ended questions. Those are questions that can’t be simply answered with just a yes or a no but instead push for answers that are explanatory and in-depth. To elaborate on this, the best kinds of questions are behavioral based. Perhaps the most important rule of thumb for interviewees is to not inquire about salary and benefits until brought up by the interviewer. If they don’t bring it up, save it for the second interview or ask when they offer you the position. Then, the topic is negotiable and open for discussion. Any time before this is deemed inappropriate by most employers.  That said, take a look at some of these well though-out questions to ask the interviewer.

What are things your organization has done recently to show how it values its employees?
You want to know how you will be treated and how you will be rewarded for good work. Simply asking an interviewer if they value their employees is, first of all, a close ended question. Secondly, it sounds a bit rude and antagonistic. Turn it into an open-ended question that shows you want to know how your work and position will be valued if you take this job.

What do you enjoy most about your work with this company?
This gives the interviewer a chance to gloat about and sell their company to you and you get a chance to learn what they think is the best part of their company. This is a great way to learn about the company from an insider’s point-of-view. If they are hard-pressed to give you an answer, perhaps they don’t really enjoy working for that company and you probably won’t either.

How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
This is one of my personal favorites. I have been on video interviews where the interviewer struggled to answer the question clearly and it turned me off from the job. You want to have a good idea of what is expected of you and what you are to expect in a typical work day and the interviewer should be able to answer this question easily if they have a clear understanding of the position they are trying to fill.

Is there possibility of advancement in this position?
If you really like this company and think you would be a good fit, you are going to want to know if you are able to move up. If upward advancement is what you ultimately seek, then asking this question will give you the answer you need to decide if this position is for you or not.

What is the company’s management style?
This may seem like a difficult question to ask, but would you buy a car without understanding how it worked? Probably not. If you truly want this position, then you should have a full understanding of how you are going to be treated and what you should expect of your managers. Are they micro-managers or do they want you to work independently with little guidance? Do they value strong teamwork or want their employees to work on their own? These are all things that you will want to know.

How does your company view overtime? Is it expected?
If your managers intend for their employees to work overtime, this is definitely something you will want to know. If you are someone who does not want to work overtime and fail to ask this question, you may find that you are very unhappy if you accept the job offer and are stuck working many hours more than you planned.

Where do you see this company in five years?
Do they plan to expand and grow or are their markets likely going to remain the same? Expansion may mean more work and opportunities for you. Is this something you want or do you want a company that is steady and will remain the same through the years?

What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone in this position?
This is a question that will easily tell you what they want from you and what they expect from someone in this position. This gives you the adequate tools to decide if this position is for you.

Other great questions to ask include:
How will I be evaluated and how often?
How does this position support you?
How would you define success for this particular position?

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

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