Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Top 4 Video Questions To Ask To Improve Candidate Pre-Screening

The whole point of video interviews is to find the best candidates in a convenient way saving time and money. So it stands to reason that the more efficient the interview process itself is, the more time will be saved. One-way interviews, or Spotlight Interviews, allow recruiters to ask potential candidates a series of questions. Job seekers can then record and submit their answers for playback later. It’s an easy way to cut back on the amount of preliminary interviews you perform before narrowing down the field to only the most qualified candidates.

Thanks to video, you can now effectively pre-screen candidates before you take the time out of your schedule to interview them live or in-person. Just like every other aspect of the hiring process, there are ways to make the pre-screening process run smoother. Asking the right questions can help you shorten the list of potential candidates, and like Goldilocks, to find the person that is just right for your position.

Here are 4 questions you should ask to make sure you’re putting the right people through to the next round of interviewing.

  • What makes you qualified for this position? 

This question might seem very basic, but this is just a pre-screening interview so you need to cover your bases. You might be interviewing someone with a fantastic personality and really great communication skills, but if they don’t have the qualifications necessary to do the job you’re out of luck. You’ve already eliminated the unqualified candidates from the stack of paper resumes you have, so in the pre-screening interview it’s time to ask candidates about what qualifications they have that make them just right for the position. If you make the question broad you allow job seekers to self-select what they think the most important qualifications are for the position you’re hiring and share that information with you in an allotted amount of time. If what they’re mentioning isn’t what you’re looking for, you can save yourself a full interview.

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

This is a tough question but it’s a very important one if you’re hiring someone you intend to keep around. The response to this question should let you know if the job seeker is using this position as a step on the road of their career or if they’re just looking for any job. If their career goals don’t match the current position, you could be training someone who is on the way out already. No one wants to waste resources, so it’s good to know where your new employee is headed.  

  • What do you like best about this company? 

If the candidate has done any research at all, they should be able to tell you something about the company. Instead of just asking what they know, however, you’re asking them what they’ve found in their research that really stood out. If job seekers talk entirely about benefit packages and summer Fridays, you might have an issue. If they talk about the core values and mission of the company, you might just have a good fit. And if they don’t have anything to say at all, they haven’t researched the company and might not have the motivation needed to succeed.

  • Why should I hire you? 

This question is there to give you a quick impression of the candidate’s personality. The candidate should highlight their best qualities in their answer, as well as their relevant experience. In short, you’re having the candidate summarize why they will be a good potential hire for your company. If their elevator pitch doesn’t “wow” you, it’s a good bet that they’re not going to find something that will impress you more in a longer interview.

There are plenty of other great pre-screening interview questions, but those four will give you fast insight into candidates. If they impress you with those four simple questions, it might be time to schedule a more involved video interview. If they aren’t quite up to par, you didn’t lose a tremendous amount of time, and you can focus your energy elsewhere.

What are some good pre-screening interview questions you use? Let us know!

Image Courtesy of Jobtrakr

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writers 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). Connect with Heather and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.