tips to answer 5 common types of video interview questions.

In the COVID-19 era, video job interviews have quickly become commonplace. They were already on the rise pre-pandemic, but now they are a staple in the interview process. And they’re not going to disappear anytime soon.

Video interviews can be one-way or two-way. One-way means you are asked to pre-record answers to interview questions provided to you in advance. Two-way interviews are live, and you are asked questions by the interviewer similar to in-person interviews.

Even though video interviews are now commonplace, many candidates are still ill-prepared for them. The good news is while video interviews are unique, many of the questions you get from the hiring manager will be like other job interviews. The questions you get will not always be exactly the same, but they will be similar and fall into the following 5 interview question categories.

5 common types of video interview questions

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ice breaker questions

Expect to get a question or two to break the ice. They are introductory questions that allow the hiring company to learn more about you and see if you are a good fit for the company. Expect questions such as:

  • tell us about yourself
  • what made you apply for this job

Use this question as an opportunity to speak about your current role and provide a glimpse of who you are outside of the office. Briefly discuss your career highlights and communicate why you’re a great candidate for the role.

questions about your personality

Hiring companies want to see your personality. They want to see if you are in alignment with the company’s values. Expect questions such as:

  • do you prefer to work alone or on a team?
  • what are you passionate about?
  • what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Let your personality shine and be yourself. It’s okay to be different. Candidates who provide memorable and authentic answers will stand out from the crowd.

questions about your motivations

Every candidate has unique motivations. Some are motivated by money, opportunity, and some simply need a change of scenery. Expect to get questions about what motivates you. They include:

  • what are your career goals for the next 5 years?
  • how does this job fit into your career plan?

Be honest with your response. Make sure to connect how the job you want fits within your plan.

questions about your skills and abilities

Expect interviewers to ask you questions about your skills and experience. Often, it will be in the form of a behavioural-style question. They will want you to tell about a time you used your abilities in a previous role. Expect questions such as:

  • tell us about a time when you overcame a significant challenge
  • provide an example of when you had to get others to agree to implement your idea

To answer these types of questions, speak about the situation. Talk about the actions you took, the skills you used, and the result.

the unexpected question

Always expect the unexpected. Some interviewers like to throw out oddball questions during an interview to see how you will react. They want to see how you act on your feet and the process you take to answer the question. Examples of these types of questions include:

  • if you could only have a superpower, what would it be and why?
  • what’s the last book you read?

It’s okay if you get caught off guard. Give yourself a second to collect your thoughts. Provide an honest answer and explain the rationale you used. Have fun with it. The answers you give to these questions tend to be less important in the grand scheme of your interview, and are really just exist to get an idea of who you are as a person.

Video job interviews appear to be here to stay. While the format is new for many, the questions you’ll get asked will largely be similar to face-to-face interviews. If you put in the preparation, you’ll be ready to answer any question an interviewer throws at you. 

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