7 Reasons You Should Implement Video Screening Interviews

Female hiring manager with a resume, pen and clipboard in her hand conducting a video screening interview on her laptop with an African American female dressed in a black blouse

Screening candidates is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Discover how video screening interviews can help you improve your screening efficiency, reduce recruiter workloads, and improve the candidate experience.

What Is a Video Screening Interview?

A video screening interview is a virtual form of pre-interview screening that takes place over a video conferencing platform. It allows employers to verify a candidate’s skill set before conducting a live interview. It allows candidates to demonstrate their qualifications to advance in the hiring process. 

Video screening interviews are an alternative to the traditional screening process, which is completed over the phone or is done via resume alone. The addition of video adds nuance and context that’s difficult to gain with a paper resume or a voice-only conversation. 

Types of Video Screening Interviews

Video screening interviews can take several different formats:


A one-way screening is a type of pre-recorded interview in which a candidate is prompted with questions and given the opportunity to record their answers. There is no live interviewer; the questions are provided in written form or are delivered via a recording of the interviewer speaking on camera. Candidates have a set amount of time to respond to each question, typically a few minutes.


A two-way screening is a video conversation with a live interviewer. It’s just like a phone screen, with the interviewer asking a series of questions, only conducted over a video calling platform versus over the phone. A two-way screening typically takes around 15 minutes to complete. 

Application video

An application video is a free-form video recording that candidates are asked to submit with their resume and application materials. Instead of a series of questions, candidates may be given a general prompt like ‘Tell us why you’re a good candidate for the job.’ Hiring managers can use application videos as an assessment tool to narrow down the pool of candidates who are worthy of interviewing. 

7 Reasons to Use Video Screening Interviews

Video screening interviews offer several benefits to employers and candidates alike. Here are the most significant upsides.


Video interviews are generally easier to schedule and attend than in-person interviews. If you use a one-way screening format where there is no live interviewer, it eliminates the need for scheduling altogether. The candidate can view the questions and record their responses at a time that works within their schedule, and the recruiter can review the submissions at their convenience. 


With video screenings, it’s easy for a recruiter to review multiple candidates in a dedicated block of time rather than spacing out several screenings over several days or weeks. Video screenings are quickly recorded, which means they can be played back at any time. 


Recordings can be shared among team members without the need for all of the individuals to be available at the same time. This makes it easier for multiple decision-makers to share input on candidates, which can increase hiring accuracy. 


Video screening interviews help employers provide a consistent experience from one candidate to the next. Instead of using multiple recruiters who each have a different screening style or even using a single recruiter whose energy level may vary from one day to the next, video screenings ensure all candidates receive the same questions in the same format regardless of when they apply. 


Using questions recorded by the hiring manager or even the company’s owner can make the experience feel more personal, even more so than a live screening that takes place over the phone. Also, the added convenience of a video screening can create a favorable impression for candidates.


With video, a recruiter can get a much stronger sense of a candidate’s personality than if they were merely reviewing their resume or speaking on the phone. This can aid in identifying culture fit and hiring for roles where personality plays a big part in performance, like sales jobs. 


Nowadays, most people in the workforce have at least some level of experience with video conferencing. It’s easy to do and requires no special technology beyond a computer or the average smartphone. The low barrier to entry and high ease of use make this medium an ideal choice for completing candidate screening. 

Potential Downsides of Video Screening Interviews

Despite their many benefits, video screening interviews have a few drawbacks.


Video screening interviews could put some candidates at an unintended disadvantage, like hearing-impaired individuals or people who have difficulty working with specific applications on screens. 

Comfort level

Some people just don’t like being on camera. A candidate who’s excellent in person might not come across the same way when they’re faced with a bit of red light letting them know they’re being recorded. 

Margin for technical error

From WiFi connectivity issues to hardware malfunctions, video screening interviews have an inherent level of technical risk. This could create unwanted delays in the screening process. 

Tips for Implementing Video Screening Interviews

Follow these tips to incorporate video screening into your hiring process. 

1. Choose the right technology

On a small scale, you can carry out video screening interviews on your own using a series of apps, like Zoom and a standard email client. However, if you’re hiring for more than a few roles a year, your best bet is to use a dedicated video interview platform. Many applicant tracking systems (ATSs) have this functionality built in. 

You want the technology to be something the candidate doesn’t even have to think about–for example, opening the interview app should be as simple as clicking a link in an email–rather than an additional hurdle they must overcome in an already stressful job search process. 

2. Provide sufficient training for staff

All team members administering and reviewing video interviews should be given ample training. This includes training on how to use the technology and how the candidates’ responses should be assessed.

3. Set candidate expectations

Candidates value a clear and straightforward hiring process. Promote transparency and reduce pre-interview jitters by letting candidates know what to expect and how their footage will be used. Provide thorough instructions for using the screening tool and what the candidate should do if they run into trouble. 

Ideally, you should also offer an alternative screening option for those who can’t or don’t wish to participate in a video screening. 

4. Use strategic video screen interview questions

Develop screening questions that are tied to the job requirements and use the same questions for every screening. Here are some examples of effective video interview questions for an initial screening: 

  • Tell me about your background.
  • What interests you about this position?
  • What past experience do you have that makes you a good fit for the role?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?

5. Develop scoring criteria

All recruiters should use the same scoring system to ensure an objective and consistent hiring process. This could be a series of yes/no questions, a rating scale from 1 to 5, or any system your hiring team considers most fitting. The important thing is that it’s used the same way each time. 

Interview score sheets are a great tool to facilitate fair and streamlined candidate assessments. Check out our complete guide to interview scoring sheets here.

6. Be proactive in taking the next steps

One of the worst outcomes of a video screening is for a candidate to upload their video and never hear back. At best, they’ll wonder if you ever received their responses, and at worst, they’ll view you as a disorganized and unresponsive employer. 

Establish a protocol for following up with candidates after their screening. For example, you might send two follow-up emails:

Email 1: Let the candidate know their video was received and share information about your hiring timeline 

Email 2: Schedule the next interview OR let the candidate know you’ve chosen to move forward with other candidates 

You can automate this follow-up within your ATS or candidate relationship manager (CRM).

In addition to making life easier for recruiters, Incorporating video screening into your hiring process shows applicants that you’re a forward-thinking, tech-savvy organization that values candidates’ time. 

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn