Video Interviewing Tips to Identify Top Virtual Employees Effectively

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A smiling man talking to a lady on a video call on his laptop.

Every business owner who wants to hire virtually needs some good video interviewing tips. These tips from our arsenal at Outsource School will help you find the candidate that you need for the job. We’ll go through setting the stage, conducting the interview, and a few other bonus tips.

Setting the Stage for Success

Choose an Appropriate Environment

An appropriate video interviewing environment projects a professional image and ensures a smooth flow. 

Choose a background that’s free of clutter and busy images and anything that could give away sensitive information. Silence your phone and avoid distractions during the interview.

Plain and solid colors are ideal, even if you’re limited to using a virtual background. Make sure that any images are professional and high-quality so they don’t appear blurry or pixelated.

Make sure that you have enough light, natural light if possible, and position yourself facing the light source. Avoid harsh lighting, and block out light sources coming from behind.

Technical Setup


Use a reliable computer that has enough processing power and memory to conduct and record a smooth video call.

Adjust your camera to rest at eye level, or slightly higher for the best view. This also helps you to maintain eye contact with the camera to create a sense of connection. Ensure that you are getting a quality image so you present a professional image. Consider external speakers as well if your built-in ones make it difficult for you to hear the other party.

Make sure that you can conduct the interview in a location free of background noise and the threat of interruptions. If you don’t have access to a high-quality microphone, use a headset so that your voice can be clearly heard. Your built-in mic may be enough, but test it with a colleague to be sure. 


Choose a location with strong internet, and use a wired connection if possible. If Wi-Fi is your only option, ensure you have a stable and reliable signal to avoid issues. When your video is freezing or lagging during the interview, you can’t expect to insist that candidates promise good internet.

Do a test run before the interview to ensure that everything is functioning properly.


Choose a reliable video conferencing platform with adequate security features. Make sure you’re familiar with the functions, too, before the interview. Check for updates to avoid undue technical glitches.

Professional Dress 

Our video interviewing tips call for a balance between professionalism and practicality. Your outfit should reflect your business’s values and culture. Be comfortable, like choosing breathable fabrics that allow for some movement, but not unprofessional. 

As with your background, opt for solid and subdued colors and subtle patterns instead of large or busy patterns. Avoid low-cut tops, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, sweatpants, ripped jeans, and any other overly casual attire. Avoid large, dangling jewelry, and other potentially distracting accessories.

Conducting the Interview

A man communicating with a woman via video call on his laptop.

Pre-Interview Preparation

  • Clearly communicate your company culture to all applicants. Describe the work environment and use language that reflects your core values. This will attract candidates who are a better fit. 
  • Set the tone for a positive experience by sending personalized interview invitations. Include the interview format and any other expectations you have for the interview.
  • Make sure you have reviewed the resume of the candidate who’s up for an interview. For call-backs, you may also want to check their social media and references first. This will help you remove any candidates who seem good, but only on paper. 
  • Prepare interview questions that speak directly to the requirements that you posted in your job description. Go through these at least once right before you start the video call. Practice them with a colleague if you’re new to interviewing. 
  • Read a joke or listen to a happy song before you jump on the call. Your mood will show on your face! 
  • Practice good posture in front of the camera so you know how to maintain it throughout the call. This is one of our favorite video interviewing tips, even though it’s rarely talked about. Use natural hand gestures if you need to emphasize your points, but avoid fidgeting or leaning far back in your chair.

Engagement During the Interview

  • Greet the candidate warmly by name as soon as they join the video call. 
  • Thank them for coming and acknowledge any time zone differences to show consideration.
  • Engage in a bit of small talk to help break the ice. For instance, you can ask about something light like how their day went. 
  • Maintain a positive tone throughout the interview. 
  • Take care not to turn this conversion into an interrogation. You won’t learn much about the candidate that way.
  • Encourage them to elaborate on their thought processes, experiences and problem-solving approaches. You can do this by asking open-ended questions, acknowledging their responses with positive reinforcement, and using verbal cues that show your interest.
  • Ask behavioral and scenario-based questions to learn how they would respond in specific situations. These give insights into relevant skills like teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, creativity, decision-making abilities, and communication style under pressure. 
  • Intentionally leave time at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask you questions about the role, the team they’ll be working with, or your company. This transparency allows them to assess if the role aligns with their values and interests.

Post-Interview Follow-up

  • Always follow up with candidates after the interview. Don’t wait more than 2 days to send them an email. Even if it’s a rejection, thank them for their time and interest. If you might hire them for a similar position in the future, let them know that you’d like to keep them on file if they agree.
  • If you’re following up for a second interview or are ready to hire, tell the candidate what impressed you the most. Then tell them you want to move forward, and give them clear next steps. Let them know that they can ask any remaining questions they might have as well.

Special Considerations for Pre-Recorded Interviews

A smiling woman talking on a headset while typing on a laptop.

Preparation and Execution

In some cases, you might prefer to send questions out and have candidates record their answers. If so, make sure you give clear instructions on what format to use, the time limit, deadline for submission, and any other specifics. 

Make sure you have a clear rating criteria prepared so you can evaluate submissions properly and fairly. Schedule enough time to review each recording thoroughly. Don’t just skim through. Take notes and assess each response based on the established criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective strategies to assess a candidate’s cultural fit through a video interview?

Ask specific questions about the candidate’s understanding of your company culture and values. You could also try framing questions around your company’s core values. 

You might also give them hypothetical scenarios that reflect your team’s work style or typical challenges. Then, ask the candidate how they would approach the situation. This reveals their problem-solving skills and how they might collaborate with people on your team.

Make sure you dig deep into the candidate’s motivations beyond just the job description. See if their interests and goals align with the overall company culture and goals, and the team’s mission and direction.

What are the best practices for maintaining security and privacy in video interviews?

Choose a reputable video conferencing tool with proven security features like encryption and two-factor authentication. Research the platform’s privacy policies and data security practices. Only share meeting links with the candidates scheduled for interview. Make sure the channels you use to send them are also secure. 

Make sure that no sensitive information shows on camera, and tell candidates to do the same. Share only what’s necessary with the candidate, and avoid disclosing confidential information unless absolutely necessary. 

Make sure that no one can eavesdrop during the interview or access your files. Update your operating system, software, and browser before conducting interviews. 

If you would like to record the interview, inform candidates and get their explicit consent in writing. In most cases, an email will do. Let them know what you will use the recording for and how long you will store it.

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Final Video Interviewing Tips 

By following these video interviewing tips, you can ensure a positive experience for both yourself and the candidate. Remember that a professional video interviewing environment helps you get great interview results. From there, you can make more well-informed hiring decisions. A little preparation can go a long way in making a positive impression!

Want help outsourcing & hiring virtual assistants? We make it easy! Learn More, Speak w/ an Expert, or Request a Callback



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