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10 Video Editor Interview Questions You Should Ask Every Candidate

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So…you’ve decided to hire a video editor? Congrats! This is an exciting time for you. When you outsource your video edits, you can shift your time and energy into growing your brand.  

Hiring a video editor isn’t hard. You could hire one in less than 5 minutes off Upwork if you wanted to. But I’m guessing you want to find the right editor. You know – one you get along with, who cares about your goals, and sticks around for the long run. 

So how can you land your dream video editor? The best way is to talk to them and ask the right video editor interview questions.

You can use the following 10 video editor interview questions to hire the right video editor on the first try. 

What To Look For In A Video Editor

Before we get into the interview questions, you shouldn’t skip the following important step. What is it? Don’t forget to take the time to first understand what you want from your video editor. 

You can use that clarity to find and pre-screen potential hires and create a short list of candidates to interview. You should do this whether you are posting a job ad, hiring off of a job board, or browsing websites online. You can use these ideas as a kick-off point. 

Reliable Editors Only, Please

If you’re going to trust someone else with part of your content creation process, they must be reliable and meet your deadlines. End of story. You’ve worked hard to build your brand up to this point. You have a reputation to uphold, and you’ve built trust with your audience or customer base.

If you can’t count on your video editor, you’re going to stress out constantly and wonder why you’re paying someone else to give you headaches. The only way to pre-assess if someone is reliable is to rely on social proof and public feedback.

Do They Have Good Reviews?

Look, every business starts without any reviews and has to work hard to get its first client. You might find a budding video editor that could work out beautifully if you took a chance on them. But do you want to be the client who throws the dice as someone’s first customer? And do you want to spend extra time and energy training them how to interact with a client?

If you don’t, it’s simple. Only interview video editors who have great reviews and testimonials. Another reason to check for reviews? Video editing has a low barrier to entry, so there’s a plethora of bad video editors out there, too. 

Editing Experience With Content Like Yours

What kind of content do you want help producing? Find yourself an editor who has the exact skill set you’re after. Let’s say you plan to make talking head videos for YouTube. If you can hire a YouTube video editor who is a talking head expert, why would you choose to work with someone who mainly edits wedding videos?

Do you have a YouTube channel you want to grow? Learn how a fractional video editor can help you grow it fast!

Show Me, Don’t Tell Me

Do you want your videos to have a certain style or feel? Wouldn’t it be great if you could team up with an editor who already gets what you want?

Well, you can! And the easiest way to get a feel for their style is to view their past work. A good editor is flexible and adapts to what their customer wants. So, they may produce content in a wide range of styles. But you should know right away when you view their samples if you want them to work on your projects.

How Many Other Clients Are They Juggling?

There are so many different arrangements you can make with video editors these days. You can pay by the hour, by the project, or even by the month. Make sure your video editor has enough time for you now and can scale with you as you grow. 

Unless you are hiring for a full-time position, you should assume any editor you work with has other clients. There’s nothing wrong with that, just check to make sure they have enough hours left over to take care of you. The editor you are considering may give clues to this on their work profile or website. If they don’t, ask them during the interview.

Feel free to add your own ideas or values to ours and start looking for editors you want to work with. 

Ask These 10 Video Editor Interview Questions

Once you have your shortlist of candidates to speak with, it’s time to hop on a call and interview them. When you feel ready to fire your interview questions their way, start here.

Have They Worked With Clients Like You Before?

Early on, they will probably have some questions for you. The main thing any editor wants to know is what type of work you do and what services you want. If you haven’t explained what you do yet, you can work it into your first interview question. 

Explain exactly what you want, and ask them if they have video editing experience in this area. If they aren’t experienced, you are likely better off working with someone else. Unless you get a good feeling from them and you’re willing to give them time to learn.

It’s ok to end the interview early in a polite manner. If at any point you make up your mind that you are not hiring them, politely let them know it’s not a good fit. Don’t waste your time or theirs. 

Ask To See Their Portfolio Or Relevant Samples

It’s one thing for an editor to tell you they are wonderful and can help you, it’s another thing entirely if they can actually show you. So don’t be shy; it’s show me, don’t tell me time. It’s the best way for you to get a feel for their capabilities and video style. You might be able to look up some candidates’ portfolios ahead of time. If not, ask for it and take a look after you hop off the call.

Can They Provide References?

If you want to directly hire an employee, you should always ask for references and take the time to call them. When you’re talking to their references, definitely ask more behavioural-based interview questions to give you an idea of their personality and work style.  If you’re hiring a freelancer or agency, it’s a lot more common to decide based on reviews, testimonials, and their portfolio. 

Ask Them To Walk You Through Their Editing Process, From Start To Finish 

You should ask this to get a feel for what it will be like to work with them. Ask follow-up interview questions if they miss out on any important details, such as:

  • What video editing software do you use? Pros use premium paid products like Adobe Premiere Pro. (check this article out to learn more about editing software)
  • Where and how do you submit your raw video files and editing instructions?
  • What is their turnaround time? 
  • What does the revision process look like?
  • Is there a limit to the number of revisions you can request?
  • How do you access your finished project file?

What Days & Times Can You Count On Them?

You can’t expect your editor to be available 7 days a week and waiting for you to snap your fingers to hop on your work right away. Unless of course you hire them as an employee with that specific arrangement! But that sounds expensive…

You can expect a consistent level of service, however. And their availability needs to fit with your content production schedule. 

How Many Hours of Editing Time Will You Get Each Week?

If you pay by the hour, make sure they have enough time available if you decide to ramp up your content output. If you pay by the project or by the month, you need to ask this question to understand what you are actually getting.

You can find a lot of services that offer unlimited video editing for a monthly fee. The “unlimited” bit can be extremely misleading for their clients. If you dig deeper, you find that they only actually provide you with a limited amount of editing time each working day. Better to ask and figure this all out before you hire them.

Can They Scale With You?

Ask this to find out if they can grow with you. You want to work with the same editor for the long run. Over time your video editor will learn your business inside and out, and will become your main collaborator on each project. You don’t want to lose the momentum you build together and have to start over with someone else if you can help it. 

Do Your Projects Stop Dead When They Get Sick or Need Time Off?

This is a tough interview question, and we doubt many people ask it. But it’s worth discussing as this is a key expectation that needs to be clear for everyone involved. If you hire a video editing service with multiple employees, they likely can keep up with your editing work while your editor is unavailable. If you hire an individual, you will probably need to find another solution when they eventually need time off. 

How Will You Communicate?

Do they have in-house software or an online portal you can interact through? Do you want to be able to call or email them? How quickly are they going to get back to you when you have something to say? Look for a video editing service that responds in 1-2 days at most. 

When Can They Start?

If you’ve made it this far…you likely found your new video editor. The last thing to find out is when you can have a kickoff call to get to work!

Do It Right The First Time

Ideally, you want to find a video editor you can team up with for the long run. Once you’ve worked together for a while, everything just becomes so much easier. You want your video editor to:

  • Understand your business and your goals
  • Know your desired video style and keep your content consistent
  • Be on the same page with processes and workflows. Life is great when you can communicate with your editor easily and trust them to get the job done
  • Bring up problems to you ASAP so you can help solve them
  • Help you produce better content and collaborate with their ideas

All of that good stuff you want comes after the initial adjustment period when you start a new work partnership. 

If you are constantly hiring and working with new editors, you won’t get there. And you get to look forward to always going through the same onboarding cycle. Set expectations, spend time teaching and training, adjust to their work style, and then start over again.

You can avoid spinning your wheels if you take the time to find the right fit. Start by being able to clearly describe what you want from a video editor. You also need to know how much content you plan to produce each week.

Try This Hiring Approach 

If you’re clear on what you want, it’s time to explore your options and make a short list of video editors to interview. You need to decide if you want a freelancer, a part-time or full-time employee, or if you want to team up with an agency. There’s no overall “best” answer. It depends on your unique situation and budget.

If you want to find out in five minutes which option is best for you, then read this article for an overview. Or just give us a call. Video editing is all we do, and we can quickly point you in the right direction. 

Once you decide which route to take, either post a job ad or search for qualified editors. Make a list of candidates you want to talk to. Then use our list of video editor interview questions as a starting point, adding anything you feel is relevant to your situation. 

We recommend you steer clear of anyone who won’t talk to you before you buy. Any reputable professional or agency wants to talk to you first anyways. They want to see if you are a good fit for them as well. 

Follow this process, and you can have your dream video editor working with you to grow your brand in no time. 

Do you have any video questions you’d like help with? If you do, we are always happy to chat. You can book a call when it’s convenient for you, and we’ll answer any questions you have about video editing. And don’t worry, you won’t find any sales pressure here. We don’t work with everyone, but we want to make sure people get the help they need. So if we aren’t the right solution for you and your needs, we’ll point you in the direction we would take in your shoes. You can book a call with us here. 

If you want to learn more about hiring an editor, we have some articles we think you’d enjoy. 

Should I Hire a Professional Video Editing Service?

How Different Types of Editing Services Work

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