A video editor is an individual who works with visual, audio footage, or other media to produce a video product such as a film or TV programme.
Working alongside the producer and director to decide on and organise the final images used in the final video, video editors are an essential member of the post-production team. They are also responsible for editing the images, or footage taken during filming and ensuring that any music or additional dialogue is added correctly when producing the final version of the film.
When hiring a video editor, you need to be sure that the individuals you choose demonstrate the relevant skills and experience required to succeed in the role.
This article looks at the common skills and attributes of successful video editors. We also share the tests that you can use to assess candidates against these skills and abilities to make the best hiring decisions.
What should a video editor be able to do?
Video editors are involved in many aspects of the creative process when making a video or film production.
Video editors are required primarily to organise and stitch together various pieces of film footage, stills, dialogue, and music according to the script and director's instructions.
Their tasks are varied and cover not only editing, but reviewing material, and collaborating with others. By using relevant video editing software and equipment, video editors must select the most appropriate pieces of raw footage to create a seamless and coherent scene that is logical to the storyline.
Ensuring that the scene flows smoothly, video editors are also involved in identifying errors and correcting these, trimming any sections to the required length, and reviewing the editing process to ensure a logical flow to the video or film being produced.
Video editors also need to study scripts so they know the storyline and how the director wants the video to flow, familiarise themselves with visual effects, audio, or music required to complete the final film product, and record necessary sounds or obtain these from sound libraries.
Collaboration also forms a part of a video editor's role; they work closely with colleagues in the music, visual, audio, or special effects departments to ensure that every element of the video is a continuous production that is seamless.
Video editors also work with the film or video producers and directors when it comes to the editing approaches or layout of the final film. They must ensure that the edited video meets the director's vision and has maximum impact on the audiences watching.
Skills to look for in a video editor
There are several essential skills that a video editor should have to carry out their role effectively, work with others, and produce an end product that appeals to audiences.
These skills include:
Reading comprehension: reading large documents such as scripts and understanding the key messages.
Time management skills: video editors often work to deadlines, and the output of their work determines the output of others. Managing their own and others' time effectively, working to strict and often tight deadlines, and working under pressure are important skills required of all video editors.
Logical thinking skills: video editors need to apply logical thinking to effectively and quickly solve problems that arise while using their critical thinking to reach the best possible outcome.
Video creation software: video editors need to be proficient in using IT systems such as video editing software. As this is a core part of video editing, being adept at using different types of software is an important skill to have.
Microsoft Office suite: being proficient in using all applications in the Microsoft Office suite, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft Word, means that video editors can engagingly present their ideas and views, keep track of budgets and share workflow processes with the broader team.
Useful abilities for a video editor
Successful video editors possess abilities inherent to who they are as a person. These abilities aren't learned but are natural talents and are often a differentiator between those who are influential in their role and those who aren't.
These abilities include:
Written expression: the ability to document their ideas and views appropriately depending on the audience they are communicating with. For example, as video editors work with a variety of people, they need to be able to document their ideas in a way that everyone can understand.
Originality: video editors need to be able to come up with creative ideas to solve a problem or provide alternative views when considering a topic or situation
Attention to detail: the work of a video editor requires individuals to be focused solely on the task they are working on. They need to identify any errors or discrepancies within a piece of footage. Demonstrating attention to detail and selective attention is essential if they are to complete the core of their role to a high standard.
Problem-solving: using their ability to identify patterns or relationships between the information or make assumptions based on information to help solve problems is an essential ability for a video editor. This enables them to deal with various types of footage, sound or visual, and solve any issues in post-production.
Communication skills: communicating clearly and effectively with all members of the special effects, visual effects, audio, and film teams is essential for the final film product to be delivered on time and to the highest standards as envisioned by the director and producer.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a video editor?
There are several soft skills tests that you can use as part of your recruitment process that would enable you to identify candidates that meet the requirements for your role. These include
Time management: a test designed to determine whether candidates can manage their time effectively to meet deadlines. This test is scenario-based and allows you to understand better how candidates deal with work-related deadlines, pressure, and their approach to prioritising tasks.
Teamwork: looking at a candidate's skill in working with others in a team and whether they can work effectively to achieve a common goal and create a productive working environment.
Communication skills: this test is designed to assess an individual's ability to communicate through reading, writing, and verbal communication and their ability to listen and follow non-verbal cues actively. This test is scenario-based, using scenarios relevant to the workplace.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a video editor?
Many tests can be incorporated into your recruitment process to enable you to assess individuals against the necessary aptitudes needed to be a successful video editor.
Logical reasoning: assessing an individual's ability and aptitude in solving complex problems; this test requires candidates to use their inductive and deductive reasoning. Those taking the test need to decipher relationships between information and use this to determine which of the answers given is correct.
Verbal reasoning test: allowing you to determine an individual's ability to read and understand text passages. Also whether they use what they have learned to inform their decision-making on the best course of action in a given situation or problem.
Microsoft PowerPoint test: assessing an individual's proficiency in using Microsoft PowerPoint and all its available features to create eye-catching and engaging presentations relevant to the audience they are communicating with.
Our recommended test battery for a video editor
Time management test: a scenario-based test that requires looking to decipher an individual's ability to manage time, prioritise tasks and meet deadlines.
Teamwork test: designed to evaluate candidates' skills when working in a team environment, whether they can work with others and create a positive working environment.
Verbal reasoning: determining an individual's ability to read passages of text and documents, and understand and use the information they have read to help them solve problems or reach the best course of action in a given situation.
Microsoft PowerPoint: assessing a candidate's skill level in using Microsoft PowerPoint and its features to create engaging documents for all audiences. This test can also determine candidates' creativity in producing documents.
We have specific job knowledge tests and more information about using tests to help in hiring a video editor, such as our video editor test guide.