We are using Skype more and more to conduct interviews, and some of our clients are too, although not all. We’re recommending it, and this is our take on how it can be of benefit, and how to do it well.
Skype interview tips
The main reasons for incorporating Skype into your standard interview process are:
- Cost: nothing
- Convenience: it can be done wherever you have an internet connection and a webcam.
- Efficiency: Skype is better than the telephone for conducting first-line interviews, although not as good as a face-to-face interview.
There are certain things you can do to get the most out of the experience.
- Test your equipment in advance using Skype’s in-application tools, or by making a test call to a contact you already know. Our ID is bluespointltd.
- Remember to look at the camera, not just the picture on the screen, as they are not in the same place. This takes a little time to get used to.
- Find a place free of distraction, and of distracting backgrounds.
A Skype interview is similar to a face-to-face interview, but not quite the same:
- Some people are already very experienced with Skype, and others are not. You might need to make some allowances for this, especially for candidates who don’t remember to look at the camera.
- Some candidates are also unfamiliar with the technology, so you might allow for this too. At Blues Point we always try to call our candidates via Skype first, to iron out any technical problems.
- In general, candidates who are more prepared for the interview are more committed to the process, and to your job, whether the interview is via telephone, Skype, or in person. We always advise our candidates to give a Skype interview as much respect and preparation time as they would for a face-to-face interview. Candidates who are badly prepared are not necessarily unsuitable, but it’s a factor to consider.
- Sometimes the internet connection itself is at fault. If this is the case, a compromise solution might be to keep the video aspect of the call and disable the audio, using the telephone instead.
Remember that the candidate is also interviewing you. Give a good impression by:
- Being online in advance of the call.
- Checking your technology before you are due to use it.
- Calling at the exact time that the interview is scheduled (this has the added benefit of checking that the candidate is a good timekeeper as well).
- Dressing appropriately – as you would for a face-to-face interview.
- Having a professional background, perhaps giving an idea of the office environment.
Skype is not quite the same as a face-to-face interview but it’s better than the telephone for shortlisting candidates. As long as you keep in mind its limitations, it’s a very good way to make your recruitment process more streamlined.