To Skype or not to Skype?


Technology doesn’t always go hand in hand with recruitment but in terms of interviewing we are seeing a good use of technology which is helping to make the process more efficient. Skype interviewing is used more and more at the expense of the face to face and telephone alternatives.

As recruiters, we suggest it to our clients if they want to speed things up, and we do it ourselves if candidates don’t live in London.

We find that candidates sometimes prefer Skype over face to face if they are slightly anxious about interviews or have no time to attend a meeting so it can be useful.

We think it’s an effective method if you have a good enough internet connection and you follow my 4 simple rules:

  1. Sort out the logistics and test it a couple of times; think about the background, lighting and the position of the web-cam. Make sure the camera is positioned close enough to your face so you can make eye contact and the other person can see your facial expressions.
  2. A small thing, but if your username is something that a 15 year old will find funny, change it.
  3. Prepare as you would do for a real face to face interview. Pay attention to your posture; slouching is not acceptable. If you are a candidate, remember that old saying Dress for the job you want… It still applies with Skype interviewing.
  4. Recruiters or hiring managers should start off the interview by setting the agenda and allow some time to enable the applicant to get comfortable with the technology. Candidates should take this time to lose those last nerves and to get into interview mode.

The conversation may seem a bit flat especially if there’s background noise, a slower internet connection, or if people are just not used to this method; take this into consideration when you rate a candidate or a job and if you need to, follow-up with another call.

This is not a bulletproof method and not perfect, but it can be very effective if used properly and can most certainly solve any issues around location and can help speed up your recruitment process. The key thing is to conduct the call as you would a face to face interview and you will be successful. More importantly, make sure you enjoy it!

Happy Skyping!