Skype – A Whole New Interview? Not Really

Many potential employers are using Skype to conduct interviews.  It gives them a chance to interact with candidates without the cost associated with in-person interviews and allows them to open up their search beyond geographic borders they may not have originally crossed to find employees.  While it may seem like Skype has revolutionized interviewing, the same basic principles apply to a Skype interview as an in-person interview.

While employers rave about the benefits of Skype interviews, I have also heard many of them complain about Skype.  Not the technology, but the candidate’s lack of preparation and/or not taking the interview seriously.

Based on conversations with employers, here are some tips regarding Skype interviews:

  • Test out your Skype connection before the interview – this is as much a technology test for you as it is an interview. Make sure it works and you are comfortable with the technology.  If necessary, have a back up plan.

  • Choose a professional setting and dress professionally. This is a big one, and the reason the potential employer has chosen Skype over a phone interview.

  • Test the volume and your Internet speed/connection, Skype with friends as a test run.

  • Practice Skype with a friend to make sure you check out lighting (don’t sit in front of a window), have them tell you what’s in the background, make sure your face is clearly visible, so they can see your expressions and how you interact.

  • Interviewers are looking for the same things they would in an in-person interview, they just don’t have the luxury or budget to meet in person, or it’s the preliminary round of interviews.

  • At the date and time of the Skype interview, connect a few minutes early.  Preferably, you should be in an office setting, but if you are not, turn off the television, and herd dogs and children so they are not in on the interview.

Skype interview are definitely becoming more and more popular as a way to screen potential candidates and get a feel for how they interact. Skype is another technology tool that employers can use to narrow down their pool of potential candidates.  Make sure you remain in the pool by conducting the Skype interview much the same way as an in-person interview.

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