With IT unemployment at an almost record low of around 4% nationally, more and more companies are going outside of their normal areas to bring talent in. Candidates are often willing to fly in for interviews, but not at their own expense. This puts the burden of an expensive airline ticket on the client, who may not have it in their budget to do so. And if you want to get the top notch candidates, they are not going to be around for 2 weeks to get the better ticket pricing. So what can you do? Today, more and more companies are starting to rely on video technology, such as Skype, to conduct job interviews. According to the Aberdeen Group, 42% of businesses used video interviews last year for recruiting, compared to 10% in 2010. The Skype interview may not necessarily be better than a face to face interview, but if conducted properly, can be very effective. These tips can help you better prepare for a Skype interview.
Set the Stage
Conduct the interview in a quiet, well lit setting. Keep the background simple and free of clutter and distractions. Avoid wearing bright colors and patterns and stick with neutral blues. Ensure that your Skype account name is some form of your first and last name vs. a non-business related name (avoid winelover2012) and dress professionally, as you would expect the candidate to do so as well.
Make sure you have familiarized yourself with the equipment ahead of time. Check your internet connection. Ethernet is recommended over wi-fi as a more solid connection. Depending on the quality of your built in microphone, it may be necessary to purchase an add-on microphone to guarantee better sound quality.
In addition to the typical questions that you would prepare before any face to face interview, there are a few other things to keep in mind during a Skype interview. Make sure to look at the camera and not the screen so you appear to be giving direct eye contact. Speak loudly and clearly into the microphone and give the candidate adequate time to complete their thoughts in case of a delay.
Record and Playback
A great benefit to Skype is being able to record the interview sessions anonymously. This could help in reviewing any easily identifiable mistakes to improve on interviewing techniques, offer the ability to share with colleagues, and can also assist in HR compliance. There are several plug-ins that you can use, including one that records audio and video from both sides and allows you to edit it. Additionally, content can be uploaded to YouTube, as well as other platforms. Just make sure it is a worthy performance on your part if it is going to be viewed by your colleagues!
Skype interviews are becoming more and more necessary for employers who are looking to cut costs but still hire the best employees, regardless of their current location. Employers not currently utilizing Skype or other forms of video technology to conduct interviews may be strictly limiting their hiring options and can cause them to miss out on top talent for their organization.