Many of us use Skype on a regular basis – or other similar platforms – to communicate with friends or family. But have you thought what it might be like to conduct interviews this way?
More and more employers are going down this route as a way of saving travelling and management time – and to give themselves the chance to talk to as many potential candidates as possible before honing down the selection process for second interviews.
The general view is that interviewing this way enables enough personal interaction to match anything which might come from a face to face interview and you can have more control over the amount of time you need to dedicate to first stage presentations and more flexibility as to when these can be conducted. Conducting a Skype interview in or out of working hours is much easier for all parties than arranging a face to face one.
The reality is, it is here to stay and will actually become more popular in the months and years ahead. So the message is – get prepared.
Below are a few pointers which our specialists here at Pace think might just help you if you are an employer looking to conduct interviews this way.
Establish Your Technology
It is important that you establish a company/corporate account dedicated to interviews. Don’t use your personal skype account – for a number of reasons, but mostly because you don’t want to give a series of candidates direct access to you personally!
And of course, make sure that in advance of the interviews you test and prove that your technology is working correctly and that your computer/lap-top/tablet is fully charged/plugged in.
You don’t want a candidate going away thinking you are not a professional outfit to work for – in a market such as ours where candidates have real choice you need to impress them as much as they need to impress you.
Take the same approach to a Skype interview as you would to a more ‘traditional’ kind of interview. This is your opportunity to get a first sight of your potential new employee and you want them to be as impressed with you as you are with them.
Be as professional about it as you would be about a face to face interview in person. Your company image must come through on a Skype interview in exactly the same way as it would in a face to face interview; and body language is every bit as important – be natural, and be true to yourself, don’t try to ‘perform’ for the camera.
Do exactly the same research as you would do for any other interview – use the internet to look at Linked In profiles, understand the company the candidate currently works for, talk to any contacts you have in the industry who might know the people you are going to be talking to.
Re-read the candidates CV and any other information they may have submitted.
Think about what questions the candidate might ask you and be prepared.
Prepare your questions for the candidate in exactly the same way you would if you were meeting them in person – the opportunity for you on Skype is exactly the same, it is only the platform of the interview which is different.
Prepare your interview venue
This is where it gets different. You need to ensure that where you are going to conduct the interview from appears as professional as it can be to your potential employee. Make sure you have clear walls behind you if you can, that the environment is clean and free from clutter, that there is not a telephone nearby which might ring during the interview.
Most of all make sure that if there is anybody else in your office that they understand you are not to be interrupted under any circumstances.
If you are conducting the interview away from your office the above is especially important – it is a formal interview still albeit on a different platform.
Another couple of notes you might find helpful – don’t sit with your back to a window because the person at the other end might not be able to see you properly. Dress appropriately to the interview – if you would wear a suit for a face to face interview, wear a suit for this too.
Remember in all of this – the facts remain the same – you only get one chance to make a first impression and this is as important for you as an employer as it is for the candidate.
Make a great impression
If you follow the simple points above, you will be giving yourself an opportunity to portray your company in the right way and ensure you have the best choice of candidates for the second interviews which is where you are aiming to get your candidates to, and these will certainly be a more traditional face to face meeting.
There is nothing to be frightened of in conducting a Skype interview – there are just some different preparations.