Written by Heather Sandell, Staffing Manager
The times they are a changing…Who ever thought you could sit in the comfort of your own home and interview for a job! It is quickly becoming the HR staffing and recruiting interview method of choice for companies with candidates not within close geographical proximity to the interview location or interviews that require a quick turnaround time. I find Skype to be effective and efficient for my online interviewing (video conferencing). Take time to do some research, but Skype has a variety of free and fee-based voice, text and video conferencing options.
Pros of the Online Interview
- A cost effective way to meet with a candidate “face-to-face” and spend no extra expenditures (travel costs, meals, etc.). This form of interviewing is ideal for the candidate that would have to travel for the interview and therefore incur a cost. You will probably still want to spend the money to fly/drive in your top candidates, but the online interview provides an alternative to a more personal interview than the typical phone interview. I like that you are able to see your candidate and how they handle and present themselves via a different venue. Skype is also a great way to narrow down the group of truly final candidates before you spend money on travel costs.
- As the interviewer you are able maintain your travel schedule for business and still conduct interviews. As long as you have access to a computer with a webcam you can access your Skype account and conduct your interview.
- If you have a small office or the dedicated interview room is in use, you are still able to conduct your portion of the interview from anywhere.
- It may allow for more availability in candidates. For a candidate who has a tough time getting in to meet with you during the business day; Skype makes evening or weekend interview options easy.
Cons of the Online Interview
Nothing in this world is perfect. In my opinion, a few cons for the Skype interview exist as well:
- Technology – if your internet connection goes down so does the interview. Fuzzy connections, strange interruptions and other annoying IT issues can be a problem.
- Your candidate may take the interview too casually and not show their most professional side. Remember that you still need to dress for success. What shows in the camera should be professional. This goes not only for clothing, but for the background as well. Remove any odd posters or other décor that may seem questionable.
- Since this is a new endeavor for many, the interview may not run as smoothly as in an office setting.
A Few Helpful Tips
As we become familiar with this new form of interviewing, we should remember a few things to help everything run as smoothly as possible:
- Make sure the candidate has a Skype account and that you have accepted one another as a contact prior to the interview. Also, make sure the microphones work on both of the computers. If there is an audio issue you can use the phone while still seeing each other.
- Ensure with your candidate that they will have a well lit space to conduct the interview.
- Put Rover in the garage. No barking dogs please.
- When possible use the Skype interview as a way to narrow down your candidate pool. I would suggest that you always meet face-to-face with a candidate when filling a long term position.
- This is a real interview. Even though this may be a non-traditional form of interviewing, traditional interview rules apply for both the candidate and the hiring manager. Be on time, be professional and look professional, prepare for the interview in the same way you would for an in-office meeting!
No one said this would be perfect but the time and cost savings make it an excellent interview option to consider. If you don’t have time to source the right candidates, let us help you with our outsourced recruiting services.