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Phone interviews for initial screening have long been popular. Video interviewing using Skype is now assuming a similar role, particularly for forward-thinking, tech companies.

According to research conducted by Roksana Janqhorban, Robab Latifnejad Routsari, and Ali Taghipour, the total number of Skype users was 31 million in 2012. However, 560 million people have used it. Karl Walinskas, CEO and founder of a small business consulting firm, told Inc. that 80 percent of the information gained from in-person interviews can also be obtained from a Skype interview.
The growing use of Skype reflects the trend for remote work and the increasing use of mobile devices such as laptops and tablets. Miriam Salpeter, social media consultant, offers some guidance to hiring managers who are considering Skype as an interviewing tool.

  • When an in-person meeting is inconvenient, Skyping allows the interviewer to consider factors such as body language, attire, and confidence. These are all factors that cannot be assessed from a phone interview, but greatly influence a candidate’s suitability. The option of recording the interview offers an opportunity to review the candidates.
  • Ensure the same standards and expectations as you would for an in-person interview and don’t assume a casual attitude. Inform the candidate ahead of time of the interview panel members and give the candidate all the information they would need for an in-person interview, including the date, the time, and confirm who is to call who.
  • The interviewer should ensure that the candidate has access to Skype and can add your name to their directory and use the software. Assist the candidate in setup, if necessary, and remind them to look at the camera not the screen during the interview. Both the interviewer and the candidate should be aware that a broadband connection, such as Ethernet, can be more successful than Wi-fi, which is less secure.
  • Arrange your environment; remove clutter and ensure an appropriate backdrop. Make sure that you will not be interrupted and that there is no background noise. There should be adequate lighting, but no bright lights should be placed behind you.

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