The other day I had the interesting experience of having a phone interview, with a little twist…using SKYPE! As you probably already know, Skype is program that uses the internet for voice (and images) to call other people, worldwide…for FREE!! It is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends in far away places. The only limitation is…one must be in front of a computer screen.
My interview was with a company in North Carolina and I was informed that there would be 5 people interviewing me (panel interview). I’ve been to panel interviews before so I thought it would be no problem! For a Skype interview, one does need a headset with microphone (using a built-in computer microphone will take-in the background noise) and if you want to see each other, you also need a web camera. I did have a webcam already, but I purchased a mid-quality headset with microphone. I set up my account in skype (easy to do) and tested with a friend before the interview. It seemed simple enough!
The day of the interview came…the recruiter informed me the time would be 1:30pm but suggested I be online and ready to take the call by 10 to 15 minutes before. One must input the other party’s skype username into one’s contact list before a call can be completed and I thought I would do that about 15 minutes before the scheduled interview and then make last minute preparations. Well, as soon as I inputted the other party’s skype username, they were already connected and the act of inputting the name (since they were online already), completed the loop and the call was started! It caught me a little by surprise, but luckily I was already dressed and prepared!
The interview went as any normal panel interview…the voice and picture quality were good. There is only a camera, and the video was a little choppy, therefore it was a little difficult to get “read”body language and focus attention on one speaker (they were sitting at a table). I had the advantage of having notes, out of sight of the camera and I was taking notes too. One must be aware of the background too, otherwise you may be showing a disorganized area (my office in my house is not the best looking area of the house). All-in-all, it was a positive experience and the recruiter informed me that the interviewers also thought the interview went well.
In the future, if that interview didn’t work out and I get a chance at a phone interview again, I am going to request using skype! Video can be powerful and give an edge to one candidacy?! Love to hear other’s comments…