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Skype Interviews - More and More Common  

 

Dave Jensen
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July 4, 2015 9:06 pm  

Here's some good advice for Skype interviewing, which is more and more common. This fellow on YouTube makes some great suggestions. I'm serious when I say you'd better follow this advice, because there are SO MANY bad Skype interviews that could have been improved by just a few simple changes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQwanxQmFnc&feature=youtu.be

Have you had this opportunity yet, to be "video interviewed" instead of traveling to that location? It's gaining popularity fast.

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Ana
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July 6, 2015 1:37 pm  

I've seen Skype interviews used instead of some of the phone interviews but not replacing an on-site interview.

And i would personally not be comfortable as an applicant making a decision on an offer if I haven't seen the people face to face. A place where you work is more than the one person sitting at the other side of the computer, it is how she treats her other trainees/employees, how people talk about him when you ask them while visiting the place, it is how the place makes you feel (do you see yourself coming every day?)... it is much more than one person, so you can't replace it by Skype.

But you are right, is is being used more and more and we've had some people asking in the forum if they should accept a job offer even though they haven't been on-site, just phone/Skype, so it is certainly getting popular.


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Dave Walker
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July 6, 2015 2:51 pm  

That video was great, with some no-nonsense tips. If you are being seen for the first time by an interviewer, those simple changes will make a big difference. And as we all know, initial impressions happen in the first microseconds.

For some job interviews, including a postdoc, I had a Skype screen after a phone screen. There was always a face-to-face before hiring, however. Though even for a remote job like mine (sales) there is not a lot of face time with other employees, I think it's necessary to see one another face-to-face to start building trust.

In contrast, I know that in the programming world Skype interviews are incredibly common, and even include screen-sharing where the applicant is asked to solve a coding problem live. This sounds completely alien to me, but that's how it goes!

"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder


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DX
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July 7, 2015 11:01 am  

I have been Skyped interviewed a few years back as part of HR screening.

Basically, some key points, avoid backgrounds with distractions (I.e. a white wall behind is good). Control your lighting. Make sure you are visible to your computer's camera. Monitor you distance to the screen -and do a sound check.

A lot of companies are using Skype for HR screening and 1st discussion with hiring manager. It saves costs of flying in a "un vetted" candidate, especially in this cost/budget constricted world. Certainly HR is also a department that needs to contribute to reduced costs.

I'm not clear that Skype is being used for an entire interview process through job offer -, I have not heard of this yet in my industry or area of work, the Face to Face is a necessary component especially as the candidate progresses in the process.

DX


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Dave Jensen
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July 7, 2015 5:57 pm  

I'm not clear that Skype is being used for an entire interview process through job offer -, I have not heard of this yet in my industry or area of work, the Face to Face is a necessary component especially as the candidate progresses in the process.

DX

I think you're right here. You have to see a candidate and actually be in the room with him or her. That's what companies need to do before a hiring decision.

But Skype can sure cut through the BS and show you who is sharp and who is not. And, the thing to remember about a Skype, or any brand of video, interview is that it highlights weird things and not necessarily what you think it will highlight. It's so distracting when people don't remember these basic tips, or when they have no concern for the camera angle, and so forth. I've seen so many good candidates do bad video interviews -- I think it can be a disaster waiting to happen for many. That's why it takes preparation and consideration of all these elements,

Dave

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MFM
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July 7, 2015 6:33 pm  

I'm not clear that Skype is being used for an entire interview process through job offer -, I have not heard of this yet in my industry or area of work, the Face to Face is a necessary component especially as the candidate progresses in the process.

DX

I know a couple of cases where only Skype interviews were held before hiring people (as postdocs). In both cases the candidates were on different continents and not enough money was available to pay for their flights.

Personally, I wouldn't hire anybody without speaking to them face-to-face. Also, looking at it from the other side, I want to check out the place/people/environment where I'm going to work, especially if it involves a (long-distance) move!


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Dick Woodward
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July 8, 2015 6:20 pm  

This is an excellent video. One thing that he should have added is "look in the mirror to make certain that your tie is straight." Note that his is not.


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Dave Jensen
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July 22, 2015 11:47 pm  

Readers:

The latest Tooling Up column addresses some further fine-tuning of video interviewing, at the following link:
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2015_07_22/caredit.a1500183

It was just published today.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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RGM
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January 14, 2017 9:38 pm  

A place where you work is more than the one person sitting at the other side of the computer, it is how she treats her other trainees/employees, how people talk about him when you ask them while visiting the place, it is how the place makes you feel (do you see yourself coming every day?)... it is much more than one person, so you can't replace it by Skype.

Ana, what in the case of field positions, such as sales, FAS, MSL, Field Marketing etc?

There are many positions in biotech supply sector that are home based. In that context, how relevant is an in person interview?

Granted I'd prefer an in person interview, but increasingly I have seen Skype used from beginning to offer at times.

"Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not"
"If you think research is expensive, try disease." - Mary Lasker


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Dick Woodward
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January 15, 2017 4:00 pm  

RGM:

The in-person interview is very relevant and very important for those "home-based" positions. Those are usually in sales or technical service, and are client-facing positions. The in-person interview allows the hiring manager to see the candidate as the client will see him or her - there is no substitute for that.

Dick


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RGM
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January 15, 2017 7:54 pm  

RGM:

The in-person interview is very relevant and very important for those "home-based" positions. Those are usually in sales or technical service, and are client-facing positions. The in-person interview allows the hiring manager to see the candidate as the client will see him or her - there is no substitute for that.

Dick

I agree. My friend is currently being interviewed via Skype, and we thought they were on the final interview w/the CEO via Skype (traditionally a fly-out to HQ engagement), it seems this is the final interview however. He'll know more next week.

"Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not"
"If you think research is expensive, try disease." - Mary Lasker


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RGM
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January 16, 2017 6:32 pm  

RGM:

The in-person interview is very relevant and very important for those "home-based" positions. Those are usually in sales or technical service, and are client-facing positions. The in-person interview allows the hiring manager to see the candidate as the client will see him or her - there is no substitute for that.

Dick

Dick,

Was thinking about your response again over the weekend, I believe we are coming at it from 2 different viewpoints, need clarification from you again.

My viewpoint wasn't from the perspective of the hiring manager, which I THINK yours was....

My viewpoint was from the candidate's perspective, ie, being in a field position does meeting the people at headquarters for a face-face even matter? The person is going to be in the field, reporting to their home-office.

I would think while it would be nice to meet these people, it's not a requirement because the candidate is generally only going to deal with these people via email and a phone.

"Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not"
"If you think research is expensive, try disease." - Mary Lasker


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Dave Walker
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January 18, 2017 7:24 pm  

@RGM
A face-to-face doesn't have to be at the HQ. In my area of sales it's common to have them in the territory, sometimes even with a "ridealong" on a client visit depending on the circumstances. Training will likely be at the HQ or a branch office, however: field-based employees will regularly interact with their counterparts at HQ. And I think there's something about human psychology that really likes meeting face to face at least once.

"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder


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RGM
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January 18, 2017 7:52 pm  

@RGM
A face-to-face doesn't have to be at the HQ. In my area of sales it's common to have them in the territory, sometimes even with a "ridealong" on a client visit depending on the circumstances. Training will likely be at the HQ or a branch office, however: field-based employees will regularly interact with their counterparts at HQ. And I think there's something about human psychology that really likes meeting face to face at least once.

I agree on the psychology, I always like to meet people I may be working for as an example.

As a field-based employee at most I interacted with product managers, tech support, and my supervisor, that's it generally.

I find my friend's interview w/the CEO via Skype instead of in person rather unique.

"Some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not"
"If you think research is expensive, try disease." - Mary Lasker


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