Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Rise (and Rise?) of the Skype Interview
Through the grapevine, I've now heard that some schools are asking/requiring candidates to do Skype interviews first. I'm not sure if this is in lieu of a DC screening interview or as a pre-cursor to one, but I was wondering what y'all thought of this as a practice that appcomms should adopt. To my mind, I can see the benefit of using the Skype interview as a substitute for most DC interviews because it would give the candidates and the appcomms more time if needed than the 1/2 hour slot, and would probably mean that more due diligence could be done on both ends prior to the meeting in person for a callback. If used as a substitute for DC it would also cut financial costs, which some schools are certainly mindful of during these tight times. But I have no experience with this and perhaps those who have done these (either as candidate or interviewer) might have different reactions. Please feel free to share your thoughts or recommendations in the comments.
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Our school did this for preliminary interviews during a dean search several years ago. Past committees here have used phone interviews as an initial screening for pre-meat-market callbacks--and I suppose Skype simply is the evolution of that. I would never want Skype to entirely supplant being in the room in DC--but I am resistant to all such uses of technology replacing face-to-face interactions.
Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Aug 29, 2010 9:30:03 PM
I have never been able to get non-glitchy internet in my home, making for some very frustrating Skype calls. I really hope this doesn't become the new standard.
Posted by: anon | Aug 29, 2010 10:05:29 PM
I actually suggested this in my cover letters to schools because I'm currently abroad.
Posted by: A. Nunn-Amos | Aug 30, 2010 9:31:37 AM
As a candidate, I find cyber-interviewing extremely difficult. The picture isn't very clear, which makes it hard to read the interviewers' body language. The sound quality isn't always great either, and in at least one instance, it caused some miscommunication. From my perspective, a face-to-face interview is far, far superior.
Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2010 10:48:55 AM
As much as I hate phone interviews, I would prefer a phone interview to a Skype interview. Better sound, for one thing. And I'm not ready for hiring committees to have a live video feed of me in my living room - I find it quite invasive (for reasons I seem to be unable to articulate well).
Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2010 11:22:17 AM
I've received one such invitation and it sounds about as comfortable as a first date via Skype (i.e., not very).
Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2010 4:24:57 PM