Free, fast and flexible; Skype interviews are becoming increasingly popular with brands of all sizes who are keen to reduce their costs and maximise their time and resources when it comes to taking on new staff, particularly when the candidates in question are based on the other side of the country or world – and the distance and time it would take to travel in in person is simply too great to justify for a preliminary interview.

Now, I’ve covered Skype interviews on this blog before but only really from a candidate perspective (here and here) – so today I thought I’d spin it round and look at it from an employer perspective.

Why? Well because when it comes to interviews, particularly Skype interviews, it’s a two way street – and both sides need to impress and portray a professional image during the course of the interview. Yes, it’s more important for the candidate because there’s a job at stake – but as with any interview, the employer also wants (and needs) to uphold their reputation and portray the best possible image.

With that in mind; here are my top tips for executing the perfect Skype interview from an employer perspective.

1. Establish A Dedicated Skype Account For Job Interviews:

When it comes to Skype interviews, it can be tempting to just do them from your existing Skype account – but I’d seriously reconsider. Why? Well, think about it – once you’ve accepted the candidate as a contact prior to the interview, they then have instant access to you as an individual. Do you really want to be getting instant messages from candidates you’ve turned down on your personal Skype account? Thought not!

Set up a Skype account specifically for recruitment and job interviews, name it accordingly (eg. “Bubble Jobs Recruitment”) and ensure you upload a decent brand image as your profile picture. Remember, it’s all about image and setting the tone from the start.

Skype interview2. Treat It Like A Standard Interview:

With Skype interviews it’s important to try and treat them just as you would a standard interview. This means dressing appropriately (smart or smart/casual depending on the style of your brand), having interview questions prepared and reading and re-reading the candidate’s application prior to the interview. You also need to remember to schedule in an appropriate amount of time for the interview (rushing a candidate is never a good look) and have a clear idea of what you want to know about the candidate beforehand.

Lastly, make sure you know how you want to leave it – eg. “We’ll get back to you by the end of the week” and have a clear sign-off so the candidate can be left in no doubt that the interview has ended.

3. Test Ahead Of Time:

If there’s one thing we know here at Bubble it’s that technology can have a mind of its own – so we’d always advise you to do a couple of tests ahead of time. Do a few test calls prior to the interview to check your web cam is working, your microphone is working and the background isn’t too distracting or reveals something you’d rather keep private. If you’re doing the interview on the move or at home, make sure there’s no distracting echo in the room, there’s no interference from things like fridges and that you have a solid internet connection.

Similarly, if you’re doing the interview with a colleague or a number of colleagues, test the angle and positioning of the web cam to ensure you’re all in shot and can all be heard.

4. Watch Out For Time Lags:

When it comes to Skype interviews, time lags are a common bugbear and something you need to watch out for during the course of the interview. If you do experience a time lag, give the candidate extra time to answer your questions, remember to speak clearly and loudly – and be willing to forgive them if they accidentally talk over you!

5. Be Personable:

With a Skype interview, it’s much harder to connect with a candidate and vice versa than it is in a normal interview because you’re not in the same room – so both parties can’t really react to the other person or judge their feelings/reactions. That said; to put a candidate at ease, you may have to make an effort to be more personable and make your reactions and verbal/non-verbal communications more obvious. Just to clarify; I’m not telling you to be melodramatic – just to be aware of your actions and comments and how they might be interpreted by the candidate.

So there you go; my top five tips to help employers execute the perfect Skype interview.

Think I’ve missed anything out? Or have something to add? Leave a comment or tweet me – @amy_edwards88.