Below are some helpful suggestions on how to conduct an effective Skype or Phone interview.
Before the interview:
- Ask all interviewers to review the interview considerations and best practices.
- Several days prior to the interview, inform all individuals who will be interviewed of the interview method (Skype, Phone, In-Person, etc.) and provide information on how to request a reasonable accommodation for the interview process.
- Check your technology and set-up.
- Practice and test your connection – computer, conference phone.
- Use a quiet private office, conference room, etc.
- Check for background noise.
- For a Skype interview:
- Check your background setting for items such as personal photos, office clutter, etc. Ensure that the lighting is adequate. Try to make a good impression with your background setting.
- Have the applicant's phone number available in case of any disruptions or disconnection.
- Keep different time zones in mind when scheduling Phone or Skype interviews. Be conscious of international candidates who may be interviewing in the middle of the night.
- Be well prepared with a list of questions, job description, etc. Last thing you want to do is shuffle through papers to find information.
During the interview:
- Before you begin the interview process, let the applicant know how unforeseen disruptions will be handled. Will you call the candidate back or wait for them to connect with you, etc?
- Speak at a regular tone/pace and ask if the candidate can hear you clearly. Adjust as required.
- Introduce the candidate to the others in the room.
- Review the interview agenda such as the amount of time you have and what will be accomplished.
- If you decide to record a Skype interview, but be sure to let the candidate know they are being recorded and why. Please also note that any interview recordings become part of the search's official public record.
At the end of the interview:
- Allow the candidate to ask questions about the position, department and/or University. The objective of the interview is for the candidate to gather information about the position and promote him/herself, so allow them to ask any further questions or discuss anything else about him or herself. Pay attention to the kinds of questions the candidate asks; this can tell you a lot about his/her interest in the job. Questions may be asked regarding pay and the time frame for making the decision. Be prepared to answer these without making promises or indicating their success/failure in this process.
- Provide an overview of the next steps in the process. This includes additional interviews, the timeframe of when the department anticipates that a decision will be made, how the candidate will be informed and if a reference check will be needed.