Video Interviewing: 5 Reasons Skype Won’t Scale

September 10th, 2014

Emily Hatch

Hiring, News, Video Interviewing

We know what you’re thinking  – we (HireVue) can’t stand Skype. But really, we actually think Skype is pretty cool. It’s an awesome way to stay connected with friends and family on a peer-to-peer network around the world—for free. You know the old adage “you get what you pay for”?  Skype was created as a means to help people stay connected over the Internet and avoid large long distance charges – that’s it! It was never intended to be an enterprise solution for companies small and large to hold game changing meetings that would affect the future of their business. Here are a few reasons you want to avoid Skype for video interviewing: Technical Issues Tech savvy or not you might hear these words quite often during an interview, “Can you hear me now?” Imagine conducting a video interview and during the middle of a question you see a frozen screen and lose audio. What does that say about your company? Connection issues can cause a lot of problems for obvious reasons. The purpose of a video interview is to allow the interviewee to share their personality. Having consistent interruptions ruins the flow of an interview, making it pretty difficult for both the candidate and the interviewer. Plus, these types of problems can also make an interviewee more nervous and flustered. Or worst yet – the interview has to be canceled all together and ends up as an over-the-phone interview instead, losing the visual altogether. How can a candidate share their best self in this scenario? Skype has pages and pages of questions on technical issues. With so many variables: different computers, two connections, audio, etc., a lot can go wrong.  On top of that, you also need the latest version of Skype to avoid compatibility issues. Remember, Skype is peer-to-peer not true SaaS. Personal Accounts Did you know that in order to use Skype you need a personal account? This may not seem like a big deal but remember both the interviewer and the interviewee are trying to create a professional environment. Unfortunately Skype’s privacy settings are not ideal for the professional user. Unlike Facebook or Google+, there is no way to create separate groups of contacts. Skype isn’t even a B-to-C tool, let alone a B-to-B tool. It’s a C-to-C tool. Nothing more and nothing less. In addition, you need to connect with the person on Skype before the interview. Connecting through a personal profile can seem intrusive and difficult. Recording You cannot record an interview through Skype with native Skype tools like you can through digital interviewing platforms. Yes; that's right. You cannot record. This means that interviewees are required to meet when the manager can rather than at a time of their choosing.  Unfortunately, local time for a potential employer may not be local time for an interviewee and they could find themselves dressing up and prepping for an interview in the early morning hours or late at night. When a video interview is recorded using a digital interviewing platform, you have the advantage of connecting day or night. This can save a company thousands of dollars in productivity costs, not to mention travel expenses. More interviews can take place in the same amount of time, due to the recording feature. Candidates can interview anywhere and anytime. Managers can watch at their convenience and love that they get their most valuable asset back – time! Troubleshooting Lights, camera, action, GO! Troubleshooting is one of the most used tips for preparing for a Skype interview. “Practice with a friend”, is a common suggestion. The problem with this scenario goes back to what was mentioned above – all the different variables. Your friend will have a different connection, computer, microphone, etc. from your interviewer or interviewee. Secondly, unlike digital interviewing platforms, that test sound, camera, and Internet connection, Skype asks how the connection function is after the fact. You want to know about problems before so you have a quality experience and show your employment brand. Review Process Sharing your thoughts and interview(s) with other colleagues should be a regular part of the process. For starters, you need to have a recorded interview to share, otherwise you’ll likely rely on a stack of post-it notes or a note pad and you may need to transpose for a colleague to read. But wait, you also want the colleague to see the personality of the interviewee because they’d be a great fit. So you’re thinking – if I could have recorded that interview my manager would love this person. Will they be the same in another interview? This takes precious time away from the interviewee and more importantly, your colleague. When using a digital interviewing platform—most have the ability to share multiple interviews for a specific position, while still others can share a single or group of candidates their answers to interview questions. Either way, you are able to share the right amount of information with a colleague. Isn’t the whole point of the interview process to put the right person, in the right role, in the most efficient way?  We sure think so. To be truly successful we suggest using a digital interviewing platform that has been designed, from the very start, to make the interview process as successful, convenient and rewarding as possible. Like we said earlier, we think Skype is awesome; just not for interviewing. Bring Candiadte to life