What? No Skype Interviews? #TChat Recap

That was most surprising to me in last night’s #TChat on interviewing.  The fact that most of the participants didn’t think live webcam interviewing was viable.

Here’s a quote: “Skype interviewing is like buying a car on EBay. Saves a trip, but not always worth the hassle.”

Why is it such a hassle?  I understand the U.S. still falls behind other nations in big Internet bandwidth and solid connectivity, but between basic Internet connections, webcams and Skype to Cisco’s TelePresence Meeting Solutions, we can connect so easily these days live and in person without really being “in person”.

Even smaller firms are hiring remote, virtual teams around the world, and it’s just not fiscally feasible to fly folks in for face-to-face interviews.

Phone screening works well for early-on interviews, but a lot of non-verbal queues are missed when you can’t see the person — and that goes for interviewer and interviewee.  Sure you can “sense” verbal queues via tone and responses, but there’s still interpretation lost without “seeing”.

I thank Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter for having my back:  “I think Skyping will become a ‘norm’ for interviewing; is fairly comfy, easy venue, in my experience. Just go to quiet room, dial up.”

Right on.

Otherwise most participants last night agreed that better interview preparation for employer and applicant are necessary to improve the potential hiring exchange rate.

I agree with one of Meghan’s final points:  “Key take away = Questions should be open — ended; avoid questions that can only be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

That’s the basic premise to behavioral interviewing — probing past performance with scenario-based questions will predict future performance.  You’re not going to get much insight when you ask an applicant “tell what your strengths and weaknesses are.”  But you will when you discover how the applicant acted in specific employment-related situations.

One other point I liked from last night was the fact that interviewing, at least early-stage interviewing, is more about screening out those who don’t make the cut versus identifying hiring potential of those who do.

Here were the questions we asked last night:

  • Q1: Why are interviews so important in the screening and hiring process?
  • Q2: Why are so many employers and applicants “bad” at interviews?
  • Q3: What are the advantages and disadvantages to phone screening?
  • Q4: How much are employers using live video calls for virtual team interviews (Skype)?
  • Q5: Why are behavioral interviews better than traditional interviews?
  • Q6: It’s been said that even the best applicants can train to even best a behavioral interview.  What to do?
  • Q7: How can emotional intelligence be assessed in behavioral interviews?  And can it be?
  • Q8: Any interviews gone bad stories?  Do spill.  I will repeat them in the recap.

I’m going to probe question 7 more in another post, but in the meantime, here’s a Monster article on the subject of interviewing and emotional intelligence.  And it’s hard to tell stories in Twitter because it takes a lot more space that 140 characters, so if any of you want to send me your “interviews gone bad” stories for future fun recapping, please send to me at kgrossman (at) marcomhrsay (dot) com.

The stats from last night were again fantastic.  Who says you can’t engage on Twitter?  We had well over 100 people participating in the actual #TChat hour contributing over 1,200 tweets.

Dang.

Meghan and her savvy TalentCulture team, the TC community and little ol’ me, are again very grateful for you all and for your participation.  You gave us some great ideas for future topics and we look forward to next week already!

Here are some insightful #TChat tweets from last night:

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