I have had better luck with phone as opposed to Skype interviews in terms of getting on campus invites. What am I doing wrong? Do you have to wear a suit (men) for a Skype interview? Can you take notes? Is it just my ugly face? Thoughts?
Date: 09 Dec 2014 21:22
Number of posts: 8
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SKype are probably diversity hires (see earlier thread) and maybe you don't meet the criteria…
I am 2 for 2 for Skype interviews turning into campus interviews so far this year (and I do not qualify as a "diversity" hire). I think it is a lot about your natural demeanor. The perk of Skype over phone is that you get all those nonverbal cues, and you have to really know your stuff in order to talk about it naturally. During phone interviews, you can't read each other's nonverbal cues and many people tend to use a "cheat sheet" (e.g., their 2 minute written elevator research speech) as a crutch. In a way, this all sets the bar higher for Skype interviews. I wore just regular clothes, I took very minimal notes, and was very enthusiastic the entire time in terms of my voice AND face. To meet with success on Skype, I think it is key to practical speaking naturally over video chat, not using any notes as a crutch, and remember to read their nonverbal cues and use them to your advantage (for instance, if anyone started to look confused about my research, I would add a bit of an explanation there to alleviate that — you can't do that when on the phone since you can't see that cue, but you can on Skype when can see the brow furrow or something like that!).
My two cents!
Don't take any phone/skype outcome to mean anything in particular. As we've said here before, usually phone interviews are a chance to bump the people who were already at the top of the list down, and to draw in some back-ups. But if you're a back-up to begin with, you're not going to have a great shot of getting on campus from the phone interview.
I do have a tip, though. You know how the picture of you is in the bottom right hand corner? Put it at the top of your screen near your camera, in the middle of the display. That way you can monitor how you look while looking into the camera, which is very nice for them. But you still want to look at them, because you need to gauge their reactions to your answers and whatnot. I did this recently because I thought it would be easier and the committee even commented on my eye contact. Also, the farther your computer is away from you, the smaller that visual angle from the camera to their faces, which makes it all easier.
One thing I'll add about a Skype interview - know your surroundings. You don't want to have a cluttered mess of a background to cause distractions. Also, be sure to take care of any possible surprises - e.g., students who might drop-in, significant others, children, or pets. The last thing you want to appear to a search committee is unprepared and flaky.
I am the Chair of a search committee, but have not been on the market myself for a few yeas. Are Skype interviews now standard? What is the proportion committees doing phone vs. Skype interviews?
for my search last year I had ~ 8 phone interviews and no skype. I'm in clinical, not sure if that matters.
11 interviews: 6 phone; 3 skype; 1 optional skype; 1 on campus w/ no pre interview