Top tips for interview success

Cellphone Skype on laptop

Joe liked the sound of Daniel ? he had all the right qualities, a pleasant appearance (from his photograph) and everything Joe knew about him put him right up there with the best. He really felt that he should grab him before somebody else did. And yet? Something was stopping Joe from making the commitment; from making the offer that he knew Daniel was waiting for. Some burning questions remained.

Joe wanted to get together with Daniel, to ask those burning questions and watch his face as he thought, and finally responded.

This is the position that many recruiters find themselves in, especially when assessing candidates who are abroad. Their paperwork is all in order; they have great qualifications and experience; they seem to be well-thought-of by their peers and managers. But is it all too good to be true? To put it candidly; is the person you?re talking to on the phone even the same one that will turn up to start work if you recruit them?

The HR departments of many companies invest heavily in recruiting candidates to fill their vacancies. The usual process is to advertise the role, ask respondents to fill in a form and then arrange an interview or perhaps a phone call, if the candidate is abroad or isn?t local to the business. These days, thanks to video technologies such a Skype and Google Hangouts, there are more effective ways of testing someone?s suitability before offering them a role. When a face-to-face interview isn?t possible, there?s no excuse for not thoroughly assessing all aspects of an individual?s personality and abilities before making a job offer.

Here we?ll look at the two of the most popular video conferencing apps and how to use them effectively for recruitment interviews.


(Free ? or business accounts for a few bucks per month)
Skype requires both parties to have a Skype account, which can be set up in a few minutes for the free plan. Each needs a microphone, a webcam and an internet connection. Group calls are possible, subject to Skype?s ?fair usage? policy. Interviews using video calls are generally good quality, without the satellite ?lag? that sometimes affects phone calls. A collaboration between Skype and Microsoft has given us?Interviews, a facility that allows subscribers to evaluate a candidate?s coding ability using real-time code execution. 13 programming languages are supported currently and the utility works with Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts requires the interviewer and interviewee to have a Google account and have installed a plug-in. This is a slightly longer process than Skype unless they already use Google (and who doesn?t?). Sound and video quality is good and users can connect from any device. Both parties need a microphone, a webcam, and an internet connection. Multiple people can be invited to join Hangouts.

Caution: do not ?enable live hangouts on air? as a method of recording your interview, as it will also broadcast live on your Youtube channel!


(It?s important to do this properly ? it reflects on you and your company)

  • Ensure you?re familiar with the technology & practice
  • Check you have a company user name, rather than a nickname
  • Choose a quiet location, without distractions and a clear workspace in the background
  • Make sure the interviewee will see a clear, well-lit image of your face
  • Turn off other programs and notifications on your computer
  • Set the tone for the conversation with a friendly or more formal greeting, depending on your company?s culture
  • Ask permission to record the call.

Here?s why we like video interviews:

  • We can see and form more of a relationship with the candidate
  • We can record interviews for sharing or to look at later (using a built-in mic and QuickTime or a plugin such as Snagit)
  • We can exchange documents with the candidates or messages with other interviewers during the interview
  • It?s not a problem if the candidate is overseas
  • We can judge soft skills, such as the ability to persuade and negotiate
  • We can make allowances if we detect that the candidate is nervous from their body language
  • We can use visual clues to the candidate?s personality, to see whether they might be a good fit for our client?s business
  • We can see candidate?s reaction and thinking time and tell whether they an active listener
  • It?s possible to administer technical tests, even in real time
  • We can see the extent to which the candidate relies on notes when responding to our questions.

Other interview tools

At Talentoso, we make extensive use of interviewing tools when finding candidates for our clients? businesses. There is an abundance of other tools available to help select, filter and test candidates but we feel that video is the one thing we couldn?t do without. It gives us enormous confidence that the candidates we recommend are suitable for our client?s IT job vacancy and is part of the reason for our success.

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