Job interviews via Skype


Hello everyone.
Wow, it's been a year since I last posted on here. Hope everyone is doing fine and that their PhDs are progressing and their job searches are actually paying off.

Just wondering whether people have ever had a Skype interview for a job and what their thoughts are on WHY employers interview this way rather than conventional face-to-face meetings.

I know a couple of friends and colleagues who have had Skype interviews for jobs. The logic behind these seemed obvious as the potential employers were on the other side of the world and it would be a lot of trouble to fly several people out for interviews.

Weirdly, this hasn't been like my experience of Skype interviews.

Why would you be offered a Skype interview when you're based in the same town as the institution?

This is not the first time I've had a Skype interview from a potential employer who is "just down the road" (needless to say, I got a rejection e-mail a day or two later).

So, why interview on Skype when applicants are local?

Obviously, I'm trying to figure it out and getting paranoid!

Perhaps the institution has an internal candidate in mind, so the real purpose of the interviews isn't exactly to find a person to fill the vacancy (that's been decided), it's just to tick boxes for HR. Skype interviews allow this to be done swiftly and without the fuss of face-to-face "sham" interviews.

Btw, face-to-face interviews can be shams as well. With one interview I had, I subsequently found out an internal person (who had been at the institution over 5 years) got the job.

In all these case, I would have preferred a straightforward rejection e-mail rather than an interview invite for a job you definitely have little chance of getting!!


Funny that. It reminds me of the first skype interview I had (to work as a secretary for a local doctor) and it didn't go very well. But I do know of several people (academics) who have had job interviews via skype - and one got the job!

So, yes. It looks like this is a model of interviews working well in academia. All I can think of is that maybe the university has selected to interview all applicants via skype. If they had to interview some of them face to face and others via skype, would it not appear a bit... discriminatory?


My experience of skype interviews has been mostly the 'conventional' scenario of the potential employer being very far away.

I guess the rationale behind skype interviews, if you're local, is probably that they have several stages of interviews, and doing skype interviews gives them flexibility to perform a first stage of intervies with several potential candidates, then narrow it down to an even smaller applicant pool for 'proper' ie physical interviews?

Although given my recent experiences of applying for jobs, sometimes I think it's just impossible to try and figure out how the hiring process works...especially in academia.


Also, they might just be being lazy - it's much easier to interview someone via skype and there's no interaction with students, tours round the building, free lunches etc


Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I guess there could be many reasons why employers use Skype. It seems the main benefit is that it's a lot less hassle. For example, face-to-face interviews are probably quite time-consuming.

As for internal candidates competing for the same job, I guess this is just a fact of life. Fair enough that universities at least allow outside people to compete (even if these people are not as qualified). It doesn't matter too much as there are always going to be people at job interviews who are better qualified than other candidates. It's only good when that better qualified person is you!


I had a Skype interview a few weeks ago. It was for a postdoc based at an institution which is somewhat out of the way for the majority of people so at the time I thought that the reason for the Skype interview was that it would save them having to pay expenses for candidates, since chances were most candidates would have had to travel to get there.

In your case, journey, I wonder if marasp has a point: if they had to interview some candidates via Skype, perhaps they have a 'fairness' policy which means they have to interview all candidates the same way regardless of location?