Skype Finally Gets Serious About Being a Video Interviewing Tool

There’s no shortage of video interviewing tools in the recruiting industry. Green Job Interview, HireVue, Take the Interview, Montage, Wepow, Sparkhire, and Vervoe are just a few off the top of my head. Though each one can talk up their products with the best of them, I can never help but think Skype could crush them all if it actually focused on interviewing.

Sure, many employers already use Skype for video interviewing, enjoying a favorable price-point — free for most — and a solution that’s well known throughout the world. Internationally, for instance, Skype is as ubiquitous to online conversations as PayPal is to payments. Many employers, however, find Skype too light on features to pass as a legitimate video interviewing tool.

To the chagrin of all those video interviewing solutions, that may be changing, however. Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, announced a new feature that makes interviewing programmers a lot more recruiter-friendly. It calls it Interviews on Skype, and the current iteration of the service lets employers test candidates using a real-time code editor over Skype.

Interviews on Skype Interface

Interviews on Skype Interface

“Have you ever had a remote technical screening where you have to code and talk at the same time? If yes, then you know how cumbersome the process can be,” said the company in a blog post. “You have two different apps running — the call and a code editor — and you constantly have to switch back and forth between the two apps. We want to help people with this process, with the launch of a new preview feature at Skype.com that helps you conduct technical interviews.”

Here’s a breakdown of features:

  • In-browser video call — Give instructions, interview candidates and provide feedback via the in-browser Skype call.
  • Live code execution — The in-browser code editor allows candidates to run their code and check their results.
  • Inline syntax highlighting — Help candidates avoid syntactic mistakes with real-time syntax highlighting for seven popular programming languages.

Interviews on Skype lets recruiters have a video call on top of a code editor. It currently runs in Microsoft Edge or the Chrome browser if version 32 or above is being used. It only works for browsers set to English. The built-in code editor supports seven programming languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. Interviews on Skype also has included built-in syntax highlighting to help prevent syntactic mistakes during an interview.

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The $26 billion Microsoft spent on LinkedIn is not going to waste. The company is methodically adding to its suite of services and combining complimentary technologies it owns. Integrating LinkedIn into Windows 10 is an example of this, and the latest move to legitimize Skype as an interviewing tool is another. It’s not difficult to see a day when Skype’s interviewing solution integrates with LinkedIn.

Video interviewing providers should take note. The 800-pound gorilla is in the house.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.