I'm having a phone interview in a little bit and I'm unsure:

Does the company call me in a Skype interview or should I call them? Is there a convention in that sense?

Unfortunately, no agreement was made, and it was more like "We'll speak then". (It's for an internship and a relatively relaxed matter). Since Skype is free either way, it is more like a matter of 'Do I seem uninterested if I don't call them'?

  • As an interviewee, I always get ready at exact time and wait for them to call me. 99% of time, they just call me on time or ask for few more minutes to prepare. If they don't call me in 5 minutes, I send them a message on skype like "Hi" or "Ready?". After another 5 minute of no response, I just send them an email like "We have an interview scheduled for now. Are you ready?". Works fine for me everytime
    – user47813
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 9:06
  • A minute or two before the call time, just send a Skype message to the interviewer like: "Hey John, I'm ready when you are". Simple as that. Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:08

5 Answers 5


I'd say it's a pretty rare case that a company would request that you initiate an interview call with a company: you call them, they have to locate the person who interviews you. Said person has to fire up your resume and cover letter on their screen plus whatever software they use to take notes - all this while you are waiting at the other end of the line.

  • And what if your interviewer were stuck in an unscheduled meeting or at an interview whose time allocation was being exceeded while you are calling?
  • And what if your scheduled interviewer got sick and the receptionist doesn't know who is the substitute who is supposed to interview you? It's going to get messy.

If the interviewer initiates the call, the interviewer obviously gets their logistics and their act together including going to the restroom beforehand before they call you. And the company is a lot less likely to look like the Keystone Kops. If I were them, they'd much rather call you while you are frazzled than you calling them while THEY are frazzled :)

As @DanNeely says, it doesn't hurt to email and confirm but my expectation is that the interviewer initiates the call.


Just Ask them.

Reply to the email/etc suggesting a skype interview and ask who they want to initiate the call.


Usually they will call you and it's up to you to answer on time and be there promptly. It's also time to demonstrate your communication skills by having excellent phone etiquette. You will be judged by what you say regardless of how casual they appear to be.


The thing about Skype is that it supports several modalities for communication.

I used to support HR doing Skype interviews, and our established practice was this:

  1. Up to 24 hours in advance, locate the user ID and connect (share contact info) on Skype. Send a friendly reminder/confirmation of the appointment.
  2. 5-10 min prior, check user's presence. If not Green (Available), send another polite reminder.
  3. At the time of appointment, two-way chat should be occurring. It does not matter much at this point who initiates the voice or video call.

We often had many-to-one interviews in this fashion, so we would wait until all of our parties were present and ready before initiating a call. If the interviewee called first, it was no big deal.


Having done a series of Skype interviews lately, I'd always add the candidate on Skype between 15 to 0 minutes before the interview. Sometimes I was even late and still attempted to have the interview. From my point of view the interviewer has to take initiative.

I also had a few occasions where I simply was unable to attend the interview due to an emergency. I'd inform HR and they would reschedule and apologize on my behalf.

What I do advice is to:

  • send a message on Skype at the appointed time saying you're available

  • always make a backup phone number available in case Skype or internet is misbehaving for one of the parties. Also in this case, they should call you.

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