I’m an HR recruiter. Sometimes I get candidates from staffing companies, and I keep the staffing company involved in setting up interviews. I have someone from out of state interviewing for a software developer job, and the hiring manager is doing a Skype audio + screen share for whiteboarding.

The other day, I emailed the guy at the staffing company that this would be an audio + screen share Skype call so the hiring manager can go over examples with the candidate. Today while confirming the interview, this guy emailed me, “We had her go out and buy a camera for her laptop and install Skype already.”

I guess he assumed when I said Skype this meant a video call, even though I went back and checked the email I sent him where I said, and I quote, “We’re going to do an audio + screen sharing Skype conference.” He was even replying on this very same email thread!

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My immediate thought was, “dammit this lady had to go waste money on a webcam that she didn’t need,” and my second thought was, “what kind of laptop does she have that doesn’t have a webcam?”

I tried very hard to not say something like, “I told you already this was audio + screen share” because emails like that often come off more negatively than intended. Instead I said, “This is an audio + screen sharing conference, not a video call. [Hiring manager] is going to be virtually whiteboarding examples, but there’s no video.”

The reply was, “Ok good to know thanks.” Which doesn’t really give me much confidence that this information wasn’t somehow news to the guy even though I told him the same thing a couple days ago.

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Hopefully this lady kept the receipt for that webcam.