Steve B wrote:as a workaround solution my suggestion is you build it right into your job listing: "please indicate in your proposal availability for a shortSkype video interview". Anyone whoshys away from that you likely don't want to be working with anyway.
I hate hate hate video interviews. Absolutely detest them. One of the joys of working as a freelancer is that I can work and interview with my hair looking like a bird's nest, last night's mascara halfway down my face and slumping on the sofa in an old T-Shirt, with a kitten on my shoulder....
It is entirely possible to check someone's "real" location without having to do video when you have them on Skype, even if they're working through a Proxy.
They need to be logged into Skype at the time though. Frankly a voice interview gives you major clues as to someone's accent and gender, exploiting the fact that you can resolve an IP from a Skype user name (provided they are logged into Skype while you do it) and using some common sense should let you weed out the majority of them without video...
I don't like doing video (interviews, chats, communications, etc.) either. But I do them on occassion. Usually I won't do Skype calls unless I'm on the clock, but sometimes I'll do minimal video interviews before being officially hired.
As for yourself, you're obviously not the type of contractor the original poster is concened about. Any means you use to communicate with potential clients will leave them without any doubts with regards to your communication skills and the authenticity of your identity.
I think it would be very rare for any client to insist on a video call instead of an audio-only call. For those clients who are going to insist on that, I guess that's their perogative and one would just have to move on if, as a client, one does not offer video interviews or video communication.
Not all contractors offer this. Nobody is required to, but it might mean a small minority of possible jobs become unavailable.
Video communication should be something normal in the 21st century. You communicate a lot faster by voice and doing a video-conference at HD quality (well, 640x480 is fine too) simply shows that everybody involved is serious.
Like I always say, English is paramount. So if either party isn't proficient using it and the project isn't done 100% in another language, then there's high chances that projects, in general, won't go anywhere.
Unless you have absolutely wonderful equipment, and unless you have had some training in front of a camera, video calls are quite ghastly. They are distracting; quality is often awful and people's heads seem to jig around as if they are badly manipulated marionettes. Voices are sometimes distorted, and note-taking is virtually impossible.
I don't mind ordinary Skype calls, but even then, voice distortion can be a big minus. For Europe, I have a package which includes unlimited calls anyway, so I generally use my landline for business calls.
I've gotten burned by this as well.
What I've been surprised by is that some of these profiles had 100's of hours of work experience with mostly 5 star reviews. When I asked Upwork to investigate, they confirmed the profiles were fake.
But how did the imposters get all the fake hours? Are they basically hiring themselves and giving great reviews?
Thank you for reporting suspicious freelancer activity. We have a dedicated team who investigates reported users and takes appropriate actions. Additionally, we have systems that identify such policy violations as self-hiring, logging unauthorized hours and feedback manipulations. We will continue improving ways to identify policy violations to assure safety and trust on the platform.
I completely agree with Nichola that international Skype video chat can be of very poor quality.
I have had clients ask to do video chat, and then they ask to go to audio-only after just a minute.
They never tell me so, but it's pretty clear they're checking out whether or not the person they're dealing with is actually the person they see in the profile picture.
Is it a perfect world in which clients feel like they need to resort to doing that? No.
But I get it. They've been burned before by people posing as somebody they aren't.
To address the original poster's concern... He doesn't really want to see programmers on screen. He just wants to make sure the Ukrainian programmer he is hiring isn't actually a somebody completely different from that who is lying to him in order to cash in on the solid reputation of Ukrainian programmers.
I don't know. Video conferences between the US and Europe are crystal-clear. And that's done with a $12 video camera and a $7 headset. Not to mention that a 150/200 mbps connection is about $15/month (and you can go as far as getting 1 gbps connection for something similar). But, then again, this country has some great internet offers.
I wouldn't do my business without video-chatting and that's simply because I don't like to waste time on talk but use it on development.
But everyone's entitled to their way.
That's all very well if the type of Internet connection you talk about is available to you. Many people with superfast Internet connections tend (IMO) to forget that not everybody has that technology available to them depending on where they live (and I'm not talking the Third World here...). Where I am I could have all that if I lived three miles away in the town. As I'm out in the country it'n not an option, and won't be for a very long time.