Your next job interview may be on Skype
The Job Market Is A Lot Like The PBS NewsHour, And Other Advice For Skype Interviews
However, the economic crash, the near-freeze in new hiring that followed in 2008-09, and the cautious thaw in pared down academic budgets in 2009-10 may have put a permanent dent in sending hiring committees to the annual conference, even though the professional organizations don't like it (go here for a great 2009 blog post by Robert B. Townsend of the American Historical Association in response to the last time I declared the death of the conference interview.)
Let's face it: searches are expensive and time-consuming. Depending on where the candidates are coming from, where your campus is and whether you are served by a major or a minor airport (when was the last time you tried to buy a plane ticket to or from Tulsa? Columbus? Flagstaff? Williamstown? Burlington? Ithaca? Corvallis?) a visit to campus from one candidate can cost up to $2500. Most colleges have shaved a hundred bucks off each visit by making the faculty purchase their own alcohol, but there really isn't any way to budget less without asking the candidate to bring a sleeping bag. One way to save real money, and a few precious days of winter break, is to not send three to five faculty to the annual conference. This will result resulting in saving your institution a minimum of $3K, and as much as $8K. And think what kind of money it could save the job candidates? There are so few jobs that hardly anyone has even two interviews anymore.
So Miss Desmond, get ready for your close-up. It's time for the Skype interview.