How to Ace a Skype Interview
Job interviews via Skype have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Even though you can see one another, a virtual interview is definitely not the same as a face-to-face so you should prepare accordingly.
To help you embrace this new technology and help you ace a Skype interview, we’ve put together a few questions to consider:
Is it important to dress professionally? Yes, general interview etiquette still applies for online interviews. Don’t be tempted to dress professionally from the waist up only thinking that’s all the interviewer will see. There have been many online interviews where something has happened causing the interviewee to stand up unexpectedly – so wear pants! When you dress professionally it also helps you feel like it’s a formal interview and puts you in the right frame of mind.
Is where you sit important for the interview? You can be sure that the interviewer will pay attention to your surroundings during an interview so setting it up well in advance is crucial. Find a neutral, tidy spot in your home or apartment. A messy room could subconsciously impact a recruiter’s view of the meeting and reflect badly on you. Set yourself up so that the interviewer can see your face, hair, shoulders and your upper torso. Check the lighting in the room and how you’re going to sit. There’s nothing worse than a giant, poorly lit head talking at them for hours. Another important thing to remember is to make sure you’re in a room where you won’t be interrupted by children, barking dogs, or other noisy distractions.
Is it important to know how to use Skype? If you’ve never used Skype before, make sure you understand it forward and backward to avoid any mishaps that might cause last-minute panic. Have a friend do a practice interview with you to make sure you come across confident on the screen and that you’re fully in control of the technology. Check the microphone, make sure your voice is audible and the picture quality is good. Having a strong internet connection is a definite must have!
If technology fails, don’t panic – remain professional! Recruiters understand some things are out of your control, so start the call again to regain a connection and/or quickly make contact via land line or email to update the interviewer so you can continue as soon as possible.
Is it important to be on time? You wouldn’t dream of turning up late for a face-to-face interview so delaying one over Skype because you aren’t prepared for it is inexcusable. Always call and get everything set up a few minutes early to avoid any issues. Make sure you have your notes ready, something to write with, and a glass of water on hand to avoid getting a dry mouth once you start the interview.
Is body language important? For a Skype interview, you’re not going to have the typical informal interaction you would have in a normal interview. You won’t be walking from the reception to the elevator or conference room, so it’s important your eye contact and facial expressions aren’t compromised by technology. Remember to look at the camera – not the screen – that way the interviewer will feel like you’re maintaining eye contact. Smile and have an engaging, pleasant facial expression.
As hard as it might be, try to forget you’re talking to a computer screen and imagine the interviewer sitting across from you. If you can accomplish this small task, you’ll ace a Skype interview!