10 Things to make your Skype Interview a Success
Congrats! You received an invitation to interview for your dream job. But wait...It’s over Skype?
Do not Worry.
The interview process isn’t always the traditional face-to-face method anymore. There’s a high chance you’ll have a video and phone interviews, which come with their own set of unwritten rules and keys to success. Video conferencing software, such as Skype and Google Hangouts have helped recruiters reach more candidates and offer a cost-effective way to screen prospective hires.
- Test your technology
• Do your microphone and speakers work?
• Is your camera switched on, and allowing the video to show?
• How is your internet connection looking, have you arranged for a backup?
• Are you on a proper desktop computer or laptop that’s big enough to host the video?
• Is there a light source nearby that provides a comfortable atmosphere?
• Look at the camera, not the screen.
• Keep your background neutral.
- Dress to Impress (Not Distract)
While you want to dress professionally (again, from head to toe, not head to waist)
Ensure that what you’re wearing works for video. The best bet would be shades of Blue. Too much red and hot colors like magenta can be too bright and won't work out.
Pay particular attention to anything that might be a distraction, jewelry. What looks great in person can be quite different than what looks great on screen, choose wisely.
People with oily skin can go for a matte primer. People with dry skin can try a radiant primer or a tinted moisturizer. Let your makeup be very subtle.
- Prepare your surroundings.
Pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen. Keep your pets away from your interview space.
Remove anything distracting behind you and keep it neutral.
- Master the Digital Handshake
First impressions matter. It is those few seconds, the digital chemistry is created. The first step to that is a digital handshake.
This simple gesture shows that you’re excited to be there and ready to get down to business.
• A slow, confident, professional, firm nod.
• A slight shoulder bend and eyes forward.
• The other person should not see the top of your head.
• Do not reach your hand close to the camera in a poor fake handshake attempt. Instead, smile, give a nod and lean in slightly.
• Make sure the interviewer is engaged.
- Body Language
Remember, body language is everything, even in virtual environments.
It is a fact that people judge you in 7 seconds. ou might have not spoken at that time. How do you overcome this, especially in a virtual environment?
• Eye contact is critical. Focus on keeping your eyes on the camera and not on your screen.
• Be sure to have good posture and relax your shoulders to avoid stiffness.
• Be engaging and lean forward slightly when you’re speaking.
• You don’t want the interviewer to think that their screen is frozen. Do have some movement, to make it look as professional as possible.
- Practice makes perfect.
• Practice Skype interviews with a friend keeping in mind the above points.
• Play around with everything beforehand on Skype.
- Be prepared and on time.
Being ready to go on time earns you brownie points.
• Make sure your profile name and picture are professional.
• Close other programs on your computer.
• Sit down with Skype open five minutes before the interview starts. Check your time zones!
• Have your notes organized and paper ready in case you want to jot something down during the interview.
• You still have to do the same amount of research, because a lot of the time these interviews go more in-depth than a typical phone screening interview.
- Use notes, but don't rely too much on it.
• Don't be afraid to help yourself with,
- Post-it notes
- Copy of your resume handy when you interview.
• Notes should be easy to scan. They should be quick reminders instead of being scripts.
• Heavily relying on them can cause awkward pauses during your interview.
- Anticipate Problems and have a Back-up Plan
• Double-check your Internet connection.
• If something does go wrong, though, don’t panic. Handle the situation with grace.
• Have your phone nearby in case things go south (just check the ringer and vibrator are off) so you can seamlessly resume the interview with your phone’s Skype app or ask to switch to a phone call.
• Practice Skyping on your phone
• Your problem-solving skills and ability to remain calm under pressure will shine through.
- Follow up!
Send a Thank you letter after Skype within 24 hours.
Avoid following up on Skype, though, unless the interviewer requests it.
In addition to these tips, don’t forget to prepare for the actual interview subject matter as you would a normal interview. That means having questions ready to ask them, and practicing how to answer the hard asks they probably have in store for you!
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