Just a few years ago, video conferencing involved using expensive equipment. Now it is much easier through the use of Skype.
Maybe you already use Skype to talk with friends. It’s free to download and all you need is a webcam, a microphone and an internet connection. Skype makes it easy to be interviewed for work when it would not be practical for you to travel, and is being used more and more for first interviews.
Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic
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If you have never used Skype before, set up a few video calls with friends or family.
Adjust the settings to ensure that you are clearly in shot, and make sure you don’t set the zoom too high –your face shouldn’t fill the screen; have some background as well.
The background should be neutral; you don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by the objects in your room. Think about lighting – they need to be able to see you, so close curtains if it is too sunny and have the lights on if the room is dark. Test the technology to make sure you are heard. Just as with your email address, make sure you have a professional Skype name.
Make the video of your interviewer full-screen so that you are not distracted by anything else on your computer. Turn off any sounds or notifications that might pop up in the background. Turn off your mobile phone and ensure family and pets will not disturb you.
Check how you look on the screen and make adjustments to the camera angle. If you use a laptop, place it on a stable surface rather than have it wobbling on your knees. Wear business clothes, and not just on your top half – you may need to stand up! Look at the camera rather than the screen to help give the appearance of eye contact.
Prepare to the same extent as you would for an in-person meeting. Have pen and paper ready so you can make notes but be cautious when having notes you refer to; each time you look at them you are not looking at the screen.