Skype Interviews are becoming mainstream. Just a few years ago, video conferencing involved using expensive equipment. Now it is much easier using Skype.
I regular have Skype interviews with clients, and although I’m not making judgements, often it could be better, so here’s some helpful advice for when you have Skype interviews.
You probably already use Skype to talk with friends and family. It’s free to download and all you need is a webcam, a microphone and an internet connection. You can use it on your phone, so it’s very accessible.
Skype Interviews shares many common features with a traditional face to face interview. Both allow eye contact and you to respond to the other person. The interviewer can ask to follow up questions and you can seek clarification of a question asked.
1-5 Tips for effective Skype Interviews
- Be comfortable using Skype
If you have never used Skype before, set up a few practices skype video calls with friends or family.
For a Skype Interview, familiarize yourself with your webcam and microphone so you know how they work. You want to be sure that you can both be seen and heard. Adjust so the camera is at eye-level. you want to be looking directly into the camera.
- Adjust the settings to ensure that you are clearly in shot
Check how you look on the screen and adjust the camera angle. If you use a laptop, place it on a stable surface rather than have it wobbling on your knees. Adjust the setting so they can see you from the waist up you don’t want the screen to be filled with your head.
- Consider your environment
Check the lighting and background. You may need to switch the lights on, or close the curtains/blinds. Look at the background and make sure it is neutral. Do you really want your untidy room to be on show? Make sure you are somewhere quiet, not in a noisy coffee shop.
- Get comfortable being filmed
The more you do, the easier it gets. You can easily set your camera set up so you can record yourself. Get someone to read interview questions and practice answering, but talking about anything, and recording yourself will also help you to feel more comfortable.
When you watch the playback look at what you do with your hands, do you wave them about?
Look to see if you make eye contact or mainly look away?
Do you slouch or sit up looking alert?
- Wear business dress
You don’t need to be wearing a suit for Skype interviews, but wear the sort of clothes you would wear at work. It helps make a good first impression and makes you feel more confident.
6-10 Tips for effective Skype Interviews
- Test the technology
You want to make sure the technology works ready for Skype interviews, so log on in advance. You also want to check that you’re your camera and microphone works, you want to be both seen ande heard.
- Have a professional Skype name
Just as with your email address, make sure you have a professional Skype name. If necessary set up a second account
- Make the video of your interviewer full-screen
This means that you are not distracted by anything else on your computer. Turn off any sounds or notifications that might pop up in the background. Be safe, turn off all other programmes/ apps.
- Make sure you won’t be disturbed
Turn off other phones and ensure family and pets will not disturb you.
- Prepare to the same extent as you would for an in-person meeting.
- Do your research – find out more about the organisation and the job you have applied for.
- Be clear why you are a great candidate – understand what makes you the stand out candidate for the job.
- Practice – Just like for a conventional interview practice answering questions, either with a friend/ family member or with a career coach.
In the Skype interview
If you are going to make notes to refer to, have them on post-it notes around the edge of the screen.
If you are using your laptop make sure the battery is fully charged, and have your phone ready so you can switch if needed. And practice setting up your phone so it is at the right angle to show you at your best.
Look at the camera rather than the screen to help give the appearance of eye contact.
Speak clearly so you can be heard on the skype interviews.
Answer the question asked – don’t ramble. Use STAR to keep your answer focused. Situation, Task, Action, results to give structure to your responses. Remember to use “I” rather than “we” in your answers.
Consider your body language – sit up and come across as engaged and interested. Do smile.
Wishing you all the very best for forthcoming Skype Interviews, and if it will be helpful to schedule an interview coaching session, please get in touch.