The Skype video interview is now firmly part of the job application process.
Got a job interview via Skype? Skype interviews are quickly becoming common practice. More and more employers are conducting initial job interviews over Skype or other online services, hoping to get a better feel for candidates than a phone conversation might allow.
Did you know?
18% of candidates have experienced a video interview in the past year, more than double the amount from a year ago, according to a survey by Right Management. 82% of hiring managers have used Skype, and 6% have used pre-recorded platforms.
So, how do you make a great impression when you are not physically in the room?
Follow our tips below.
Practice your interview techniques with a friend on Skype and look at the camera instead of yourself, test your voice volume, etc.
Do your research
Just as you would for any interview. Have a bank of examples and relevant scenarios you can draw on to illustrate your skills and strengths. Research the company’s website so you are familiar with their target market, products and services. Prepare some intelligent interview questions to ask at the close of the interview, should you be offered the chance.
Your Skype alias
Before you start the interview, the first thing the employer will notice is your Skype name. Make sure that both the profile picture and user name look professional.
Avoid the “Can you hear me now?”
We’ve all experienced those annoying “Can you hear me now?” moments. While most employers are forgiving, they are also pressed for time. Do a technical check before you interview. Test your video, sound and online connection.
Tip: Consider buying a headset with a built-in microphone if the sound system on your laptop is poor.
Look at the camera, not the screen
Look directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
Tip: Place the person’s picture directly below you camera and this will give the interviewer the feeling that you are looking directly at them.
Show your enthusiasm
Smile. It’s important to maintain an engaged and pleasant facial expression throughout, so forget that you’re talking to a computer screen and pretend that your interviewer is actually physically in the room with you.
It’s OK to watch the speaker on the screen, but respond by looking into the camera to create the illusion of direct eye-contact, always.
Dress for Success
Key to a video interview is making sure you look presentable, so dress for success. You might feel silly sitting at home wearing a suit and talking to a computer, but it will make all the difference. Not only will the interviewer think you look great and will already be picturing you in his/her workplace, it will help you to mentally prepare and get into a professional mode of thinking. Tip: Dress in solid colors, not stripes or patterns, and avoid noisy jewelry.
Close all the programs on your computer
This can be distractive and can also lead to a technical problem interrupting your interview. If you close all the rest of the windows it will help you stay focused.
Check the background
Sit against a neutral background without any cutler.
Don’t forget to prepare your lighting
The best lighting is natural sunlight, however if is a dark/rainy day any light source in front of you will do.
Have notes and your C.V. in front of you
One advantage to a video or phone interview is that you don’t have to remember everything you want to mention.
You can have notes, CV, Resume in front of you—without your interviewer knowing.
Have a plan B
Download Skype well in advance of the interview and make sure you have a practice call to a friend to iron out any issues. Also, where possible, use headphones and a microphone to conduct the interview: this helps prevent feedback. If you can’t hear your interviewer, let them know so they can try to fix the problem.
Be careful of your body language
Pay attention to your body language. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact and good posture during the whole interview. If you want to gesture with your hands, make sure they are with the camera’s view.
Make sure the environment is quiet
Make sure there will be no interruptions throughout the interview. Close the door, banish your pets, Silence your mobile phone, turn off noisemakers as email alerts, and instruct everyone to stay away.
A thank-you letter is just as important after a Skype interview as it is in an in-person interview. Avoid following up on Skype, though, unless the interviewer requests it!
Don’t be intimidated by new employment trends like Skype interviews; learn to embrace and master them. Next time it could be you in the interviewer’s chair! What are your best tips for Skype interview success?