by Jonathan Moss | 1 September 2016
More and more clients are carrying out Skype interviews for a number of reasons, including convenience and time constraints, but most candidates are unaware of how to ensure they are viewed in most effective and professional manner.
It is not rocket science but I have listed below a few proven tips on how to prepare for this type of interview:
First of all, before having the actual interview it is certainly advisable to practice. You will need to see how you appear and sound in front of a camera. This format of interviewing is different to both telephone and face to face interviews and it may take time for it to feel natural and comfortable, which is essential for your personality and skills to shine through.
What you don’t want to do is to be nervously glancing at yourself throughout the interview. Maybe ask a friend or family member to critique your performance as this will help you to understand which parts of your interview are good and what needs work.
2. Settings and surroundings
Make sure that you have prepared your settings and surroundings beforehand, for example, the audio and video, making sure you have fixed any technical problems that might arise. Make sure your surroundings are tidy, without too many personal items visible. Check what your interviewers will see throughout the Skype conversation, and what impression this will make. Make sure there is plenty of natural light, and no distractions.
Also, find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and that you have checked your internet connection. Furthermore, think about your Skype name. If you have an unusual one, think about setting up a new ID specifically for the interview – this is a part of that all-important first impression and you don’t want to come across as unprofessional.
3. Pre-interview preparation
Due to the nature of Skype interviews you can also have to hand your CV, the job specification, and any notes or questions in front of you. However, keep these short, maybe in bullet points, rather than paragraphs of lengthy speeches. Make sure you are familiar with this material, so you don’t have to look at it too much, and put it somewhere that you can easily glance at, without looking down or away too much.
In addition, find out what sort of attire you are expected to dress in, however, if you are unsure, play it safe and be smart. Dressing in business attire head to toe will make sure you feel the part and get into a proper interview mode, but also, what if you have to stand up to adjust equipment and they see your tracksuit bottoms?
4. During the interview
Skype interviews can be even more intense than face to face ones and so you really must stay focused and attentive throughout. Make sure you are actively listening, and let the interviewer know this by making the right sounds and gestures. It helps them to know that you are interested, and also that you can hear everything they are saying. If you don’t hear a question or you aren’t sure, clarify.
You only have a limited amount of time to prove your skills and worth, so make sure you are following the right line of answering. In addition, there may be a time lags or pauses, and you don’t want to talk over your interviewer. Make sure they have finished talking before you start to respond. Not only does this ensure that you hear the full question and don’t interrupt, it also gives you time to consider how you respond.
If you follow these few simple yet very effective guidelines your skype interview will have a solid platform for a successful interview. However, if things do go wrong, don’t panic and make sure to keep calm and remember that they may now be assessing how you react in a stressful situation.
For further tips to help further your job search including CV writing, interview tips and developing your personal brand, check out our candidate resources page.