I know that all types of interviews can be daunting, and now that university is over there are a lot of graduates looking for jobs. Skype interviews are a lot nicer than interviews in person because you can be interviewed from the comfort of your own home; not a strange new environment. They also allow you to have notes in front of you if need be. Skype is preferable to a phone interview every time because it shows them so much more about who you are and how you will fit into their team, as they can see how you dress, how you present yourself and it is always nice to have a face to the name. So, prep for your interview as per usual and then, make sure you’ve got all your Skype bases covered; to help, here are 10 easy ways to prepare for a Skype interview.
Maintain eye contact
Is it very important that during a Skype interview you maintain eye contact with your interviewer rather than looking around the room or at the key board. This is because it shows you are professional and makes you seem interested in the conversation.
Check your username
Nobody wants to hire a person with a rude or inappropriate Skype username. Therefore make sure that yours is professional and perhaps just your first name and/ or surname with numbers and letters.
It is very important to get the location of your Skype interview correct. Do not be sat in bed with your favourite celebrity on a poster behind you. It is best to be in an area such as the kitchen or dining room with a blank walk behind you; this won’t distract the interviewer or yourself. This is one of the ways to prepare for a Skype interview ahead of time.
Even though the interview will be taking place online make sure you are ready on time, if not before. This allows time for any signing in problems or technical glitches, and also means you are a punctual person. Everybody’s clock is different too, so by being early you are protecting yourself from missing the interviewers call.
Even though the interview is online remember the interview will be a video interview. This means that the interviewer can see what your camera captures. My best advice is where the top half of what you would wear to a real in person interview and then wear comfy bottoms. This is because the interviewer can’t see your bottom half under the table and it will help you relax and not be as nervous as you are comfortable.
Do your research
Like for any interview, do your research beforehand so you know about the company and who is interviewing you. This gives you the upper hand when you are asked ‘What do you know about the company?’ or ‘Have you heard of us before?’
Don’t make excuses
If you’re asked to do an interview over Skype, saying you’d rather interview over the phone, or that you have a crappy internet connection, or even worse, that you don’t have Skype is a fail. You’ve just answered no to your first interview question. Congrats! If you want this job – find a way to make it work, even if it’s not convenient. You wouldn’t be the first person to download Skype, create an account, and immediately email your interviewer back with a yes and your username.
Use a headset
People might differ on this one, but if you have a headphone set with a talk piece (like most i-pod or i-phone headphones), use it – especially if you’re in a public space. Your computer picks up a lot of background noise which can be horrible for an interviewer to hear; it could even make them miss what you said. By using a headset, they’ll be able to hear you more clearly and with less distracting background noises. This is one of the ways to prepare for a Skype interview that is very important.
Now I don’t just mean telling your roommate, sister or mother to steer clear. I mean turning off any notifications on your computer, silencing your phone, turning off any notifications and staying clear of barking dogs or annoying cats. There is nothing worse than being put off by an interruption and losing your train of thought or forgetting what you were saying.
To avoid any technical errors, or personal errors if you are unsure how to use Skype, make a call to a friend or family member first. This will make sure both your camera and audio are working and you can ask for pointers about lighting and outfit choice etc.
Bottom line is: treat a Skype interview like you would any other interview and be yourself.
Which of these ways to prepare for a Skype interview are you going to try? Let us know in the comments.
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Current University Graduate, Hampshire UK