Skype Interviews

Skype Interviews: What You NEED To Know

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In this digital day and age, it’s not unusual to be invited for a Skype interview, especially if the position you are applying for is geographically far away. More and more companies are attempting to use technology to streamline the interview process, and Skype interviews allow them to quickly weed out the unlikely candidates.

Although a Skype interview takes place in the comfort of your own home, it should still be taken very seriously and treated like a face-to-face meeting. First impressions are vital, even if they take place through a webcam, so be sure to execute these Skype interview best practices:

Dress For The Occasion

Although you aren’t meeting the company in person, dress smartly and in line with the industry. Not only will it boost your confidence, but the interviewer will see that you are serious about the position.

Avoid stripey or checked clothing as these can sometimes be distorted when using a webcam. Also, be sure that what you’re wearing doesn’t blend in with the back drop; a floating head is sure to distract the interviewer.

Think about your surroundings as well as your personal appearance. There’s no point looking the part if you are sitting in a messy and unclean room. Sit in the position you would for the interview and check behind you to make sure it looks presentable.

Equipment

Ensure that your equipment is up to the task in regards to microphone, webcam, and Internet connection. Having a low quality microphone or webcam can make a Skype interview really tricky if you have to keep repeating yourself or the picture is pixelated.

Likewise, if your Internet connection isn’t up to scratch, there can be awkward delays and a communication struggle. Be sure to test everything well in advance so you can have plenty of time to fix any technical problems or buy new hardware.

When it comes to the actual interview, make sure that you are in a quiet room or even better, an empty house.

Practice

Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to video calls. Remember to look at the camera and not the person on the screen, and think be sure to speak at a comfortable volume as opposed to shouting.

You could consider recording yourself answering made up questions, then play it back to yourself to see how you sound and pinpoint areas you can improve on.

Smile

Smiling comes naturally in a face-to-face interview, but it’s something that’s easy to forget when you’re sitting in front of a computer screen. Just before the interview, try and get into an upbeat mood, and make a mental note to smile just as you would in person.

Smiling is a proven way to help reduce nerve and stress levels, and a powerful way to convey enthusiasm. Combining this with good posture helps you appear confident and alert.

Have Notes

One of the biggest benefits of a Skype interview is the ability to have notes in front of you without the interviewer knowing. This can help you out of sticky situations, but be sure to subtle glance at them instead of reading off the page.

Consider creating sticky notes to place around the screen, which contain important and concise information. It may be useful to have your resume on hand as well as any information about the company you are applying to. And, of course, don’t forget to note down any questions you wish to ask.

We hope these simple but important best practices help you perform your best during a Skype interview. Remember the first few video calls won’t be perfect, but don’t let this put you off. Although they were once a novelty, Skype interviews are becoming ever more common.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Mark Potter

This article was written exclusively for Career Realism by Mark Potter of Namecheap domain registrar.

5 comments

  1. I can see the usefulness of the Skype interview if the position is in a different state but other than that it’s just the IT department showing off. GotoMeeting works better anyway and doesn’t take over your PC like Skype does. That said I’ve had exactly one opportunity for one of these and it got cancelled. It’s not as prevalent as the article would have you believe.

    As to the library computer questions, I’d think not mostly because Skype has to be installed and most public libraries don’t allow you to install anything on their computers. Even web based services have to install a control package which is likely disallowed as well. Perhaps it the library got enough requests they could set aside one PC for such telepresence meetings that had suitable software preinstalled but that would be the only way I could see it working.

  2. I’m going to have to do one of these at Starbucks because it’s during work hours. Any advice? There probably 3 or 4 Starbucks within a 5 minute drive of my job, I can’t go check them out at lunch because there is no way for me to know what the crowd is like Tuesday at 3pm. Should I go check them out for background, lighting and ambiance? My other options is McDonalds at the crappy mall across the street. Has anyone had to do one of these during work hours. Alas, unlike a phone call, sneaking in to a conference room is not an option.

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