Many companies now use Skype to interview for job positions within their business, but preparing yourself for a Skype interview entails additional prep which is a little different to your regular sit-down face-to-face.
The 5 Step Skype Interview Preparation Guide
1. Dress to Impress
Dress professionally as you would for any other job interview. Assume the interviewer can see everything so don’t go casual below the waist. Who knows, you may need to stand up to retrieve something in the middle of the interview.
Besides from projecting the right image, it will also help transition you to a professional frame of mind and boost your confidence.
2. What Can The Interviewer See?
- Check out what’s in the background of your webcam.
Keep the interviewer’s attention focused on you by removing any clutter, or posters from behind you, or avoid the hassle of moving stuff around by setting-up in front of a sparse, neutral coloured wall. You don’t want to give too much about yourself away, or worse, look unprofessional and untidy, so keep your background clear.
Make sure the lighting isn’t too glary, or too bright. You need the interviewer to see you, not just your outline, or nothing at all.
And don’t forget to check camera positioning. “Check out the alignment of your camera and screen too. You may not actually be making eye contact with the interviewer and this can interfere with developing that all-important connection,” pointed out Tracy Johnson, the founder of Brainbox Consulting, a business intelligence consulting firm.
3. Check Everything Is Working
First off, is your internet connection up to the task of Skyping? If yes, then get onto Skype an hour ahead of the interview to check that it’s working okay.
Is it telling you it wants to install an update? If so, you better get it sorted before the interview starts.
Are the microphone and speakers working? How are the levels? Is everything loud and clear? How about the webcam? Is the video feed coming up?
Erase any doubt and make a test call to a friend, or family member to double-check everything is indeed fine. That way you can commence the interview with complete confidence in your tech.
“Conduct a practice interview with a friend, and record it so that you‘ll have an accurate idea of how you come across on video,” advised US career coach, Cheryl Palmer.
4. Let Everyone Else in the House Know You’re Doing an Interview
If you live with others inform them you’re about to be doing a Skype interview. Let them know in advance and remind them again just before your interview so they have time to either quieten down, or get out of the house to give you space.
If you have kids in the home then you may need to get a relative, friend, or minder to look after them while you Skype.
5. Act Natural, Smile & Connect
Most people enter job interviews with a smile and maintain a pleasant disposition throughout.
Acting natural over a webcam is more difficult for most compared to real-life face-to-face encounters, but it is manageable.
Making sure your Skype is working fine, your dressed professionally and no distractions are due to pop-up will boost your confidence and help keep your mind from wandering to worrying about IT issues, or your outfit.
Keeping your focus, your facial expressions pleasant & presenting yourself well is the first part, the second part entails smiling.
“Smiling is the best way to break the ice and develop rapport with your interviewer,” advised Cheryl Palmer, US career coach.
- The third part is all about your tone of voice and body language.
“Less body language information is transmitted [over Skype], so focus on matching the tone and pace of your voice to the message you are trying to convey. If you say you are excited about a project, sound excited. If there is a mismatch between tone and message, the interviewer will go with the former rather than the latter," advised US career coach, Mike Higgins.