In an era where more and more candidates want and can move for their careers, video interviews are on the rise: it’s easier and cheaper to talk online than to travel to another city or even another state, especially for the first round of selection interviews. Plus, you can put on your favorite furry slippers and enhance your career at the same time.
Even though we’re used to interacting with computers and chat, taking a job interview on Skype isn’t as simple as it sounds: you have to rely completely on technology and feeling comfortable and confident in front of a screen takes some practice and, of course, our guide to successfully facing a job interview on Skype.
1. Get ready
Choose an appropriate Skype name and profile photo. Make sure your Internet connection is stable, your webcam and microphone are working, and the battery is charged. Small earphones will help you avoid echo when you speak. Know how to solve the problem in case the connection drops and stay calm if there are technical problems: nothing ruins your chances for a job as fast as swearing at the camera while your future employer is listening.
2. And give it a try
If you are new to Skype interviews, find a friend who is willing to try all the worst and help you with furniture, lighting and clothing decisions. Sit in a chair that is comfortable and high enough so that the upper half of your body is visible. You should be able to send and receive files, close the microphone, and put a call on hold. Get yourself a glass of water and a paper and electronic version of all your references, especially your CV and cover letter.
3. Create a controlled environment
Answer the call in a quiet environment. Close all windows, mute your phone, lock out any roommates and animals other than goldfish. Clean up the visible area behind you and adjust the webcam before starting the interview, so that your interlocutor does not think that an earthquake is occurring on the other side of the screen. Make sure there isn’t too strong a light behind you, otherwise your face will look too dark (and shady).
4. Pay attention to what you wear
Do not slack on the clothing front, enter the perspective of the job interview and dress from head to toe: despite the temptation not to wear pants, you cannot know when to get up. The best advice here is to simply pretend that you are leaving the house to go to a meeting in person. Do not wear too strong colors or small stripes, as they will appear blurry and start to move, and make sure your outfit does not clash or fade with the background.
5. Maintain eye contact (on screen)
Try to look on the webcam, which on Skype is the equivalent of looking in the eye. If you stare at the interlocutor’s image on the screen, it will give the idea of being a bit distant. If you want to take notes, write on a notepad, so that you won’t be distracted by your interlocutor while typing. On Skype it is possible to hide the window that shows your face, but I recommend that you keep it open, just to keep track of the background and your posture.
6. Finish it right
This is easier said than done, but try not to wave goodbye (that’s a Skype rule). And anyway, even more important: don’t say anything that doesn’t have anything to do with the interview until you have closed the call. Turning off the webcam and closing the phone are two different things on Skype, so be (very) careful!
Want to give your interview an extra chance? Arrive prepared to demonstrate your knowledge of , Spanish or any other language required.