On-site interviews are great, but what if that won’t work for the position, or your next opportunity is in another state? As recruiters, we look for other options for our candidates, and what better way than Skype, to get ahead of your typical “phone interview”.
We gathered some tips from Skype experts that have proven to be successful for professionals around the world.
Look the Part
Dress to Impress
Dressing professionally (from head to toe, not head to waist) gives you the confidence that you would have in person. It also delivers a message to the interviewer that most candidates may not realize. Remember to take a shower, this is easily the first step to feeling and looking your best!
You want to make sure that your outfit is simple and professional…not too loud! Women, low cut shirts and jewelry can be a distraction. While makeup is hardly seen, so pack it on! Men, watch out for those ties, this is often seen as a distraction if colors are not chosen properly. Also, remember to trim any facial hair, to appear clean cut.
Professional Colors Are the Best
Think of an onsite interview and what you would wear. Many shades of blue, black and gray look best when interviewing on camera, just as they do in person. Choose colors that compliment you, not wash you out.
Prepare Your Surroundings
Unclutter the Background
Make sure that the room you will skype in is free of clutter (also your desk). Look behind you, because that is what they will see. A cluttered background may distract your audience, not to mention send the wrong idea of your organizational skills. Rid the area of any personal items, not to give off any unnecessary information.
Keep it Neutral
Your background is so important! A blank or neutral background is best! Make sure it does not compete with your wardrobe. A clean simple backdrop would do the trick if clutter is an issue.
Lighting Must Be Right
The lighting in the room can be devastating to a skype interview. If the light is behind you, watch out for glares. Make sure to position the light above, or behind your computer. If you can have one on the right and left side of you, this will give you the best lighting for an on-camera interview.
Practice Your Skype Interview First
Your first few video calls are bound to feel awkward, as you figure out where to look, what to do with your hands, or how loudly to speak. If you work these things out beforehand, you are more likely to be successful. Also, you are less likely to run into any glitches if you practice. If something does go wrong, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot. If anything it will demonstrate how you can handle a stressful situation.
Don't Forget to Smile
At an in-person interview, you’d naturally smile upon arrival, and try to keep a pleasant facial expression for the duration of your interview.
It is more difficult to do this with a remote interview, although it is still a very important factor. Smiling is the best way to break the ice and develop a rapport with your interviewer. (This also works over the phone, even though you cannot be seen, your smile is heard!)
Of course, it is hard to smile sitting alone in a room. Just before the call, relax a little, smile to yourself in a mirror, call a friend who never fails to make you laugh…or my personal favorite, hang a funny picture just next to your computer, so you cannot help but smile!
Master the Digital Handshake
Just like an in-person interview, first impressions really matter. The first 5 seconds of your interview will make or break your digital interview. From the moment the interviewer sees you, that digital chemistry is created.
The first step to creating digital chemistry is the digital handshake. Think of a slow, confident, firm nod; with a slight shoulder bend and eyes forward. When you cannot physically greet the hiring manager, this simple gesture shows that you’re excited to be there and ready to get down to business.
From then on focus your eyes directly at your camera, not on your view from the screen (or your picture in the bottom corner). If your eyes are looking straight into the camera, it appears that you are looking right at the other person. If not, your interviewer will see you looking down at him/her.
Stay Present by Actively Listening
It is important to give your caller periodic clues that you are still there. No one wants to be a part of a motionless skype interview…disaster! Make sure your body language expresses that you’re engaged and alive! As you’re communicating, lean forward, this will show interest and concern. It also expresses your eagerness and willingness to learn. Do not type on your computer or anything on your computer for that matter, that does not pertain to the call. Again, maintain eye contact!
Go Ahead and Cheat!
One advantage to phone or video interviews is that you don’t have to remember everything that you want to mention. You can have your notes right in front of you without your interviewer knowing. Place your resume in front of you along with news about the company and any questions that you want to ask, or potential talking points. Do not read verbatim, familiarize yourself with the material, and keep your notes somewhere that you can look at them at a quick glance.
Make Sure Your Username is Business Friendly!
It is okay to be boring once in a while, just go with your first and last name. No need to go all creative on your skype business account, save your energy for the call!
It is vital that we keep up with the ever-changing and advancing options for a wide variety of job interview options! Whether it’s an in-person interview, phone interview, or a Skype/Video interview–practice makes perfect and being prepared goes a long way!