Skype Interview – Don’t freak out
Thursday morning you open your mailbox and there it is! The email that you have been waiting for all week! Without any hesitation you open it and you are invited for an interview next week. However, when you read the email you realise that this is not a standard interview because the employer wants to arrange a Skype interview. Interestingly, Skype interviews are becoming more and more popular these days and some employers apply a different approach to Skype interviews. Webrecuit reported that one of the most popular approaches to Skype interviewing is to send a video questionnaire to applicants who in return should video record their answers and send it back to the employer. If you have a Skype interview, don’t panic! Here are just a few things to think about.
Firstly, go through the email you received again to make sure that everything is clear and you know what to do next. Ask the employer what the interview structure is as this can help you with the preparation process. In addition, exchange ‘Skype usernames/logins’ in advance of the interview because sometimes the process of setting up a new Skype account/contact can take a while. Your Skype username should be appropriate (ideally the same as your email account name) because an unsuitable username can put some employers off contacting you. Be professional. Similarly, downloading a Skype app to your smart phone or computer at least a day before your interview is good practice. Do not leave this until the very last minute.
If you do not have the adequate technology at home i.e. fast internet, clear background, computer facilities, consider an alternative place for the interview such as booking a room in the library.
Tiding up the room before your interview is essential and do not focus just on one specific area. Who knows, you may be asked to do a presentation and you would need to move your laptop.
Furthermore, make sure there are no inappropriate posters on the wall. The same applies to what you are wearing. Even though the interviewers can just see the top of your outfit there can be occasions where you need to stand up, move your computer etc. Cosy pyjamas might sound great for you but dress as you would dress for a regular interview.
The other thing worth bearing in mind is lighting. The likelihood is, you will need more light depending on the room you are in and the time of day. This can be checked by calling ‘Skype Test’ account which is installed automatically and can be found in your Skype window.
If you live with someone make sure no one walks behind you or enters your room during the interview as this can be disturbing and won’t look professional. The same applies to your ‘little friends’ (pets) who may be eager to play during your interview! Keeping your pets out of the room is a smart idea.
Just imagine, during your interview the employer does not keep eye contact with you and you feel that your time is not valued and the employer is not interested. Therefore, maintaining non-verbal communication (as per a standard interview) is crucial. With regards to eye contact, there is no particular rule as to where exactly you need to look at i.e. camera or the screen; choose your own style and see what works best for you. There are other aspects of your body language to think about: the way you’re sitting, what gestures you’re using – they will certainly make a difference to your interview. Remember, first impressions count!
Remember, the Skype interview is still an interview. If you feel uncomfortable about it all, you may consider booking a mock interview with a Careers Consultant to see if you need to adapt your interview style. Good luck!
Karina and Ryan 🙂