With applicants applying to jobs from far and wide, Skype interviews are becoming more commonplace. Yet, it can be difficult to participate in an online interview.
Here are some skype interview tips to help you through the process.
Testing your Equipment
This is the most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview. Make sure you have downloaded the correct software, and it is up to date. Practice calling a friend to ensure your microphone and video are working correctly.
Do not forget to send your username to the interviewer and accept their friend invitation. Finally, if your audio is problematic, invest in some headphones such as this USB Headset with Microphone Noise Cancelling and Volume Controls.
It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but many fail to recognize the importance of a neutral backdrop. Busy backgrounds are going to distract the interviewer from you, the star of the show!
Double-check any shelving behind you to make sure nothing inappropriate is on display, and make sure you do not have any doors behind you, or if you do, they are locked so family members cannot make an unscheduled appearance!
When participating in an interview, you are trying to show the best possible version of yourself. Never underestimate the power of good lighting! Adjusting your laptop, so you are facing a window will give you an instant airbrushed look. Appearing more awake and hiding those dark circles may not swing your interview, but every little helps.
If you don’t have access to natural lighting or your overhead lighting washes you out, it might be worth investing in Video Conference Lighting.
You might be conducting the interview from your living room sofa, but do not dress like you are! Wear a professional outfit just like if you were meeting in person and please put on trousers.
Avoid busy prints or dull hues as the camera can wash you out. Also, make sure whatever you are wearing compliments your backdrop, fresh pastels if you are in front of a dark-colored wall, and bright solids or black in front of a light-colored wall.
Turn Off Notifications
In a face-to-face interview, you turn off your phone beforehand; it is the same for a skype interview. Do not only turn off your phone notifications; make sure you mute your computer notifications as well. There is nothing more distracting or unprofessional than the sound of texts and emails coming through. Most windows laptops have an option to go into “focus mode” make sure you do it!
One benefit of doing an online interview is that you can have notes! No, not pages and pages of rehearsed answers, but a little sticky pad in an easily accessible location.
Writing down some keywords or dates you want to remember will help if your mind runs a blank. Just make sure you are not relying on them, and the notes are not in front of the computer; you do not want to get caught cheating!
Nearly everybody’s phone has a camera now, and while this may be your usual choice when video calling, do not use it for interviews. Using a laptop camera is more stable and will reduce camera shake. Using a phone tends to record you in a narrow window which is recognizable to everyone and seems less professional.
If you plan on doing more online meetings or interviews in the future, it might be worth investing in an external camera such as this Webcam 1080p HD Computer Camera.
If you are interviewing in person, naturally, you will maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Do the same in your online interview! Try not to stare at the person on the screen (or yourself) and look into the camera. This will give the interviewer the illusion that you are maintaining eye contact. Also, don’t forget to smile, even online; this is important!
Charge Your Laptop
Okay, this tip may seem obvious but put your laptop on charge. If your interview runs over for any reason and you have run out of battery, well, it does not look great. After perfectly curating your interview space, you do not want your interviewer to see your less curated space whilst you do the mad dash to an outlet.
If you do start to run out of battery before the end of your interview, apologize, turn off your camera, sort out your charger and then resume.
Normally you would arrive 10-15 minutes early to a job interview, and an online interview is the same. Whilst normally the interviewer will call you, not the other way round, make sure you are all set up and clearly online prior to your interview time.
Communicate with Your Household
When finding a nice quiet spot to conduct your interview, make sure you have stressed this to your household. Keep pets locked away from the room you are in and organize childcare in advance. Let everyone know your expected interview times so they can avoid noisy household tasks such as vacuuming at that time.
If you have regular visitors, it is worth telling them in advance that you will not be available and even stick a note on your front door, so delivery men do not ring your doorbell during the interview.
General Interview Tips
At the end of the day, when you are in your interview, it is going to be similar to a face-to-face interview, so be prepared. Review common interview questions and prepare examples of when you demonstrated these skills. If your interview is with a larger company, check online forums for advice, hints, or interview questions former interviewees may have posted.
Make sure you have good knowledge of the company, their history, and their values, and tailor your answers to hit these values. Finally, prepare questions you would like to ask at the end of the interview; this demonstrates an interest in the company and the job position.
Although the prospect of an online interview can seem daunting, use it to your advantage. The time you would spend traveling to a face-to-face interview can now be used to organize yourself. Preparation is key, and you can demonstrate your professionalism by following these Skype Interview Tips.
The very best of luck with your next interview.