What is the difference between a traditional and a video interview? What is the best way to prepare for a video interview? What needs to be checked before appearing for a remote interview through Skype?
It’s finally time for your big job interview, but they want to interview you on Skype instead of in person. Is it really that different? What do you need to do to prepare?
Worry not – here are ten useful tips to help you land the job.
Tip #1 for a Skype Interview: Do Your Research
At their core, Skype interviews aren’t that different than face-to-face interviews. You need to learn about the company and prepare to answer questions about yourself and what you can contribute.
The difference is, when you do a Skype interview, you can have your notes right in front of you, so you don’t have to worry about getting nervous and forgetting what you wanted to say.
Tip #2: Dress as if the Interview was Face–to–Face
Yes, interviewers understand you’re doing the interview at home, where you usually don’t wear business attire, but they will still get their first impression based partially on what you wear. Show them you’re serious about the job by dressing up like you would to the office. Do your research: Check out the company’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed to get a feel for how employees (and executives) dress and behave, then take your cues from that when prepping for your interview.
Don’t get caught wearing pajama pants! The screen only shows the top half of your body but unexpected occurrences can come up – a neighbor could knock on your door, or equipment could cause technical challenges and it will be less embarrassing if you are wearing pants or a skirt if you have to stand up.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Equipment Works and Have a Backup Plan
Of course, the best thing to do is make sure in advance – to the best of your ability – that your Skype, audio, video, Internet connection, and computer work well. Restart your computer 30 minutes before your interview, to prevent it from being slow, which could cause technical issues on Skype. If you’ve never used Skype before – or have never used video calls before – download Skype and practice it with a friend, so when it’s time for your interview, you can focus on impressing your interviewer and landing the job.
Tip #4: Good Lighting
Ensure that the interview can see you well by making sure you have the best lighting possible. Typically, the best lighting to use is front–facing natural lighting. Skype interviews can be nerve-wracking by themselves – but imagine how upsetting it would be if all the interviewer sees is a dark screen. There is a reason you put so much effort and time in your professional appearance. Do a video test run to ensure you can be seen clearly.
Tip# 5: Maintain Eye Contact and Pay Attention to Body Language
As strange as it might feel, make sure to look at your webcam instead of the screen. It will make you seem a lot more present. Another tip: place your laptop on a stack of books or magazines to get the camera to be at eye-level. It’s a more flattering angle and makes the interviewer feel like you’re looking at them directly in the eye.
You should also pay attention to your body language. Just like in a regular interview, remember to smile, sit up and put your hands on the table. Avoid constantly looking at the little box in the corner to make sure you look good and focus on connecting with your interviewer.
Tip #6: Remember that Your Interviewer Can See the Room
If you’re not a regular Skype user, have a video call with a friend in the room you intend to use for your interview, so you can find out what’s visible and what’s not on camera. Then, adjust the room accordingly to give a great impression.
Tip #7: Avoid Interruptions
Choose a quiet place for your Skype interview. The best place might be your home, but if you don’t live alone, ask for other people’s consideration and silence. Turn off notifications on your cell phone, and the volume on the television is low or off.
Tip #8: Make Sure Your Skype Profile is Professional
If you only use Skype to talk to friends, your photo and user name might be funny to people who know you, but when it comes to a job interview, it’s best to look professional. Consider opening a new Skype account just for job interviews.
Tip #10: Be Aware of Time Zones
Often, Skype interviews take place because of geographic distance. Sometimes that means a time zone difference as well. Use tools like the Time Zone Converter and the Area Code Decoder to make sure you show up at the right time.
Now that You Have these Tips for a Skype Interview, it’s Time to Land the Job
Remember that in a skype interview, just like any other interview, you need to take care of logistics ahead of time, so you can spend your interview focusing on being yourself, sharing what you can do for the company, and landing the job.