If you have any video interviews upcoming, the chances are high that you may need to use Skype to meet with your interviewer. Like an in-person interview, a Skype interview is an opportunity for you to make a memorable first impression on the interviewer in the hopes of receiving an offer letter for the job.
This article will cover the basics of how to prepare for a Skype interview and Skype interview tips worth paying attention to before you log on for your own video call.
What is a Skype Interview?
Skype is a video conferring provider, much like Zoom and Google Meet. The software can be run on the web or be downloaded as an app and doesn’t require any logging in.
Like a regular interview, a Skype interview is a meeting between an interviewer and interviewee looking to be hired for a specific job position.
How to Prepare for Skype interview
Since the interview takes place online, be sure to review the following points before your interview time comes so that you will be well-prepared.
- Test technology: Technology can be a fickle beast. When it works well, it’s like a superhero. But, when it’s faulty, it can be the cause of demise and frustration. To prevent any technical issues during your Skype interview, be sure to test Skype out by making a call to a friend or family member before logging on with your interviewer. This way, you can test the audio and video capabilities, all supported by your internet connection and device.
- Choose a distraction-free zone: Make sure that you have a quiet space in mind for your Skype video interview (just like you do when you are studying). Try to choose a distraction-free location, which means that kids, pets, and other people won’t create any noise in the background.
- Prepare your background: Depending on where you take your interview, backgrounds can vary. It could be the case that you have to take your call in the middle of your living room because you don’t have a separate office setup. Regardless of where you are, you can create a clean Skype interview background by using the blur feature. This feature will keep your face in focus, but blur your background.
- Dress accordingly: Knowing how to dress for a Skype interview may seem strange since you’re behind a screen, but it still matters. Your interviewer will likely only be able to see from your shoulders and up (depending on how you position the camera). So, show up freshly groomed and in a nice shirt or blazer. You should dress akin to how someone within the company would dress, but slightly more elevated (especially if it’s a casual tech company that allows employees to wear t-shirts).
Skype Interview Tips
Lights, camera, action! To help you prepare for your big moment, review these handy tips that will help you nail your interview.
- Have job description and resume: Whether you have two screens available or can print your resume and job description, it’s useful to have these in a clear line of sight. More often than not, interviewers will ask you to walk through your experience listed on your resume. Rather than reading what they already saw on your resume, you’ll want to discuss highlights and accomplishments in your previous positions. If this is your first job experience that you are looking to hold, then make sure you play up how your skills and education align with the job description tasks.
- Consider your body language: An old study by a body language researcher named Albert Mehrabian concluded that 90% of communication is non-verbal. Whether this can be taken at face value or with a grain of salt, the importance of body language cannot go unnoticed. In an interview, an interviewer will definitely be aware of your posture, facial expressions, and cues such as fidgeting, which could indicate that you’re nervous. Your body language can help show how interested you are in what the other person is saying and help to indicate that you are actively listening (i.e., head nods at the right moments). Although your whole body won’t be noticeable during a Skype interview, you’ll want to make sure that you look at the screen and use head nods to show that you are focused.
- Eye contact: Body language is important, but your face will fill up most of the video conferencing screen, which brings eye contact into the picture (no pun intended). Be sure to position your camera so that your eye contact is at eye level, rather than having to look up or down or to the side. If you have multiple screens, ensure that you keep the Skype window on the screen that’s in front of you rather than off to the side so that when you talk (or listen), you will be facing straight ahead.
- Install Skype: While you can copy/paste a Skype link into your web browser, it’s recommended to actually download and install the app for an optimized experience. It’s free of cost, so you just have to take a few moments to follow the installation instructions.
- Manage time wisely: In many cases, a Skype interview will be shorter than that of an in-person interview. Because you cut the commute time and don’t have to physically show up anywhere, you can spend those extra moments before an interview getting situated in your distraction-free environment. Since the call may be expedited (say 45 minutes instead of an hour), practice running through your resume and answering commonly asked interview questions before the Skype interview so you can time your responses accordingly.
- Use a computer or laptop: While it is possible to use a tablet or mobile device for a Skype interview, it’s better to take it on a desktop computer or laptop. If you’re holding the device, it could cause a shaky and distraction-filled experience. When you show up on a desktop or laptop, you are already indicating how you view the importance of the interview to the interviewer.
- Log on early: Just like you’d want to show up a few minutes early to an in-person interview, it’s better to log on early to the call link than just on time. This way, if there are any technical issues, you can resolve them before the interviewer logs on and avoid being even a second late. Punctuality is a very valuable skill when looking for employees, so your interviewer will surely make a note of it.
- Record the interview: Skype offers the option to record the interview for later viewing. Before you do so, be sure to ask the interviewer if they are okay with that. This way, you can always review how you did after the fact and take the time to study the recording to improve for next time. It’s also useful to have a recording in the event that you will go through multiple interview stages with other people, so you can refer back to what was discussed before to avoid asking the same questions over and over.
Make the Call!
Although any type of interview can seem daunting, a Skype interview has its own set of upsides. You get to take the interview from wherever you feel most comfortable. Plus, if your interviewer consents, you have the opportunity to record the interview and use it as a learning mechanism for future interviews.
Remember to show up with confidence and prepare the technological aspects beforehand to maximize your chance of being hired.