Interviewing for a new job via Skype is becoming increasingly common, primarily because it saves time and resources for both the employer and interviewee. Many employers see Skype as a superior way to evaluate a potential employer because face-to-face communication – where body language and reaction time are evident – can provide extra information that can help employers make their decision.
As Skype interviews are increasingly likely in your future, it’s best to prepare for them ahead of time. Much like a typical phone or in-person interview, preparation is essential, but preparing for your Skype interview involves a few unique strategies:
Many interviewees focus on their clothing for a Skype interview, which is certainly recommended. However, many interviewees overlook what’s behind them while they’re interviewing. Empty beer cans or clutter in the room you’re Skyping from can send the wrong message, while also potentially serving as a distraction to your potential employer, clouding their judgment of you.
Make sure light is coming from the front of you, not behind you. Ideally, use a soft lamp about six feet in front of you. This should provide the optimal lighting where you appear professional, ready and alert. Also, make sure there is no backlight emanating from a window or other light source. Glares in Skype interviews should be avoided.
Try not to sit as close to your computer monitor as you typically would. Instead, sit farther back so the frame emphasizes your upper shoulders and face. Also, place the computer higher than usual, so your eyes meet your webcam without looking up, down, or to the right or left. It’s very useful to become accustomed to exercising good posture while using the computer; it’s an important, health-beneficial practice even beyond the interview’s good impression.
Be sure to close all other programs apart from Skype when in an interview. A computer crash due to too many programs running at once can sabotage an interview. Also, ensure that your internet connection is being used as fast as possible. Consider connecting an Ethernet cable to your computer directly for the time being, as it is faster than using wireless.
Also, since Skype Connect also works with your VPN infrastructure as long as that VPN has internet access, be sure to consider the stability and speed of your desired connection type before the interview takes place. Testing your connection quality on Skype with a friend is a good idea.
While it’s natural to want to look at the person speaking or listening to you, an interviewee on Skype gives off more confidence when looking into their web cam, simply because to the interviewee it appears as if the interviewee is looking directly at them. Looking at the person’s image on your computer monitor makes it appear as if you’re disinterested or unfocused. Also, if you find the image of yourself distracting, minimize it.
You’ve probably been a part of a mock interview before, either helping out a friend or having a friend help you. It’s no different on Skype, where you should plan in advance by initiating a mock interview with a friend. Not only does this provide preparation for the actual interview, but it makes one significantly more familiar with the Skype interface.
While being interviewed on Skype is certainly a different experience than doing so on the telephone or in person, it really isn’t so bad. Some people prefer Skype interviews because they provide more flexibility and an ability to better connect with the interviewee than on the phone. By following the tips above, you can be sure to conquer your job interview on Skype.
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