5 Tips to a successful Skype Interview

2012/04/12 MoniqueWritten by Dave Cullen

Remote interviews are becoming all the more common in our increasingly online and digitally interconnected age. The primary reason you may be called to undertake a video interview over the internet is if you are applying for a job in another country or city. However, a growing number of companies are requiring first stage interviews to take place via Skype or similar VOIP (Voice Over IP) services as a means to vet candidates quickly. Many candidates make the mistake of treating these interviews as informal chats; however an interviewer expects the same level of professional decorum to be maintained.

The following is a list of 5 tips to help you succeed at a Skype Interview.

Technical Preparations
Phone lines, broadband connections and Wi-Fi networks breakdown, technical glitches happen. When they occur during the interview, address them immediately. If the Internet signal strength becomes compromised, ask them to call you back. Prior to the Skype session, ensure that you are conducting the interview in a location with a strong internet connection speed and minimal interference.

Look the Part
If 80% of all communication is non-verbal, then dressing the part and presenting yourself professionally with appropriate body language is essential. Just because you are sitting at home does not mean that you adopt a casual approach. Ensure that you treat this just like a regular interview by dressing as you would if you were meeting them in person that means a suit and tie etc.

Create a professional environment
The last thing the interviewer wants to see on their screen is your laundry basket over your shoulder or hear a television blaring in the background. Make sure that you have chosen a suitably business-like setting devoid of clutter and keep your desktop clean and orderly. Such interviews are best if you have a blank or neutral coloured background behind you. Make sure that you have informed anyone else who may be in your home that you cannot be interrupted.

The beauty of using your computer to do a Skype interview is that you can also use it to practice your technique by recording yourself. Ask a friend or family member to act as the interviewer and ask you conventional interview-style questions. Ask them to critique you and provide feedback on how you performed. Using a video editing or recording application will also allow you to view your body language and address any problems like physical mannerisms or tone of voice. Don’t forget to smile where appropriate and demonstrate active listening, this is a great way to develop a rapport with the interviewer.

Take advantage of the form
Another benefit of doing a job interview over video is that you can discreetly glance at notes in front of you. Whether you have an open Word document on your screen with information and news about the company, important questions you want to ask or a print out of your CV, you can use a host of support materials to help you. However it is important to ensure that you keep these documents within your eye line, you don’t want the interviewer seeing you constantly glancing down each time you respond to them. Sticky notes placed on your monitor can be a good way to avoid this problem.

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