When you are using technology, you can never be certain that everything will work as planned, so be ready for the unexpected. Start by making sure your Skype connection is working properly; the sound and video quality are good ahead of time. In case you experience a technical problem, just bring it up and if the problem persists do not hesitate to stop the call and redial. “The future employers may take away that you’re a problem-solver, and you would provide top-quality service if employed by them” suggests Ben Cober, director of business development and research at PGAV Destinations in St. Louis, MO.
The location and the lighting conditions where you’re conducting your Skype interview will determine how you appear on your Skype screen. Aim for a plain, white wall that will not distract the interviewer. Also, make sure your location has good, moderate lighting. Ensure light comes from the front, and not from the back, otherwise you will appear as a dark silhouette. What’s more, clear out any background noise in the room and avoid the use of telephones in the room.
Don’t assume that because you are not meeting in person does not mean the interviewer cannot see what you are wearing. If you believe that only your upper body is showing, you’re mistaken! Just dress professionally as you would do at a normal face-to-face interview; this will also help you to perform better.
Many people unconsciously look at their computer screen while chatting on Skype, as it is natural to want to look at the other person’s face while speaking to them. However, this is not recommended because it gives the interviewer the impression that you are avoiding eye contact. On the contrary, when you look directly at the camera, you will appear to be looking your interviewer straight in the eye, something that communicates more honesty and sincerity on the interviewee’s part.
Avoid gesturing too much when video chatting. This can be extremely distracting when on Skype as the other person can easily focus on your movements. Although this expressiveness may seem more natural in person, it may be too much when you fit it all in one small window.
“Smiling is the best way to break the ice and develop rapport with your interviewer” says Cheryl Palmer, career coach and owner of Call to Career, a career coaching center. Try to keep a pleasant facial expression during the interview. If you find it difficult to smile at the interview, just call a friend who regularly makes you laugh or hang a silly picture or post-it note on the wall to remind you to stay cheerful.
An advantage involved in video or phone interviews is that you don’t have to remember everything you want to mention. So feel free to place your notes or CV in front of you, information about the company, questions you want to raise etc. Of course, don’t just read off the page word for word, so keep your notes in an easily readable format to get what you need at quick glance. Skype interviews are by no means any easier than the real deal (face-to-face interviews), however, they do allow you to sit in the comfort and familiarity of your own home which should give you a bit of a confidence boost. Remember, on screen you facial expressions need to be expressed more than you would do if you were meeting in person…that’s a tip from top actors!
In today’s tight economic situation, Skype interviews are deemed a more convenient way to conduct an interview and a growing number of recruiters are tapping into video-communication tools to perform job interviews. Even prestigious schools like Harvard Law School are using Skype to screen applicants during the application process. Moreover, many job interviewers might use Skype to see how an applicant looks like before the official face-to-face interview.
Nowadays, making a good first impression isn’t necessarily done in person. According to an OfficeTeam survey, 63% of U.S. companies now conduct some or all of their employment interviews via Skype. Skype interviewing is a cost-effective and quick way for recruiters to evaluate applicants.
Having a good presence on video is as important as making a good impression at a face-to-face interview, so you will need to prepare accordingly before taking a Skype interview. I have chosen the most valuable tips from famous American career coaches to ensure you make it to the face-to-face interview: