If you’ve been asked to interview for a position via Skype or another video app, it’s really important that you prepare well. The common mistake is that people take Skype interviews less seriously than face-to-face meetings, but remember that this could end up costing you a great role.
If you’re interviewing via Skype, Make sure you:
- Dress as smartly as you would for any other interview, and make sure you are well-groomed.
- Tidy your surroundings so that your interviewers can’t see any clutter in the background.
- Check that you’re able to log in, and that any software updates are completed in advance.
- Test out your webcam and make sure the sound quality is good.
- Check the lighting. You don’t want to be sitting in darkness, but you also won’t look your best if you’re sitting under a bright light.
- Make sure your broadband speed is decent. If not, go somewhere with a better connection.
- Unplug your landline and put your mobile on silent (preferably out of sight). It won’t look professional if your interview is interrupted by an unexpected call or text.
- Close the door of your office and stick a note on the front door to ensure that you’re not caught off guard by a courier, boisterous puppy or stroppy teenager!
- Carry out a test call with a relative or friend. Ask them for feedback on your appearance, surroundings and lighting.
- Position your webcam so that your interviewers can see your face and the top half of your body, without having it so close that your face fills the screen (lovely though it may be!).
- Sit at a table or desk with good posture, not leaning in to the screen too much, or back in your seat.
- Practise using positive body language, ensuring that any gestures are clear and controlled. Don’t forget to smile from time to time.
- Make sure you have some water nearby in case your throat feels dry.
- Remember to have a pen and paper handy to take any notes during the interview. This may help you formulate good questions to ask at the end, although you should have some preprepared. You may also want to print out a copy of your CV and the job description to help jog your memory, but remember to make good eye contact rather than looking down at your notes all the time.
- Do your research. It’s important that you know all the relevant details about your prospective employer. Think about how you fit with the firm’s culture and ethos, as well as the ways you match the job description.
- Try to speak clearly and give detailed answers without waffling.
- Avoid interrupting the interviewer. Wait your turn!
- Think through the questions before rushing in with an answer. It’s fine to pause briefly to formulate what you want to say rather than plunging straight in.
- Look at the camera rather than at the image of yourself, or it’ll look like you’re looking down all the time (or checking yourself out!).
- If you have any technical issues, try to stay calm. If you need to, end the call and try again. If the connection still doesn’t work, ask if you can continue the interview by phone.
- Make sure your device is fully charged in advance so you’re not cut off.
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Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk and find her on Twitter @joyous25