We’ve covered the topic of interviews in a number of blog posts already. This one gives some tips to recent grads and this one provides tips for phone interviews. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of interviews, though, which is why we decided to address the subject again in this post.
While all interviews try to evaluate job candidates, there are different types that require slightly different preparation. For sit-down interviews, you must look the part in every way. You have to dress sharp, project good body language, etc. Phone interviews don’t necessarily require these things, but extra emphasis in placed on annunciation and tone of voice because the interviewer cannot see you. Finally, there is the remote interview done via videoconference (usually Skype), which presents a completely different set of challenges.
Here are some tips to help you nail your Skype interview:
Look the part
Yes, I know – it’s a Skype interview. That doesn’t give you permission to dress any less professionally than you would for a sit-down interview, though. Dressing up will also help you get into the right mindset. There is no reason to not look your best. Send the right message!
Find a good location
This is absolutely essential to conducting a smooth Skype interview. Find a place that is quiet and distraction-free, which typically means away from people. If you have little choice in the matter, make it clear to people around you (roommates, friends, family, etc.) that you need 30 minutes or so of no distractions. Also, make sure that your surroundings are appropriate. You don’t want to have embarrassing personal items in the background. They will only distract the interviewer and create a potentially humiliating situation. The best way to avoid this is to find a place with a very boring background – maybe a blank wall or something similar.
Have notes nearby
Don’t be afraid to use the format of the interview to your advantage. It might be a good idea to put sticky notes on your computer screen that will serve as little reminders. The interviewer will not be able to see them, and the best part is that they likely won’t be able to tell that you are looking at notes at all. Use your discretion when it comes to what information you want on-hand. Only you really know what’s important and what’s not.
This is the best way to ensure that you are prepared for a Skype interview. Have someone run a mock interview with you via videoconference. This way you can test your internet connection and see how you present yourself. It will also help you adjust to video/audio lag, which can result in awkward interruptions if you aren’t used to it.
Ultimately, the goal of a Skype interview is the same as any other – show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job. It definitely presents a new set of factors that are worth preparing for, but in the end the medium shouldn’t dictate whether or not you get the job. You should.