People like to work with people they know. This is especially true during hiring when the remotely placed prospective employer would want to hear and see a real person behind the paperwork, and so he/she has to resort to internet telephony. This led to the soaring popularity of the video interview via internet telephony applications of which the most popular is Skype.
Regardless of the channel through which the interview happens, remember it is still an interview and all the facets of a face-to-face interview come into play. Your confidence, skills, knowledge, demeanor, conference etiquette – in case a panel interviews you – should all be topnotch to land the coveted job.
The Skype profile photo, Skype name and status will the first things that grab the interviewer’s focus. Therefore, ensure that these are professional. Also, it is a great idea to maintain a separate Skype account for personal and professional contacts.
Keep in mind the first impression of the interviewer will go beyond what you wear or how your hair looks. Your webcam also features your living or working space. Make sure the background is tidy. Better yet, make it blank leaving the interviewer to focus on you rather than being distracted by any loud artwork in the background.
Technical and personal Preparation
If you’re new to Skype, try practicing with a friend till you gain confidence. Run some tests to doubly be sure the webcam is working and people can see you clearly. The camera should be placed just right so that it is neither too close nor too far from your face. Test the microphone as well so that the interviewer can hear you. Last of all do a mock interview with a friend so he/she can tell you if you’ve to fine tune or make adjustments. Charge your laptop battery the day before so that it can last through the Skype call. Be patient as sometimes the Skype call will cut in and out or it can be difficult to hear or see the interviewer. Even you may need to stop and try again. On the day of the interview, be ready and be online 15 minutes prior to the interview. Be flexible to attend to the call as the interviewer may be in a time zone different from yours. And keep everything you need or will need within reach so that you don’t have to get up to reach for or even worse leave the interview to fetch it.
Try to be as natural as possible, knowing that this is no different than any face-to-face interview. Make eye contact, speak loudly and clearly to make sure that you’re seen and heard by the interviewer. Making an eye contact through a webcam is a bit more difficult than making an eye contact in person, but remember that the interviewer’s eyes are the webcam. Try to look at the webcam as much as possible instead of staring directly at the screen.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail rings true to Skype interviews as with everything in life. So, brace up and be ready by putting these four tips to work whereby increasing your chance of scoring high with the interviewer.