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10 tips to ensure your Skype interview is a success

5 min read | By: David Brown, CEO of Hays U.S. on March 30th, 2020

Skype interviews require just as much preparation as face-to-face or telephone interviews, if not more. Due to the added element of technology, the chance of something going wrong is increased, so it’s important to do everything you can beforehand to ensure your interview goes without a glitch. Here are 10 tips make your next Skype interview a success

Preparation for the interview

1.Find an appropriate interview environment

Firstly, think about where you are going to have your Skype interview – will it be in your home office, bedroom, kitchen etc.? Once you’ve decided on the most appropriate room, think about what the interviewer will see in frame when looking behind you. Keep your background as clear as possible, as pictures on the wall or other objects can risk distracting the interviewer – their attention needs to be firmly on you. Also, make sure your surroundings are tidy and you have good lighting. Once you have set up your ‘interview room’, make sure you’re not risking family, friends or even pets walking in when the interview is taking place. Let them know ahead of time that you have an interview, and then close the door to keep out noise.

2.Do a test Skype call the day before the interview

The day before your Skype interview it’s always a good idea to have a test run. Organize a test call with a family member or friend – this will ensure you feel confident using the technology, and that the camera and microphone both work. Run through some interview questions and answers –be sure to ask the family member or friend to provide you with any specific feedback.

3.Practice saying your interview answers out loud and record yourself

It will probably feel strange doing this, however video recording yourself speaking your interview answers out loud is a great way to check for any points you may need to correct before the interview itself. For example, looking down too much, poor body language, speaking too quietly or speaking too quickly. It also gives you a final opportunity to test your Skype settings and the lighting in the room. You won’t want to suddenly become aware of these issues during the interview itself, and risk looking ill-prepared and unprofessional as a result.

4.Create notes and have questions prepared

Before the interview, print off your resume and prepare questions to ask at the end. Prepare individual points to use as springboards for conversation, or prompts. This will help limit the risk of being tempted to look down and simply read from your resume, and not maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

On the day of your Skype interview

5.Log in and get set up ahead of time

You wouldn’t turn up to a face-to-face interview seconds before it starts and the same is true for Skype. Make sure you start the program up and have everything in place at least 10 minutes before the interview start time. This will ensure you are ready and waiting when the interviewer dials in – the last thing you want to do is keep the interviewer waiting, and risk being perceived as unorganized and poor at managing your time.

6.Dress for the part

While you may be taking the Skype interview from the comfort of your own home, you should still dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to dress as professionally as you can. Also, be aware of what clothing will be in the frame – for instance, if you decide to wear tracksuit bottoms and a shirt, you may regret it if you need to stand up!

7.Body language is essential– even through the camera

First impressions are formed within the first seven seconds of somebody meeting you, so your body language plays a powerful part in the opinion your interviewer forms of you as soon as they dial into the call. So during your Skype interview, make sure you look directly into the webcam when you speak and not at the screen – this will help maintain eye contact as though you were in the room. Maintaining eye contact will show the interviewer that you are paying attention and will help you build rapport – making conversation flow more naturally. Also, remember to sit up straight and smile to show the interviewer that you are a confident communicator and are engaged in the interview process.

8.Be mindful of any time lag

During the Skype interview, you may encounter a delay or time lag between the interviewer speaking and you hearing their words. If this happens, make sure not to speak over your interviewer and avoid speaking in long blocks. This will help the conversation feel more natural. To help avoid lagging, ensuring you have the strongest signal you can have by getting close to a modem or closing other applications on your computer.

9.Stay calm if there is a technology error

Despite all the preparation, practice and precautions that you may take for your upcoming Skype interview, technology can always find a way to throw things off. For instance, you may have issues with your internet connection or your microphone may start to play up. It’s important in these situations to stay calm. How you react when things don’t go as planned can reveal to your employer your ability to calmly and proactively tackle difficult situations. Have a look at these common problems so you have an idea of what could come up during the call.

After the interview

10. Send a follow up after the call

After the interview, send a quick email via your recruiter to say you enjoyed meeting them and learning more about the role and the company. Conclude the email by saying that you look forward to hearing from them and reinforce your interest in the role.

As technology becomes even more prevalent in many hiring processes, video interviews are in turn becoming increasingly common. If you’re looking for a job, it’s almost a given that at some stage in the very near future you’ll be asked to attend a Skype interview. By following the above tips, and dedicating time to your thorough interview preparation, your next remote interview is sure to be a success.

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