To save time and money, companies are evermore turning to technology to help cut costs. Interviewing over Skype is becoming more popular, but how do you conduct yourself using this new medium, and turn it to your advantage?
As with conventional face to face interviews preparation is key. Don’t fall into the trap of being too casual or unprepared, interviewing via Skype requires different preparation. Take a moment to consider these factors.
If you are new to the software take time to acquaint yourself with it. Practice and get to know the different features – the web cam, microphone, sound quality etc. Being comfortable using the software will help you relax during the interview. Have practice call sessions before hand so you get feedback on how you appear and sound, and to get accustomed to using the program.
Make sure your profile is suitably professional. Choose a Skype name based on your name or initials. If you have a profile picture make sure it is appropriate and shows you in a good light, a smiling head shot is better than candid holiday shot or a picture of a night out.
Exchange contact details in advance of the appointment, and add the interview contact as soon as possible. Be online 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time and wait for the interviewer to contact you. Do not call them, if you can see they are online wait patiently, if they are not online or don’t contact you within 30 minutes then you can send a polite email reminding them about the interview and asking when you can reschedule.
Ensure that you will have a quiet, relaxed environment around you while you conduct the interview. Get rid of any possible distractions, switch of your phone, email or social networking alerts. Tell friends and family not to disturb you during this time and change your Skype status to busy during the call so that no one else calls you.
If possible use an ethernet cable for internet access rather than wireless as it is more secure and offers a clearer sound quality. Technical difficulties make it difficult to hear and conduct interviews and can be frustrating to put up with. It is best to make the experience as calm and relaxed as possible, to increase your chances of employment.
Set up your camera before the interview so that you can evaluate how you appear to the interviewer. Make sure you have good lighting so you can be seen well. Choose your setting carefully, sit at a table and chair either backing a window or a plain wall, not on your bed with music posters in the background. Make sure the camera is angled directly at you and not up your nose. Dress professionally as you would during a conventional interview, don’t risk having to stand up and show that you are wearing pyjama bottoms with your crisp white shirt.
Conducting interviews via Skype allows you to control the environment and to be comfortable and relaxed during the interview. However this is still a professional assessment of yourself and so needs to be carried out in a professional manner. Preparation and planning will allow you to promote yourself comfortably and confidently so you can land that job.