In an increasingly digital world, job searching is much easier. Rather than having to fly to a new city for a job interview, technology, and video chatting has allowed for interviews to take place anywhere – even in the comfort of your own home.
Although the technology may be more advanced in a Skype interview, the principles of interview etiquette remain unchanged. Read our job interview tips to brush up on the basics, and then make sure to do these tips to nail an interview on Skype.
1. Check computer functionality
Is your computer running well? Is your internet working and is there a strong connection? Make sure everything is working well – the last thing you want is to have your internet stop working mid-interview with the company of your dreams. If you’re on a laptop, plug in a power cable or make sure it’s fully charged. Lastly, make sure your phone is silent. A ringing phone mid-interview is a distraction that’s easy to avoid.
2. Wait for your turn to speak
Have you ever noticed the slight lag on some Skype calls? That’s usually caused by low signal strength on either end and can lead to awkward moments as each person tries to speak over the other. To help the conversation flow smoothly, wait a little longer than you usually would before you speak – otherwise your interviewer might not have finished their sentence.
3. Look at the camera
Your first instincts will be to look at the interviewer, rather than the camera. It may feel strange staring at the little dot of your webcam, however, you will come across as more engaged with the interviewer. Looking into the camera ensures the person conducting the interview feels like you’re making eye contact. If seeing yourself is a distraction, cover up your image with a sticky note.
4. Think about your surroundings
The key is to make your home, or wherever you’re conducting the interview, appear as professional as possible. You don’t want to have a background that could be distracting to the interviewer, additionally, make sure you de-clutter the space. Test out different lighting options until you find the one that works best. It looks better when you’re facing a light source – if the light is behind you, you’ll be hidden in shadow.
5. Minimize interruptions
Turning your phone on silent is just the beginning – think about anything else that could distract you during your interview. Shut down any internet tabs that might grab your attention and turn off email alerts. If you live with other people, make sure they know you’re going to have an interview so they are quiet and do not disturb you. If you have a noisy pet, move him or her to another room.
6. Update your Skype profile
If your Skype username is unprofessional your interview could be off to a bad start from the beginning. Bear in mind that everything you say and do in an interview is being used to build up a picture of who you are, so if you must keep your out-of-date Skype handle, then set up a separate account for professional use. Lastly, make sure your Skype profile photo is a professional headshot of just you.
7. Make a backup plan
Do you have contact details for your interviewer? These are essential in case of any technological mishaps. An added bonus is that you have an email address to send a polite follow-up and thank you message a few days after your interview. Following the initial interview, ensure all communication with your interviewer is via email and phone – don’t send a follow-up message via Skype’s Instant Messaging feature.
Video interviews can be less stressful than face-to-face interviews, as long as you prepare and make sure everything goes according to plan.
Check out the rest of our interview advice in the Michael Page Career Center.