For the last week you have been tirelessly working at refining your resume. After dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, you finally hit send and submit your flawless resume as part of a perfect application. After a couple days of sweating and anxiously waiting for that reply, the email pops into your inbox with the reply you’ve been waiting for. You throw down a gesture of triumph because you’ve been accepted to the next part of the interview. But wait a minute, it’s a Skype interview. What does this mean and how do you prepare differently from a conventional interview?
Initially branded as Skype interviews – much like Kleenex overtook accessible tissue paper – these meetings usually involve two people chatting over webcams. While less personal than a classic in-person interview, there are certain restrictions that warrant a Skype interview. Whether it be because of distance, budget or personal preference, an employer might prefer to hold their interviews over the internet to get to know a candidate better. Usually from the chest up, potential employers face their job contenders in a setting that might not be as revealing and eye-opening as a traditional interview, but might give them enough to make a decision.
You might be thinking to yourself that a Skype interview is easier than meeting your interrogator face-to-face, but let me tell you – it isn’t! Like most things in life, preparation is key before an interview, and a Skype interview is no different. Follow these five tips that you otherwise wouldn’t have to worry about in a traditional interview and you’ll surely have great success.
#1 Appearances Matter: While you may think that you can get away with not wearing pants because you’ll never expose anything below your chest, I do not recommend doing so. It’s crucially important to stay in the mind frame of a real interview. If you take it as a joke, you will perform like it doesn’t matter and you chance coming off as unprofessional. What happens if you need to get up to retrieve a document?
I know I always feel more confident when I dress up for any occasion. Be your best self and wear your most professional outfit without going overboard.
#2 Get a Smart Username: The other facade that you might think doesn’t matter is your username. I’m sorry ladies, but flowergalxoxo is not an acceptable username for a Skype account, and fellas, neither is ladiesman69. Immediate turnoff. Stay safe and create a new username if yours looks like your first Hotmail account that you created when you were ten years old. Use your first and last name. Keep it simple and professional.
#3 Avoid Interruptions: Preparation is key before Skype interviews in order to avoid being interrupted. Try finding a location that is a quiet space. If there are others nearby, warn them that you are going to be in an interview so that they don’t bother you. The last thing you want is someone walking in with a beer in hand asking where you put the TV remote. Also, don’t let your backdrop be the headboard of your bed. It screams laziness!
#4 Use Headphones: It doesn’t matter if you are stuck in a place where there is background noise or you’re locked in a bunker – use a headset. Don’t use your computer’s speakers and microphone because your interviewer will likely hear themselves talk. iPhone headphones work perfectly.
#5 Check your Hardware: If you want to avoid running into problems as your interview is supposed to be starting, ensure that you check internet connection and your laptop battery is charged. Finally, make a test call before the real deal to make sure that your camera, headphones, and microphone work well.
For an in-person interview, you definitely won’t need these tips to help you out, but for a Skype meeting, these top five tips should definitely make it go smoothly. Besides these tips, remember that preparing for a Skype interview is the same process as a conventional one because you still need to be well-informed, you must listen carefully, and ask relevant questions. Prepare a cheat sheet, write notes throughout, and SMILE. A positive attitude and willingness to learn go a long way.
To your success!