How to Do Skype Interviews the Right Way

ID-100103810In today’s digital world, in-person interviews are increasingly giving way to Skype interviews.  They make sense from the employer’s perspective because they are less time consuming and therefore less expensive.  However, they are actually more challenging than a traditional interview for the job seeker.  While they appear easier, there are a lot of potential dangers lurking in Skype interviews.  Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you ace this interview and make the employer want to meet you in person:

Do practice using Skype ahead of time.  Nothing can halt a Skype interview quicker than technical difficulties.  While your ability to use Skype may have nothing to do with your qualifications for the job, it will have an impact on how they perceive your level of competence.  Before your Skype interview make a few calls to your friends and ask them how you look and sound.  When you are comfortable using the application, you can focus your energy on the interview itself.  

Do dress professionally. Since you are not meeting the employer in person, they will pay even closer attention to the way that you look.  Dress as professionally as you would for an in person interview and don’t count on the fact that they’ll only be able to see you from the waist up.  

Do prepare as much as you would for an in-person interview. Job seekers often make the mistake of not preparing enough for phone interviews.  A Skype interview is likely more than a screening.  Be ready to discuss your skills, experience, and fit for the job in detail.  

Do practice on video.  The great thing about video interviews is that you can practice them.  Make the time to record a practice interview and watch it back to see if there is anything that you need to improve.  You might even be surprised by how professional you look and sound!

Do be personable.  Nothing replaces a personal connection.  Smile a lot and make an effort to engage with the interviewers.  Keep in mind that they are trying to find someone who will fit in well with their team.

Don’t forget that they can see the background.  Pay attention to where you are interviewing.   Look on the screen to see what the interviewer is seeing.  Make sure that it’s not messy and that there is nothing that will give up information about your personal life.  Try to keep the background as neutral and professional as possible.

Don’t allow distractions.  Distractions such as children, pets or the television will kill your professional image.  Find a quiet place for your interview where you will not be interrupted.

While there are a lot of pitfalls with Skype interviews, if you can successfully navigate them and stay focused, you will stand out from your competition.  The first one may be intimidating, but after you do a few, it’ll become second nature.  Good luck!

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of pat138241 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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