The movies that show people in the future using video phones has come one step closer to reality thanks to video conferencing (such as via Skype), and it is hard to deny that smartphones are becoming more and more like Star Trek Tricorders every month. The longer you live, the higher the chances you are going to have to do a Skype interview at some point. Here are a few tips to help you nail it!
1. What you wear matters as much as what you say
Think about what you may say in advance and think about what you are going to wear in advance. A fancy suit or a neat costume for a Skype job interview should not be waived. Ultimately, the appropriate clothing should look natural on you, as if you have made no effort because that is how you always look. It also has a positive effect on one’s self-awareness, and leaves the employer with a good impression.
2. The ambience, the background, and the lighting
It is necessary to choose the appropriate atmosphere within a neutral location for your job interview. This is particularly important when the interview takes place over Skype. You must consider the ambient sound, the background, the lighting, the potential for interruptions and even the acoustics. The unfinished dishes from the day before, or the beer cans on the DVD shelves as a background for a Skype interview are entirely inappropriate. It is best to position yourself at your desk, so that you can delight the interviewer with a background with a bookcase or other neutral setting. This is not only professional, but also avoids unnecessary distractions from the conversation.
3. Alter the angle of the camera to suit you
Consider how you appear on the video. Putting the camera above your screen means that you can look at the camera and the video at the same time without looking away. Doing this will help to maintain the image that you are paying attention and are engaged with the action. Position the computer and the camera so that you can assume a comfortable but upright position, with the upper part of your body being angled similar to how you appear on a passport photo. For this you should not get too close, and not sit too far away. Consider sitting at a table or a desk, so that your forearms can rest comfortably on the table or in your lap.
4. Prepare your equipment before you start
Make sure the camera is working, the volume is up, and that your computer is not going to throw some connection problems at you. Consider calling your Nan or mother an hour before and use the conversation as a test run. You can even tell them about your job interview – plus, you will be dressed in your Sunday best, so they cannot accuse you of not looking after yourself.
5. Record your interviews so that you can watch it
You can learn a lot from your interviews. Download the software so that you can record your conversation and how you and the employer look on the screen. Watch it a few days later and be critical of your efforts. Look for signs of discomfort in both you and your employer. Unlike real-life interviews, you are able to record your efforts and analyze them later. Use this opportunity to improve your interview skills and general manner/appearance.
Maria is a writer for Scholar Advisor. She writes articles on education, online tutoring and careers.