Imagine this: you are going about your normal routine of going to class, packing in some hours of studying, and drowning your bloodstream in caffeine, when all of a sudden you get an email from a job you recently applied to, asking you for an interview.
Only, they don’t want you to come into the office for the interview: they want to Skype you.
A Skype interview? How is that supposed to go down? Here are some tips to help you knock it out of the park.
1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POWERFUL INTERNET
Skype can be spotty at times, so you want to do everything in your power to make sure that you will have a strong connection. It would really be a bummer if you can’t hear the questions being asked, or if the person interviewing you can’t understand your full response because you keep cutting out.
You can do a Skype test call to see how strong the connection is in your house. Test the connection with the service they provide for free, and then see how accurate it is by calling a friend and having a conversation. If it cuts out, the video keeps freezing, or you just keep dropping the call because the Internet won’t hold it, you are going to need to scout out somewhere else to have your interview. You want to figure all of this out before your interview, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about, and will actually be able to focus on the interview itself.
2. DRESS TO IMPRESS
Though you aren’t actually seeing the interviewer in person, you still want to dress the part. If they see you in ratty pajamas with stains on them, chances are they aren’t going to call you back. You want to show that even though you are having an interview over the Internet, you are still extremely serious about it.
That being said, as long as you look nice from head to torso, you could not be wearing pants for all they know, but just in case you need to stand up and get something, I’d recommend dressing as though you were actually going to see them in person. It will give you a confidence boost, and will prove that you mean business.
This also goes for the place you are sitting in; you want to make sure it looks the part! If your room looks like a tornado just hit it and that is in the background of your interview, they may be wondering how that will play into your work habits. Make sure to be in a clean area for the interview, and make it look professional.
3. SIT SOMEWHERE PRIVATE
If you decide your place has good enough Internet, make sure to tell your housemates not to disturb you for the duration of the interview. It would look very unprofessional if other people are making noise or walking around in the background of your cam, and even worse if they popped in to ask you things while you are supposed to be paying attention to the person interviewing you.
You want to make sure you find a private, quiet space to have your interview, and that potential people that could burst in know what is going on beforehand, so awkward moments can be avoided.
4. DON’T BE LATE
Just like an interview that takes place in person, you really want to make sure you are on time for your call. If they tell you the call is at 3, try and log on and be ready by 2:45, so you can make sure everything is working properly and you’ll be ready to receive their call. If you aren’t logged in by the time of the call, who knows if they will even wait a minute for you, so you want to be all ready to go.
If some unforeseen circumstance is happening with your computer at that very moment, give your interviewer a call by phone to explain the situation. Hopefully you will have logged in with enough time to spare to fix the problem, but letting them know what’s going on is good as well.
5. FOCUS ON BODY LANGUAGE
Think about it, if they just wanted to hear your answers, they would have simply called you on the phone, but if your interviewer asks for a Skype interview, they also want to survey your body language and how you react to their questions. Are you all smiles or do you have a death glare? Keep this in mind as you practice for your interview.
Skyping a friend and seeing what you look like in front of the camera will be great practice, and they can give you feedback on your body language, and what you should change before your interview. You also want to key into the interviewer’s body language and try and vibe off of them as if you were sitting next to them in person. Vibing can be a bit harder over the Internet, since you might not know when to interject, but this is where the practice will come in handy.
Overall, try not to sweat it! This method of interviews will soon be more mainstream, so the sooner you become comfortable with them, the better. Remember, practice makes perfect. Now, go kill that Skype interview!