While many job interviews are done in person or over the phone, some are done via Skype, an online service that allows you to video with your interviewer in real time. “ You’d think that digital natives could pull it off easily, but more can go wrong than you think, says Stacey Rudnick, director of MBA career services at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business in an interview for Bloomberg. “Students need practice with that to be comfortable,” she says, citing the video and audio failures as common hiccups. “It’s also just harder to get a feel for the room.”
Here are 10 tips to make sure that you succeed during your Skype interview:
Pick a Setting
Choose a quiet, clean place to have the interview. You don’t want to have your prospective employer call and see dirty dishes, last night’s dinner or your baby’s toys in the background. Look at the room from the viewpoint of the interviewer and remove any questionable items.
Do a Test Run
A bad connection can ruin your chance for a job offer, so test out your computer set up before the big day. Call a friend or family member and check the video and audio. Make sure there are no echoes, humming or buzzing sounds.
Imagine that you’ve just been asked what skills you bring to the job when your two-year-old screams, “Mommmmmm!!!! I have to go potty!!!!!!!” Have someone watch your children during the interview and let everyone in the house know that they need to be quiet. Also, do not have the interview in a coffee shop or any place with a lot of background noise.
When you’re on an in-person interview, notes aren’t a good idea, but it’s acceptable on Skype because your interviewer can’t see them. However, you should rehearse so you’re not looking at them too often.
Your interviewer will be able to see you from your chest up, so make sure to dress professionally. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that you should put on your lucky ripped rocker t-shirt. If you want to leave on your sweat pants and your fuzzy slippers, that’s fine, but just remember that if you have to get up to retrieve anything. You only have one chance to make a first impression – even on Skype. If you wear glasses, consider either taking them off or positioning yourself to prevent glare.
Know the Company
Are you wearing a suit and tie for the interview? Did you know that the company is a very informal company and prefers to dress down? Wearing that suit and tie shows that you might not have done your research.
Before the Interview
Make sure that you research the company. Read their website, especially their company information. Look at their Facebook and Twitter pages and do a quick Google search to see what is happening and if the company is making news. Have answers for any common interview questions they might ask as well as some of the more challenging ones.
Practice Makes Perfect
Interviews can be nerve-wracking but practicing ahead of time can help you seem more polished. Have friends or family ask a variety of questions.
On The Big Day
Be sure to turn off all other programs before your interview, including anything that causes a noisy notification. Greet your interviewer politely and look at the camera, not the screen, so that you are making eye contact.
Finally, once the interview is over, be sure to follow up with a thank you email. Do not, under any circumstances, contact your employer again through Skype.