Five Tips to Help You Ace a Skype Interview

As we enter the era of the ‘Global Workplace’, one of the most significant trends in terms of how hiring is done is the growing popularity of Skype interviews. By streamlining the interview process by tackling the challenges of times, distance and resources, Skype interviews have transformed the way employers and candidates interacted in the past by making screening methods more humane and also allowing employers to identify the right cultural fits faster.

Despite all of the advantages a Skype interview brings to the table, in reality it is really just a middle path between a phone interview and personal interview. Thus, the candidate has to brace himself for a set of unique challenges. The five step process below will help you prepare for your Skype interviews and hopefully avoid any embarrassing situations.

The Place: Make sure you are in a quiet and bright room with minimum disturbance. Also, ensure that your surroundings and background looks professional. If you are doing the interview at home and you are unsure of the surroundings, the best solution is to just use a desk with your back facing a wall.

Your Attire: “Don’t judge a book by its cover” goes the old saying. But when it comes to interviews, your attire becomes just as important as your knowledge. Some candidates dress up too casually while others tend to get suited up. The secret is to maintain the balance by doing a bit of research about the company culture and then dress up accordingly.

Also, like in any other interview, try to display positive body language (open arms, upright posture, etc) as this gives important insight on your personality and also demonstrates enthusiasm.

The Kit: Test your laptop and camera in advance. Make sure you have good internet or Wi-Fi connectivity. If there are any known technical issues that you might expect to take place, don’t hesitate to inform your interviewer prior to the interview.

And always pass on an alternative mode of contact in advance such as a mobile or land line phone number. If the Skype call fails for whatever reason, the interviewer(s) will most likely be happy to continue the interview over the land line or mobile phone with you.

Preparation: A big advantage to Skype interviews is that you can have reference materials in front of you. Keep a note pad and a pen handy, jot down notes and refer to job specs whenever you need to refer to them. Write down the key points that you wish to discuss during the interview and make sure you remember to cover them over the course of the interview.

Final Bits: As difficult as it may sound, try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. And for best results, try to focus on the upper part of the screen (closer to the camera area). Try to avoid getting engrossed with your own image on the screen. It can make it seem like you are looking in a different direction and this might be considered as a sign of lack of interest or even confidence.

And finally, don’t forget to put on that ‘million dollar smile’ during the call to seal the deal.

If there are any other areas that you feel are equally as important, please feel free to leave a comment as I will be happy to hear from you…