Over the last few months, more and more of our clients want to use skype to conduct first and sometimes even second interviews. This is great news for candidates who are reluctant to use their holiday entitlement to attend face-to-face meetings during the working day. Skype interviews are also a more time and cost-effective way of getting to know a prospective employer and can often be organised after hours and at home or any other convenient venue.
Skype interviews can be daunting though, which is why I’ve put together the following tips which I hope will help you to make the most of any skype interview opportunities.
- Review your skype user name, profile and status. Does it reflect how you want a prospective employer to see you? My advice is to err on the side of caution and keep it professional.
- How tech savvy are you? Make sure you know how to share screens and files and if this sounds like a foreign language, ask someone to show you what to do. Employers may ask you to share a piece of work to support your CV so it’s best to be prepared.
- Jot down the key points you’d like to get across in the interview. It’s easy to get swept away by the questions but it’s important that you find ways to communicate your key attributes, skills or experience if the opportunities don’t present themselves. Remember, this is your opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself.
- Try to be memorable by giving examples to illustrate what you are saying. These provide useful evidence to back up key points and gives employers an insight into who you are and how you deal with different scenarios.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself. Some find this easier than others but however you feel, keep it short. Don’t be tempted to regurgitate the contents of your CV. Instead, think of things you have accomplished which say something about your personality, character or values.
- Do your research. Find out as much as you can about the role and the business. Their website and social media are obvious starting points. Your recruitment consultancy should be able to give you a detailed brief but you will need to do your homework too.
- You may need to answer challenging questions. Consider carefully what these might be and how you will respond. Again, your recruitment consultant should be able to guide you.
- Practice. You could do this over skype with a family member or friend. Even talking to yourself in front of the mirror helps!
- Think about your appearance. Dress as you would for a job interview in person. This will help to make you feel and act the part. Employers will be looking at you so take care over how you present yourself.
- Keep your tone professional but friendly. By all means let your personality shine through but remember this is a job interview, so a degree of formality is likely to be expected. Remember to smile and make eye contact, looking at the webcam rather than the screen.
- Choose your environment carefully. It’s amazing how often candidates set themselves up in a coffee shop when the background noise and distractions are hardly ever conducive to a good interview. And if you’re going to do it at home, make sure you’ve chosen somewhere quiet and at a time when you are not going to be disturbed by flatmates, children, dogs or delivery drivers. Consider your background too. Neutral and impersonal is a safe bet.
- Be punctual. Better to be ready and waiting than find you’ve missed your interviewer’s first attempt to get hold of you.
If you are a job-seeker or employer and would like further guidance on conducting effective skype interviews, please get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help.