Technology is wonderful but it does have a habit of letting us down at the worst moments! Log in well in advance of your interview, check everything is connected, especially your microphone and speakers – a silent interview is not a good interview! If possible we advise doing a test call with a friend to get your volume and camera angle correct. When interviewing, don’t focus all your attention on your computer screen. Gauging the interviewer’s response is important but from the interviewer’s side, it’s not very engaging. Instead, alternate your gaze between the image on screen and looking directly into your computer’s camera. From the interviewer’s perspective, this will appear as though you are maintaining eye contact and looking directly at them.
Presenting yourself properly
It is very easy to be too relaxed in a video interview because you are in your home environment. To overcome this, we suggest sitting as though you are in an interview room – this will help you not only portray the right image but also help you prepare mentally. Dressing appropriately is also an absolute must… and yes, this means dressing head to toe even though your interviewer will likely only see your shoulders (better safe than sorry!). You also need to think about what you would take to an interview, for example, a pen, a notebook and a printed copy of your resume. All these things should be on your desk ready, but remember the interviewer can’t necessarily see what you are doing so let them know if you are taking notes so they don’t think you are being rude.
Look around you…
When you go to an interview you don’t have to think about your surroundings, but on Skype you do! Interviewers don’t want to see your dirty dishes in the sink, peeling posters on the wall or piles of dirty laundry. When setting up your computer pre-interview, check your camera angle and find a blank wall or sparse background to use as your backdrop. It’s also important to think about lighting. If your light source sits behind your head, you are going to cast a shadow over your face. Instead, aim for a soft light in front of you.
What’s that noise?
Interviews are normally held in private rooms with peace and quiet for both parties to speak and think. Ideally, a Skype interview should be no different. Firstly, make sure you are not going to get interrupted by housemates or pets. Secondly, check your appliances! Turn off your TV and radio and avoid putting on a load of laundry or dishes until after your interview… noises we wouldn’t normally notice become very loud and distracting on Skype!
Respect the medium
Skype interviews are just as detailed and comprehensive as face-to-face interviews so be prepared for a detailed discussion about your experience and future expectations. Have your questions ready and allow time for an in-depth conversation. That said, conversations on Skype can be less free flowing than face-to-face conversations due to brief time delays. Don’t let this put you off but do be mindful to allow the interviewer to finish speaking before you start your answer.