Did you know that employers are opting for more virtual interviews than ever before? This means that utilizing tips for acing a Skype interview is more valuable than ever.
Employers are seeing the bright side of the virtual interview because it saves them money and time, while expanding their reach nationally and internationally.
That means these video interviews are here to stay, even if you don’t see the bright side of it. So you need to do interview preparation and be ready to execute just like you would if it was an in-person interview.
However, Skype interviews are no walk in the park if you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar in this setting. Although the theme of you being interviewed is the same, many of the details that go into a Skype interview are drastically different than in person.
Do you know all the intricacies to acing a Skype interview? If an employer at your dream company called and said, “We’d like to do a video interview tomorrow,” would you be ready?
If you’re honest, that answer is not going to be a confident yes for most of you. Let’s change that with these 8 tips for acing a Skype interview.
Leading up to the interview:
1) Practice by recording yourself
The quickest solution to getting over your discomfort and inexperience with virtual interviews is to practice it on your own.
I know, it’s not fun. And no doubt this is the most time intensive activity on this list. But, practicing this video format is the most beneficial to Skype interview success.
Open up Photo Booth or another computer video camera to record yourself. Practice giving good interview answers and looking in the camera—not at the screen. Then watch the replay to see how you could improve your body language, hand motions, and interview answers.
To really prepare, Skype a friend and have them act as the interviewer to get a more realistic interview experience. You’ll be a pro in no time.
2) Find a quiet room
This won’t be the first time you read this so keep it in mind: think of a Skype interview in the same manner as an in-person interview. And where do you interview if you’re at the company office? In a quiet room, where there won’t be any distractions.
Find a quiet room where you can shut the door and not worry about a dog barking or a housemate blaring their music. On interview day, send a group text to everyone you live with asking them to be quiet during it.
Besides the interview going better, securing a quiet room is another thing you don’t need to worry about leading up to and the day of the interview. Less worries means more focus and confidence going in, which you know means more success.
3) Adjust your background and lighting
The interviewer is going to see the wall to the left and right of your body. Are they going to be offended or think less of you because of what they see?
You don’t want them to think you’re disorganized or immature, so make it easy on yourself and find a plain wall in the background.
And getting the right lighting is not rocket science. Just make sure your face is well lit (especially if you’re interviewing at night). Then double check that your face coloring is not red, orange, or ghost white from the effects of a nearby lamp. Sitting in front of a window is often a bad idea, too.
4) Test your technology
The big downside of a video interview is the potential for technological issues on their side or your side. To avoid this on your end, test out your technology a few hours before the interview. Go through this list:
- Is the Internet working?
- Does my camera work?
- Is my computer charged?
It’s also smart to close out of all the tabs and windows you don’t need for the interview. They will only slow down your computer or cause problems (like sounds or random popups) if you leave them open.
And if technological problems do occur, be honest about it to the interviewer. For example, if the video glitches for a few seconds and you don’t hear the question, tell them what happened and ask to repeat the question. They’ll understand. But they won’t understand if you don’t answer the question or answer the wrong question.
5) Dress to the job
Dress for a virtual interview just like you would for an in-person meeting. Most of the time, guys can be safe by wearing a suit and tie. Girls can be safe by wearing a blouse with a skirt or professional pants.
If you’re unsure what to wear, it’s always better to overdress than underdress.
My last point is it takes 30 seconds to put your professional pants on. Don’t risk losing a job offer because you accidentally got up and the employer saw you in you athletic shorts or boxers.
6) Help yourself
If you’re forced to do a video interview, you have every right to make the most out of it. Help yourself by sticking Post-it notes to the side of your computer and placing your resume in front of you for the interview.
Consider these Post-it notes your cheat sheet for the interview. Just don’t make it obvious that you’re looking at and reading off these notes—this is another area where practice helps you be more natural.
7) Be friendly and smile
I believe it’s easier to get thrown off your game during a virtual interview than a live one. There’s something about talking through a screen that causes people to be stiff. And worries about camera or computer problems can distract from the main job of connecting with the recruiter.
Overcome it by being friendly and smiling early and often during the Skype interview. Doing this will invite the interviewer to also be personable and relax. So what happens is you’ll feel at ease and they will too.
If you have to, add another Post-it note on the side of your computer that reminds you to smile.
8) Send a thank you email
It’s the small details that make the difference between winning and losing job offers.
And thanking the interviewer is one small move you can make to increase your chances. It can only help and it can’t hurt, so why not do it.
Sending this email is just another reminder that you’re committed to winning the job offer—individuals and companies love that.
There you have my top 8 tips for acing a Skype interview. Video interviews are actually not that bad once you get the hang of them.
And you may surprise yourself by preferring them over in-person interviews when you consider all the time you save from not having to travel.