The practice of job seeking has changed in recent years, with Skype interviews growing ever more common. This is due to the growth in remote workers, as well as reporting relationships across multiple offices. Since odds are you’ll be asked to play the game of Skype interviewing at some point, how do you “win”? You know the rules for in-person interviewing, but this is an entirely different ballgame.
Skype interviews differ from a traditional job interview in the following ways:
1. Equipment. An in-person interview requires no knowledge of specific equipment, but a Skype interview calls for much of it. Be sure to download and test the Skype software, as well as your computer’s microphone and camera, ahead of time. You may even want to consider upgrading your microphone for a more precise sound.
Should an equipment glitch occur during your interview, be sure to “come clean” to the interviewer and deal with the malfunction immediately. If you just continue with the interview as if nothing happened, you may miss important information from the hiring manager.
2.Setting. Instead of talking with the hiring manager in an office or conference room, you’ll “meet” this person in your own home. So, you want to ensure the designated room appears as professional as possible.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid your bedroom and choose a neutral space such as a home office or den, with a minimal or nondescript background. The lighting should be sufficient for the interviewer to see your face. And of course, ensure that you will not be interrupted during the Skype call.
3. Dress. You’ll want to dress professionally in a suit, just as in an in-person interview. If you’re not sure exactly what to wear, you can always review the company’s website to get a sense for its corporate culture. Blue shades will translate better to video than brighter colors, like red
And, don’t fall into the trap of pairing a spiffy top with pajamas bottoms! Should you have to rise from your seat, the interviewer will see your less-than-formal pants.
4. “Eye” Contact. Nearly everyone knows to maintain eye contact with an interviewer, to show engagement, sociability, and confidence. In a Skype interview, you may decide to lock eyes with the hiring manager, figuring you’ve got that part down, anyway.
Not so fast! The “eyes” in a Skype interview are not on the interviewer’s face, but in the webcam — so stare at it (with breaks!), then you’ll be looking directly at your interviewer.
5. Body Language. Because you’re interviewing remotely, you obviously can’t shake hands with the hiring manager. Instead, lean forward and nod to help build a rapport. At the same time, try to avoid moving around too much, or you’ll appear blurry on the video screen. It’s definitely a balancing act.
It will help you to do a recorded “test run” before the interview and watch the footage, so you can see “how you score” in these different factors. With a little knowledge and a lot of preparation, you’ll succeed at the Skype game.