Fun story: So this week I was supposed to have a Skype interview. Key words: supposed to. Skype was being finicky, so it turned into a phone interview instead.
I am a comfortable face-to-face interviewer because I love interpersonal conversation. But this was supposed to be my first Skype interview, and I was nervous because it was also my first full-time job interview (Woohoo! First interview!). So me being me, I researched as many tips as I could on how to prepare myself. Maybe since I couldn’t use them, you can! Here are 5 tips to prepare for a Skype interview:
- Become the ideal candidate: Research the company and dress like you’re one of their employees. Do they wear collared shirts with slacks or three-piece suits and dresses? Match them or one-up them. Wear the whole outfit, even though the interview will likely only take 30 minutes, because it will put you in the interview-mood. If you can, use words they do. Let them picture you as a part of their company without you saying, “I am the candidate you want. PICK MEEEE!” And for goodness sake, smile and breathe (it will be over before you know it). Just don’t be creepy like him:
- Set the mood: You should never do a Skype interview while sitting on your bed. Actually prepare a space to Skype. Find a plain background in your house that contrasts your skin and your outfit so you can stand out. Turn the lights on to illuminate your face but make sure it doesn’t white you out. Sit in a normal dining room chair, not a comfy recliner. If you’re tall, find a stack of books to set your computer on so your interviewers aren’t looking up your nose. You want the camera to be level with your eyes.
- Disable distractions: I’m a clock watcher. I know that I can’t be in a room with a clock and my computer clock has to be covered up or else I will be completely lost in an interview like Taylor Swift here. Clear your interview area of clutter. Shut your pet in a bathroom on the opposite side of the house. Let your family or roommates know you have an interview. If your cell phone is a big distraction, leave it in another room. You won’t want it going off during the interview anyway. Eliminating distractions can save your interview
- Be prepared: Plug. In. Your. Computer. Nothing says “I’m not prepared” like having to get up and plug in your computer halfway through a 10-minute interview. Also check your Skype volume by doing the Echo/Sound Test and your video feed by clicking Call on the toolbar at the top, then Video near the bottom, and finally Video Settings in the pop-out menu.
- Practice, practice, practice: The scariest thing during an interview can be realizing you weren’t ready for it. When they ask:
have an answer for them. (They won’t ask it like that; don’t worry.) Skype a friend the day before your interview. Let them ask you questions. Practice speaking slowly and enthusiastically while looking into the camera, not at the screen. Lean forward to look engaged. See if there are any distractions you need to eliminate that you didn’t realize.
Don’t be scared. You can do it. Good Luck! Looking for more Skype interview tips? Check out these articles for best practices: 5 Expert Tips for Following Up After a Job Interview (Mashable), How to Nail Your Follow Up Interview (Life Hacker), and Ace Your Skype Job Interview: 14 Smart Tips (CBS Money Watch).
Did I miss something? Please share in the comments so I (and other people) can learn!