The option to conduct interviews remotely is becoming increasingly popular and is now common practice for Employers and Recruiters. Remote interviews are convenient, reduce costs on travel, as well as save time. This method is an initial pre-screen ahead of a face to face interview and is used as a way of filtering candidates at an early stage. For international organisations it is an effective way to include key stakeholders outside of the UK. Here are some top tips to support you in completing a successful Skype interview.
The first thing you will need is an appropriate Skype name. Just your name “MichaelJones” for example will be fine. If the name you want has already been chosen you could add a number to the end of the name or the initial of your middle name.
- If it is your first time using Skype, set up a practice call with a friend to make sure that you don’t run into any technical issues on the day.
- Practice makes perfect – get a feel for being on camera -at first this may feel a bit strange but the more you practice the more comfortable you will feel.
- Record the practice run and analyse how you appear on camera.
Before the interview, sign in early so that you are ready for the interviewer to call you. If you do have technical issues, don’t panic, the interviewer will understand that this isn’t directly your fault so just apologise and try to resolve the problem, calmly and quickly. If the connection is poor you do have the option of continuing the Skype call as a telephone call without the video.
Make sure that you have your interviewer’s telephone number and email address in case you do run into any technical difficulties, this way you will be able to contact them to let them know.
Set the scene
You are in control of the setting so make sure that you consider where you want to conduct the interview.
- Factor in the lighting, as well as the background. Anything that can be distracting is not going to help you to make a good first impression.
- A neutral and tidy room would be the most appropriate setting.
- Sit at a desk or put your computer on a table rather than sitting with it on your lap.
- Make sure that all pets and anyone else in the house don’t interrupt you.
- You want to be free from distractions.
- If you have children, arrange for someone to look after them for the duration.
Dress the part
Treat your Skype interview as you would a face-to-face interview. Not only will you appear professional, you will also feel professional as you are dressed the part. Dressing the part is proven to be motivational and can really help you feel more focussed and confident.
During the call The advantage of having a Skype interview is that you don’t have to remember everything that you want to mention.
- Keeping your notes in bullet point format to use as a prompt in front of you or just to the side, can remind you of the points you want to make and what you want to say.
- Avoid talking over the interviewer – sometimes there may be a slight time delay between you both because of the online connection, but in general, wait until they have finished speaking before responding.
- Essentially you want to treat this the same way you would treat a face to face interview – consider your body language; smiling, nodding and leaning forward will show you are engaged.
- Bear in mind how you will appear from the interviewer’s point of view. By looking directly at the camera you will be looking at the interviewer so practise delivering your responses to the camera not the screen.
At the end of the interview, think about questions you have for the interviewer. You may want to ask about the next steps so that you are clear about the process. Finally thank them for their time and log out of Skype so the session has been completed.
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