How to nail a Skype interview

27 October 2016 · Absolute IT

Many job seekers would rate a Skype interview harder than a face to face interview.  In a Skype interview it can be hard to read the person interviewing you or you are not sure how you are coming across.

But it is a reality that in today’s digital world a lot more interviews and meetings are conducted via Skype. To help you nail it, we have put together a short Skype interview checklist.

Make sure you have a professional username.

Fluffywuffy is an appropriate name that your partner can call you but it does not scream ‘best candidate for the job’ as a Skype name. Create a professional account with an appropriate name and avatar  for your job hunting interviews and meetings.

Dress the part, treat it the same as a face-to-face interview.

As 90% of the cues we give are non-verbal it is important that you look professional. Make sure your hair is neat and combed, and men, if you are sporting a beard – ensure it is neat and trimmed. As it is only your upper body that is showing some people will wear a formal top with their PJ bottoms– BUT remember something can go wrong and you may have to get up to adjust the PC or stop to pick up a dog that suddenly runs into the room.

Prepare your surroundings to reflect a peaceful, neat and business-like setting.

Make sure that the room is neat and tidy and if possible, choose a room with a door that you can close to shut off any outside noise. On that note – if you have kids or pets, ask a friend or family member to babysit for that time, feed the pets beforehand and switch your mobile phone to silent to minimise interruptions.

Maintain eye contact.

Be aware that if you look around away from the camera or stare into space that it can look as though you are not engaged and even bored. Look at the person on the screen and treat them as though they are across the table from you.

Remember to smile.

It is harder to smile when you are not in a face-to-face meeting, but keep in mind to smile as it puts people at ease and helps to make a good impression.

Do a tech test beforehand to avoid the frustration of a tech glitch.

You are going to be nervous enough for the interview, so do a test prior to the interview to ensure that all your hardware and software is running smoothly.

Handle tech glitches with grace. 

IT happens, do not swear, get flustered or angry – just stay calm and hang up and try to reconnect again. Also, draw attention to a tech problem immediately, you don’t want to answer a question that you couldn’t really hear and it shows that you address problems as they arise – a trait that employers value.

Avoid talking over the interviewer.

This can be hard when there is a time-lag so make sure that the other person has finished talking before you respond.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Do a practice-interview with a friend and record it to review your responses and pick up on any funny mannerisms in front of the camera that you should take note of.

For more helpful advice and job hunting resources visit our Resources section.