Video calls over a PC or mobile device have never been so easy and we are seeing an increasingly large number of our clients using Skype as a tool for interview, particularly, and understandably, among international assignments.
Here, we share our top tips to help with your Skype interview:
- Dress the part
Although you might be sat in the comfort of your own home, that isn’t an excuse to forget about normal interview etiquette and lean towards casual. Make sure you dress from head to toe in formal attire. Not least because this will put you in a professional mind set, but we have been in plenty of Skype situations where a candidate has had to stand up due to a faulty camera – Tracksuit bottoms and a shirt is not a good look for anyone.
- Technical tests
You wouldn’t dream of turning up late for a face-to-face interview, so having to delay one over Skype because you haven’t done your technical groundwork just won’t cut it. Check your broadband connection, webcam, microphone and log in details in advance. If there are any issues, these can be ironed out ahead of time by making other arrangements.
- Technical glitches
Despite having done your technical prep, technical glitches can still happen. If they do, be sure to handle them with grace. Your interviewer will understand and if you remain calm and friendly whilst Skype goes into meltdown, this will show that you can handle a stressful situation with ease.
- Prepare your background
What does the back-drop to your on-screen image look like? Ideally you want a neutral, calm setting to be framed in. Make sure you don’t have any cluttered shelves in view or anything that takes the focus off you.
- Eliminate interruptions
Make sure you won’t be disturbed during the interview. Whether that means clearing out the house, or leaving the house. Make sure there is no background noise, you want the interview to go as smoothly as possible, with no interruptions.
This also includes simple things like turning off notifications on your computer, silencing your phone, removing the house phone and closing any IM applications or irrelevant web pages.
- Body language
Your body language can tell an interviewer a lot about you, so get the balance right. You don’t want to appear motionless but you also want to avoid excessive movement which causes blurring. Focus on sitting up straight, nodding with the conversation and occasionally lean into the camera when you are communicating. All of this helps to ensure you appear engaged in the conversation.
- Timing is everything
Avoid talking over your interviewer, this can be particularly difficult if there is a time lag due to the online connection. If this is the case wait until you are sure they have finished speaking and when you do speak, take your time.
- Maintain eye contact
Make sure you look at your webcam, not the screen. We have seen so many interviews where people are watching themselves. This creates a disconnect between yourself and the interviewer. We recommend placing your laptop or webcam at eye level – This way you can’t avoid it.
No matter how much of a Skype user you believe you are, always rehearse. You want to appear confident in front of the camera whilst appearing positive and warm towards someone that isn’t actually there. Most camera functions enable playback, so do a run through and watch yourself back.
Preparation is key. As with any interview, you must do your research on the organisation. This will prove your knowledge and understanding of the organisation and help you to answer any questions with confidence.
Norrie Johnston Recruitment is focused on filling senior permanent and interim executive roles, using a mix of technology plus, importantly, traditional search, employing best of breed recruiters who have real-world business experience. It argues that this combination of technology-enabled, top recruiters together with senior executive experience means the agency can provide hand-picked short lists of perfectly matched senior interim candidates within 4 days while for permanent roles the timeframe from brief to short list can be as little as 21 days. For more information about Norrie Johnston Recruitment visit www.NorrieJohnstonRecruitment.com or call 01962 828 792