how to win at Skype interviews

how to win at Skype interviews
As technology develops there are new obstacles to face, and embracing the “Skype interview” is one of those challenges. Skype is one of the major platforms, among other video conferencing tools, that recruiters and employers now use to interview candidates. 

There’s no doubt that the webcam has made interviews timely, more efficient and even more cost effective for both parties, but not everyone feels completely natural in front of the camera. The moment that web cam switches on not only are you aware that you are being filmed, but you are also able to see yourself on camera, not ideal. 

But don’t panic, here are some easy-to-follow steps to make your Skype experience a win-win.

keep it simple

When you head out to a face-to-face interview you have to worry about how you look and are presented, but that’s it. When it comes to hosting a Skype interview you need to also think about the background, the framing, where to look and what to wear.

Just make sure you keep it simple. Don’t let other elements in your video detract from what you are saying to your potential employer. This is the most important aspect of the interview, so make sure you have a pleasant, neutral background and remove all unusual or distracting objects from the frame.

It’s also a good idea to test the camera beforehand and check the lighting. Bad lighting can make you look bad and reduce your confidence dramatically. If you have to light the room then do it.

It’s also important that you dress for an interview. This will not only make you look professional in the video but also add to your confidence and professionalism during the interview. Most importantly, don’t assume your bottom half won’t be seen… you never know. So keep those trousers on.  

This is still an interview. Don’t be overwhelmed by the “video” aspect and keep your technique as simple and concise as you would in a face-to-face interview. Brush up on your interview technique with these top interview tips to ensure that job is yours

get the basics right

It isn’t hard to make sure you have the basic technical aspects up to scratch before you start your video. 

Make sure your sound level, background and picture framing is right. Your sound level should be loud enough so you can hear the interviewer, test this in advance. Your background should be neutral, inoffensive and include no distractions. You should frame yourself like a newsreader, make sure at least the top of your shoulders are in shot (and of course your head), as well as some more of your upper body.

look at the screen

It’s Ok to have some notes during your interview, but would you look down at notes during a face-to-face interview? Make sure you make eye contact with your interviewer, as if you are in the same room. Look at the camera and not at yourself on the screen, it’s distracting for them and for you. Practice this with friends before your call begins. 

technical difficulties 

We all know that while it’s exciting and time efficient, technology isn’t perfect. There can often be uncontrollable technical difficulties or glitches when you make a web call, particularly if it’s an international one, so make sure you say something if you are having issues. Explain that you cannot hear properly or the screen is blurry and your interviewer will understand and probably suggest you try the line again.

practice, practice, practice 

It may sound a little time consuming but it is always worth practicing your Skype technique. Ask a friend or colleague to interview you, and record your attempts. Then watch it back and see which areas need improvement. Three times is usually enough to establish a good technique and really refine your performance. 

What’s more, when it comes to the big day don’t leave anything to the last minute. Make sure you allow plenty of time before the interview so you can feel confident and unrushed. 

Read our interview tips series to start getting prepared for those all-important questions. 
Posted: Saturday, 15 April 2017 - 9:00 AM