Top 5 Skype Interview Tips (And The Mistakes To Avoid)

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By Mike Simpson

Preparing for the traditional job interview usually requires fairly routine steps; make sure you have done your research, print and bring several clean copies of your resume, plan your interview wardrobe, practice answering interview questions, and always bring a pack of mints.

But in today’s increasingly technological world, traditional interviewing is being replaced by Skype interviews.

What is a Skype interview?

A Skype interview, also known as video interview, is the one in which the entire interview takes place via a video chat on your computer.

As technology advances, more interviewers are turning to Skype and video interviews to connect with potential recruits. Not only is this a great way to interview people who would otherwise have to travel, but it’s also an opportunity for interviewers to get a better idea of ​​who you are, which a traditional phone conversation doesn’t necessarily do. .

A video interview can be both a blessing and a curse for job seekers. On the one hand, you are able to conduct the interview from the comfort of your own home. This means you have all the time in the world before the interview to prepare yourself without having to worry about things like travel time and traffic, or getting lost on your way to an unfamiliar location.

On the other hand, Make no mistake, this is a job interview… And not treating it with the same professionalism as you would any other interview is the fastest way to monetize your chances with a potential employer, which brings us to our next section –

Common mistakes in Skype interviews

1. Being too casual

Just because you’re doing the maintenance in the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you stay… comfortable. Treat this exactly as you would any other interview, and that includes making sure you’re dressed professionally from head to toe.

2. Do not test before the actual maintenance.

There is nothing worse than turning on your laptop for a video interview and finding that your audio is not working, or your camera does not work, or your computer needs to update some drivers before allowing the program to run.

Always test at least 24 hours in advance so that you have a chance to resolve any issues that may arise… and that means making sure the person on the other end of the phone can hear and see you.

3. Do not adjust the viewing angle of your camera

Speaking of seeing you make sure the angle the interviewer sees you from is flattering. Raise your camera to a level where you are looking at it straight, not down. This will help give you a more natural look and avoid the dreaded “booger” hit.

4. Not being aware of your past

Since this is a video interview, your hiring manager will focus entirely on the screen in front of him. Ideally, you’d like that focus to be on you… not on the mountain of dirty laundry you piled up on your kitchen table or the six overflowing trash bags from last weekend’s party that you forgot to take out.

Or worse, your dog, happily sliding his hindquarters on your mat. Make sure that you don’t just present yourself as a professional, but that you do so in an environment that reflects that.

Make yourself comfortable in a well-lit area with a pleasant background. Try to avoid a solid or white background as well as backgrounds with loaded patterns. A home office is always your best bet.

5. Don’t be focused

Because you are doing your video interview from home, there is always the possibility that you will not be alone while you are filming it. If possible, do your interview in a room where you can close the door and block out outside noise, including children, background TVs, or your rumped sled dog.

Try to avoid doing your interview in a busy place like a coffee shop or café. Above all, be sure to pay attention.

An interviewer will know the difference between a potential hire who focuses 100% on conversation and someone who is surfing the Internet or playing “Solitaire” at the same time.

Top 5 Skype Interview Tips

Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s focus on what you need to do to get your Skype interview out of the park.

1. Be technically ready

Find out in advance about the videoconferencing platform on which the interview will take place. There are a lot of options these days, including Skype, Face time, and Google Hangouts to name a few.

Make sure the right software is installed at least 24 hours in advance and everything is working as it should.

You also need to know exactly who will call whom and at what time exactly for the interview. The last thing you want to do is wait for a call and find out an hour later that you were supposed to be the one calling.

2. Dress to impress

We’ve already talked about making sure you’re dressed appropriately for your interview, but for this tip, we’re going to take it a step further. Since this is a video interview, you should make sure that you are wearing suitable clothing for the videos.

Try to avoid scratches, especially narrow and closely spaced scratches. On camera, they can create a distracting zigzag pattern. The same goes for very bright colors. Try to choose neutral or light shades. Bright reds, oranges and whites can “explode” on camera.

3. Natural eye contact

Try to maintain eye contact with the camera as much as possible. While it may be tempting to watch what the other party is doing (if it’s a two-way video conference) or even yourself on the monitor instead, doing so will ensure that the other party won’t see anything. other than looking at you from the side.

Looking directly at the camera gives the illusion that you are making eye contact with the interviewer. This does not mean to look at him without blinking! Keep your natural eye contact … and don’t forget to blink!

(A side note… there is always the possibility that your interview will be a one-sided video interview, meaning the camera is on for you but off for your interviewer. Even if you are faced with a blank or black screen, assume that ‘they can see you’re okay.)

4. Smile!

In addition to natural eye contact, try to keep your expression pleasant and engaged. Not only will this help convey a sense of confidence to your interviewer, but it’s been scientifically proven that smiling can help reduce stress… always a good thing in an interview.

5. Use your desktop or laptop computer, not your cell phone

If possible, try to avoid using your cell phone to conduct the video interview. Desktops and laptops generally have better audio and photo capabilities than a cell phone. IF YOU MUST USE YOUR PHONE (we know this is sometimes unavoidable), make sure you have it on a solid, stable surface. DO NOT GO BY HAND!

Put it all together

By following our handy list of what not to do and, more importantly, what to do, you’re ready to take your Skype or video interview out of the park. Remember to always be professional, to be prepared and to be the ideal candidate.

Good luck!

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