Maybe you already have some experience with interviews via Skype, Google Hangout and other video platforms, or maybe the only distance interviews you have had were via telephone. It’s a fact that video interviewing is more and more common in today´s digital age, so you need to be prepared for them. According to a survey by ‘Right Management’ 82% of hiring managers have used Skype and 6% use pre-recorded video platforms.
How to make sure you ace your next interview via Skype?
1. Prepare yourself and your surroundings
As opposed to a telephone interview, the interviewer will actually see you via Skype so make sure you and your environment look appropriate. Dress for the occasion: if you would wear a suit to a face-to-face interview with this company, also wear it for a Skype interview. Don´t fall for the common trap where you assume they will only see the upper part of your body on screen so you can keep wearing your pyjama pants: you never know if you need to get-up during the interview (to adjust the light, move to a different place etc.)! Also make sure your surroundings are tidy and have plenty of natural light: look behind you, this is what the interviewer will see so don´t leave your laundry around or the left-overs from yesterday´s dinner. Ensure that you´re in a quiet place where you won´t be disturbed during the interview: if necessary advice your roommates to stay out of the living room and silence your phone.
2. Practice with a friend
Video interviews can be quite awkward the first time you do them. So do a practice session with a friend or a career coach and record it so you can analyze afterwards what you can improve in terms of body language, tone of your voice, what to do with your hands etc. Remember practice makes perfect!
3. Smile and look into the camera
It´s much harder to establish a personal connection via video than in real life, so try to loosen up a bit and throw in a smile once in a while. Also remember, on most laptops the camera is on top of the screen so if you´re looking all the time at the interviewer on the screen for them it will look as if you´re looking down. Hence, in order to simulate eye contact it´s best to look into the camera.
4. Prepare bullit point notes
Whereas with a phone interview you can have all your notes and your resume in front of you to look something up, during a Skype interview it will be obvious if you´re looking away all the time. You can definitely keep some notes close in case you need them, but make sure you make them very clear and concise so you just have to glance at them.
5. Test your connection, sound and microphone right before the call
If you know that your internet connection at home is not optimal, make alternative arrangements: an internet café, a meeting room in a co-working space, at your university etc. Make sure to test the connection, sound and microphone half an hour before your interview. This will give you some time to adjust settings should this be necessary. Skype has a function where you can do a test call by calling a contact in your list. With “Skype Test Call” you will be able to do a good check of your sound and microphone settings.
6. Have a plan B
Despite of all this preparation make sure you have a plan B in case something does not work. Do you have a phone number to reach your interviewer? Can you Skype via your phone on the mobile network instead of via wifi?
If you want to practice your (video) interview skills with a specialized career coach, have a look at http://cvandgo.com/en/services/practice-interview-sessions/ to see how cvandgo can help you!