Video conferencing through free services like Skype, Google Hangout, or Apple Facetime has not only transformed the way friends and families communicate, but also how companies conduct interviews. Perhaps you are applying for a job in a new city or maybe the company’s hiring process is now ingrained with a Skype interview before an in-person interview. Regardless of the situation, these video interviews have grown exponentially over the last five years and it is in your best interest to be prepared. Here are five video interview tips to implement before your next Skype interview:
- Practice – Whether it is your first Skype interview or you are a seasoned veteran, it is always best to practice the video conference with a friend or family member ahead of time. Think of five questions you may be asked and have your partner run through the questions with you while using Skype. You may find that the video has a slight delay or the location you’ve chosen is too noisy, so you can adjust accordingly before the actual interview.
- Dress the Part – The next step in your Skype Interview preparation is to treat the interview like you’re meeting the hiring manager or recruiter in person. Nine times out of ten you will want to dress in business attire from head to toe just to be safe. Sometimes, however, you will want to do research on the company culture and try to dig up any hints about the appropriate attire. If the culture is laid back and your interviewer tells you to dress casual, be sure to follow his or her instructions. Shower, shave, and frame the top half of your body in particular as that will be what your Skype colleague will see the most.
- Clean your Space – Now that you’ve practiced a few sample interview questions, the next step is to find a clean and noise free environment to do the actual interview. No employer or recruiter wants to see messy clothes, dirty dishes, or any other distractions in the background while speaking with you so be sure to frame your camera to a clean and distraction free space.
- Prepare for Technical Issues – The downside of a Skype or video conference is the chance for technical issues while in the midst of conversation. By now you have found a quiet space with a strong internet connection, but what will you do if the picture is lost or the call becomes choppy? We typically recommend introducing a backup plan to your interviewer at the start of the conversation in case these technical issues occur. Perhaps all you will have to do is hang up and connect via Skype again, but you may need to reschedule or complete the interview via telephone if all else fails.
- Have Notes Handy – One advantage of both telephone and Skype interviews is your ability to have notes prepared ahead of time and handy while you speak with the interviewer. In some cases all you will need is your resume, but it may be in your best interest to prepare a bulleted list of accomplishments or talking points for projects or other items you wish to discuss. Have a pen handy to jot down notes throughout the call for future reference about the position or conversation as whole.
With these suggestions now at your disposal, you can be assured your next Skype interview will be a success. Comment below with any questions and good luck!
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