Skype interviews are incredibly convenient ways of getting yourself a job somewhere far away – particularly if you’re at university and are looking to find somewhere to work in the holidays. But, they can also be pretty terrifying if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s a dos and don’ts guide to succeeding in your next Skype interview.
Dress up nicely from top to bottom
You might be tempted to slide out of bed, put on a nice shirt and think you’re ready to go. This is a bad idea. There is a chance, no matter how slim, that you’ll be asked to find a piece of documentation that you left on the other side of the room or, with some terribly bad luck, get cramp and be forced to hop around in front of the camera. If your employer sees you in a shirt and tie with colourful PJ bottoms at 3pm they’re going to question your ability to get up on time. And your sense of style.
Remember that just because they’re not on screen doesn’t mean they can’t see you
Your interviewer might get up to get some papers or speak to a colleague off camera. Don’t take this as a chance to pick your nose – you might still be being watched!
Try to make sure one other person is in if you’re doing the interview in your house
Postmen, meter readers and charity workers are known for coming at the most inconvenient of times. If someone else is in they can prevent them from ringing twice. Just make sure they’re not into playing the drums or performing career-threatening pranks.
Have a script
If you get nervous during interviews, this can be a great way to remember all of the good points you want to raise and any questions you might have for your potential employer. Don’t read off it though or you’ll be caught out – use only a couple of words to jog your memory, and try to keep your eyes on the screen otherwise.
Prepare in exactly the same way you would for a normal interview
It can be tempting if you’re at home to do less preparation or leave it until the last minute. Don’t. Your interviewer will see right through it just like they would in person.
Have anything incriminating on screen
Bottles of alcohol, discarded Pot Noodles, scary band posters or a wardrobe missing a door are not ideal objects to have in the background of your interview room. Keep it plain, think about the mise-en-scène!
Forget to turn off alarms
Put your phone on silent and leave it somewhere where the vibrate won’t sound like a fart. Trust me, it’s uncomfortable to explain.
Have rubbish internet
Your student house might not be the best place to Skype. Make sure you’ve done some test calls and be sure that your internet connection can support a long video call. If not, use a room at the university – your careers service will probably be able to advise you on this. On the subject, don’t be Googling while you’re speaking unless you’re asked. Typing is incredibly loud when the microphone is next to the keyboard and won’t go unnoticed!
Try to look into the camera or at your employer on screen as much as possible so you’re not distracted by your own appearance. Skype interviews present an abundance of ‘eyes’ to make contact with: your own, your interviewer’s and the camera. Avoid your own or you’ll be fixing your hair for the entirety of the interview!
Speak confidently, sit up straight and relax. The worst they can do is say no.
So now you’re all set! Best of luck with your next Skype interview – you’ll do fine.
Do you have any more tips for those doing Skype interviews? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Sam Azgor / Flickr
I’m an aspiring journalist going into my 3rd year studying Philosophy and Sociology at The University of Exeter.
I was recently elected the new Editor of Exeposé, the university’s independent student newspaper, after editing the Games section in my second year. I’ve also just finished up as News Editor at the Hastings Independent in my home town, having spent my summer organising the section alongside completing work experience with a publishing company.
I love to write on all kinds of subjects and look forwards to submitting plenty of articles for Career Camel and beyond!