In today’s global workplace, many employers opt to use Skype to interview candidates. This type of interview cuts down on
travel expenses. It also enables employers to quickly and easily recruit international top talent.
Moreover, with the rise of remote workers around the world, meeting over Skype has become the norm for professionals when communicating with their team as well as their clients.
Did you know?
- One out of 10 companies conduct job interviews over Skype
- 70% of employees globally work remotely at least once a week
- More and more multinational companies manage their clients’ relationship over this software
You have understood it, you will have to use this tool many times across your work life! So you better to get familiar with it.
We know it does feel different from a face-to-face, even if you have the video and sound. But after reading this article, you will know exactly the do’s and don’ts for your Skype interview!
If you are a new user, we recommend you to check out this guide first on how to set up and use Skype and learn its main functions.
Our following pro tips will help you handle any Skype interview and meeting like an Ace.
1. Important note when you create your profile.
You do not need to be an expert, but there are a few things you should know in advance.
- Be careful when you create your account and pick your username. It is like an email address, it has to be professional!
- Same for your description and the picture you upload on your profile. The recruiter will see it. It should not compromise their image of you before starting the interview.
2. Make sure it works before your interview.
We still hear about recruiters who have to postpone interviews because the candidate could not connect to Skype or get the camera or the microphone to work properly…
It is not professional. It shows that you are not organised and maybe not really motivated for the job. You would not think about arriving late to a face-to-face job interview so adopt the same logic for a Skype interview.
- Run some tests to make sure the camera is working and that people can see you
- Set up the camera in the right place so that the interviewers can see your face
- We advise you to place it so that the interviewer can see your face and shoulders
- Test the microphone to make sure it works and that the interviewer can hear you
- The best way to test everything is to do a mock interview with a friend who will tell you if you need to make some adjustments
- Do not forget to add the interviewer’s Skype ID in advance to avoid unnecessary panic the day of your interview if you cannot find the correct person.
- Charge your laptop the day before so that it is fully charged for the Skype call. You do not want it to switch off during the interview.
3. Prepare your surroundings.
Be aware of your environment. Even if you set up the camera so that the recruiter can only see your face and shoulders, there is always a part of the background that will be seen. A messy room with an unmade bed and teenager posters will not make for a good first impression!
- Choose a room with nice natural light and avoid backlighting as the recruiter will not be able to see you well
- Choose a tastefully decorated environment and, above all, ensure it is tidy!
- Set up your computer in a quiet place. A noisy background will annoy both the recruiter and you as you will not hear each other properly. You may not be understood and will have to make your interviewer repeat themselves constantly.
4. Look professional and smile.
You would not have the idea to wear a tracksuit to a face-to-face interview…just because you are at home doesn’t mean that you should not be dressed professionally. Prepare and behave as you would for a face-to-face interview. Also keep in mind that the interviewer is focused on your face and will pay particular attention to it as it is the only part he/she will see.
- Wear a professional outfit, from top to bottom. It will help you get in the interview mood.
- Make sure your hair looks good too and avoid fidgeting if you are nervous. The recruiter will only see that!
- Do not forget to smile and be enthusiastic! It is harder to stay focused in a Skype interview. You need to keep the recruiters interested and have a strong presence to be remembered and noticed. Smiling is the best ice breaker and will develop a connection with your interviewer.
- Sit up straight
- Do not smoke cigarettes, electronic ones included, prepare a coffee or chew gum. Even if it is over Skype, you are in an interview, not having a chat with a friend.
5. Do not look at yourself.
While you are being interviewed, keep in mind that you have to look at the recruiter and not at yourself! It is not easy for people who have just started using Skype. We know it is tempting to see if you look good on the screen, but don’t!
The interviewer will think you are not focused and you might feel uncomfortable if he asks ‘Am I boring you?’…
- Keep eye contact with your interviewer by looking at the camera
- Do not start looking around. You would not do that in a face-to-face interview because it would not be respectful, so do not do it on Skype call either.
- Do not use anything else but Skype during the interview. Having other applications or software running will slow down the connection.
- Avoid checking anything on the internet as it will distract you and the recruiter might notice you are doing two things at the same time
6. Have everything you need within reach.
Keep a notepad and a pencil by your laptop in case you need to write down something. By doing so, you won’t have to stand up to look around and make the recruiter wait.
- Have your resume and portfolio ready to be sent in case the interviewer asks you for it
- Think of documents you could use to complement your answers
- While you are talking about student projects, previous experiences or hobbies, send related documents to the recruiter to give him/her a better idea of what you are talking about. It can be a poster you designed for an event or a video interview about your sporting achievements. It will make the interview more interactive.
7. Practice in advance with a friend.
Your first video calls might feel awkward as you figure out what to do with your hands, where to look, or how loudly you should speak. It is best to work this out by practicing ahead of your actual job interview.
- Ask a friend to conduct a practice interview and give you feedback. You can record the call so that you will be able to see how you come across on video and analyse your performance.
- Work on your presence, be an active listener! Interject small words such as “hmmm”, “yes”, “ok” or “I see” while the recruiter talks. It will highlight your presence and show that you are attentive. On top of making the conversation more pleasant for the recruiters, it will also reassure the interviewer that you hear him properly.
8. During the interview, address tech problems immediately.
When you are relying on technology such as video or audio equipment, there is a good chance you will experience a technical glitch. Weak connection, garbled signals and interference can make your interview a nightmare! You may hesitate and not feel comfortable notifying the hiring manager while he/she is talking, but it is even harder to give an accurate answer if you did not hear the question.
- Ask at the beginning of the interview if the recruiter can hear and see you properly
- Remind him/her that if there is any issue during the interview, he/she should let you know immediately
- If you are experiencing too many blips, offer to stop the call and redial. It will show that you are a problem solver.
Feel more confident about your Skype interview? Perfect, now you just need to implement our guidelines to get through!
Need some job interview questions to practice with a friend? Have a look at the most common questions asked by recruiters.