Skype or Video call interviews tends to really be the best of both worlds — you still get face-to-face time with an employer without cutting travel out of the equation. And while mastering the interview is a common practice, etiquette surrounding a Skype and video call interview is different from both person-to-person and phone interviews. Here are some ten tips to help you beat any Skype interview.
- Look at the camera, not the screen.
It is very tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during a Skype session, but looking directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
- Close every other program on your computer system.
Getting notifications (eg twitter, Facebook or system notification) during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your Skype interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).
- Dress smart.
When it comes to what you wear, treat your Skype interview like an in-person interview and dress professionally from head to toe (or at least from head to waist!). A professional dress code with video interviews is expected.
- Practice beforehand.
Doing a run through interview with a friend beforehand is helpful because your first few Skype calls are likely to make you feel awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen. Play around with everything beforehand so that when it’s interview time, you can shine without being distracted by the program.
- Use short notes.
Don’t be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume handy when you interview. A benefit of having a Skype interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don’t have to memorize everything you want to mention.
- Don’t your notes too often.
Just make sure your notes are easily scannable. Use them as quick reminders, not a script. While having notes is certainly a plus, relying too heavily on them can cause awkward pauses during your interview. An interviewer will not be impressed if they only see the top of your head during the interview, so while having notes is good, be sure not to use them too often.
- Avoid all distractions.
If you are interviewing in a house with multiple people or pets, be sure to let everyone in the house know ahead of time that you will be in an interview, securing the animals away from your interview space. There is nothing more embarrassing than having to tell your potential employer to hang on while you shoo your dog away from the camera.
- Use a professional social media profile.
Unlike in a physical or phone interview, your first impression during a Skype interview doesn’t actually involve you or how you look. The first thing your interviewer will see is your Skype username and profile picture, so double check that they are both interview appropriate (or create a professional Skype account — after all, they’re all free!)
- Engaged the interviewer.
Stop every once in a while and make sure your interviewer is engaged in what you are saying. Being aware of the interest level of your interviewer is crucial in a Skype interview since they may have interesting e-mails pop up that direct attention away from you.
- Do Follow up!
A thank-you letter is just as important after a Skype interview as it is in an in-person interview. Avoid following up on Skype, though, unless the interviewer requests it!