May 17, 2017
If you have interviewed for a job recently, you may have been asked to do a Skype interview at some point. Video interviews are becoming more common, especially for companies interviewing candidates that live in a different state.
Practice Before the Interview
It is important to ensure that all your equipment is working before the scheduled time of the interview. The last thing that you want is to discover five minutes before the interview that your computer’s speaker isn't working or that you don’t have reliable access to WiFi. To make sure everything is working smoothly, you could even do a practice session. Hiring expert Nell from Pitney Bowes suggests this: “Practice Skyping with a friend. If you haven’t Skyped a lot in the past, this will be a new experience. You will want to make sure that you get all the glitches out of the way. This will also ensure that you know how to use it easily and quickly. By navigating it swiftly you will come across as competent and techy.” 1
In addition to learning how to navigate the software, practicing before your interview will give you a chance to see how you look while interviewing. You may have a mannerism or habit that you hadn’t noticed, but that could be distracting to the interviewer. By practicing how you will act in front of the camera, you can ensure that the real interview goes smoothly and you look confident and professional.
Choose Your Setting Wisely
An additional consideration you have to worry about when participating in a video interview is where you will be. The most important thing to think about is where you will be most comfortable, because it will be obvious if you are uncomfortable or distracted. You also want to make sure that you choose somewhere quiet and secluded. Loud background noise may make it difficult for the interviewer to understand you and for you to hear them.
Besides having a quiet space to interview in, you must also ensure that the space looks appropriate on camera. You want to avoid anything that may make you seem unprofessional or that could divert the interviewer’s attention away from you. The space should also be still, away from windows or other places that people could be walking, because a lot movement in the background can be very distracting.
Treat it Like an In-Person Interview
While it may feel strange to dress up for a video interview, all of our experts agree that dressing like you are going to an in-person interview is the best option. You may be tempted to pair your suit jacket with pajamas bottoms, but this is a risky move that we recommend avoiding. In addition to looking more professional, getting dressed up will put you in the right mindset to interview and give you more confidence.
You should also “arrive early”, just as you would do to an in-person interview. Especially if you are new to the technology, you may find it tricky to navigate, and you don’t want to be late to your digital appointment. This will come across as unprofessional, rude, and could potentially hurt your chances at getting the job.
If you are someone who likes to take notes during interviews, you can still do this during a video interview! Bryan from IBM recommends: “Let the interviewer know that you might like to take some notes, allowing you to look down at your desk periodically. On your desk, you may also wish to have some strategic notes to which you can refer!” 2
Lastly, make sure to do everything you would normally do an interview. Some people become so focused on the technological aspect of the interview that they forget to do the things they usually do during an in-person interview. Bryan reminds potential interviewees to “make sure to smile and be enthusiastic. This is something that you will want to come through in your Skype interview. Most people are so focused on being professional and the added stress of having a technical difficulty can make you come across cold.”
By keeping these tips in mind, you can stay focused on the interview itself and avoid worries about the technology. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be, and the chances of you getting called back for a second interview or offered a job are much better!