How To Prepare For A Skype Interview (AKA The Hardest Kind Of Interview)
A necessary evil.
With the interviewing process getting longer and more in-depth, employers are using strategic and innovative ways to examine their prospective employees.
Skype is a great solution. It cuts down on the need for travel, multiple people in different locations can be involved and companies can use pre-recorded messages. Sometimes people are on the other end, and sometimes you’re talking to a robot but one thing’s sure: online conference calls aren’t going anywhere.
With grad applications opening up soon, start prepping for digital interviews now. Here are a few things you need to consider before flipping open your laptop and putting your best self forward.
Eliminate Any Chance Of Being Interrupted
Think what could interrupt your interview or cause a stir in the background. Is your partner due home during the interview time? What about a delivery? What are you going to do if your dog starts barking? Or your phone rings? Consider all the things that could interrupt your interview and either put it in a different room, turn it off or keep them occupied.
Clean Up Your Background
Your camera won’t only see you, but also what is next to and behind you. If you’ve got a half-naked poster of your favourite Riverdale star or a collection of Pop! Vinyl bobble heads opposite your desk, it’s probably a good idea to set up somewhere else. Something plain like a neutral coloured wall or light curtains will work a treat.
Perfect Your Laptop’s Sound
Checking your sound is more than just being to hear them, its about them hearing you and what’s going on in your background. Can your computer hear your roommate eating or your neighbour coming home? Testing your sound to make sure it’s clear and coherent sound will prevent an awkward situation later on.
Dress Professional (Yes, Even On The Bottom)
How awful would it be if you need to get a document from the other room and your wearing track pants because you’ve only prepared for them to see your upper body? Dress for success and act as though you are attending a face-to-face interview by dressing head to toe.
Test Run, Test Run, Test Run
Do a test run of your camera, microphone and software to make sure it’s all in working order and performs well when you accept a call. Also, update all your software ¬ including Skype – to make sure no pop-ups or automated upgrades interrupt your interview.
Perfect The Lighting
Make sure you have enough light on you so your interviewers can clearly see your face and your expressions – but not so much that you look washed out. Also, think about backlight and accidental light. Are there curtains behind you or are you next to a window?
Skype interviews commonly go for the same length you’d expect a face-to-face interview to go for, so be prepared to be sitting still for over an hour. Make sure your chair is comfortable, your back is supported and your feet are at a comfortable height.
Have a little play with the height of your computer and chair. The perfect level for sitting and typing might not turn into the right angle for interviewing. The best way to present yourself and look professional is to have your computer level to your face, so prop it up on a book or two.
The best thing you can do for your interview is a test run. Triple-check everything, speak clearly and have fun! Personality goes a long way in interviews, so make sure the tech side of things don’t get in the way of your shine.
(Lead image: Girls/HBO)