I think we can all agree that applying to a job and landing an in-person interview can be a long and stressful process. Nowadays, making a good first impression typically starts with either a telephone or Skype interview and sometimes even both. If you haven’t already, somewhere down the line you will more than likely have to prepare for both of these. Remote interviews are much harder than face-to-face interviews because it’s harder to pick up on visual cues. Below, we’ve highlighted 5 ways to prepare for your next Skype interview!
Dress for success. The better you look, the better you will feel. Although you may be compelled to only dress professionally from the waist up, you shouldn’t. Dress for the part, from the ground up! You’re more likely to interview better if you feel confident, so ditch the sweatpants and wear an outfit you would typically wear to an on-site interview!
Do your research. You should always research the company you’re interviewing with. This will help you feel more confident, engage in conversation, and answer questions more effectively. Research the company name along with the current year and search for press releases to track down major projects, expansions, partners, and more. Jot down a few key questions you have about the company as well as the open position. It’s okay to use notes in your interview, but use them sparingly.
Prepare your surroundings. Choose a neutral clean space with limited clutter. You don’t want your environment to be a distraction, so interview in an area where the focus will be entirely on you. Be mindful of your surroundings and make sure you let the people you live with know about your interview in advance to avoid disruption.
Practice. Your first few Skype interviews are bound to feel awkward, but there are a few things you can do to feel more comfortable. Set up a mock video interview with a trusted family member or friend. Skype is free, so you can practice multiple times and record each session. Practicing your Skype interview will help you work out any technical kinks, get down the correct volume and microphone distance, prevent having a Wi-Fi malfunction, and get an accurate idea of how you come across on video. Be aware of your body language and make sure you are not slouching, looking away from the screen, making weird hand gestures, and that you are smiling.
Actively Listen. It’s easier to get distracted when you are speaking to a person who is not physically in the room. Listen actively and try to engage naturally, as you would in person. Avoid wandering your eyes away from the computer screen and maintain eye contact. Also try to pause slightly between comments and questions just incase there is any lag time between you and the interviewer.
We hope that these tips will help you shine in your next Skype interview and get you through the final phase of your job search process! For more interview preparation tips, consider our 12 Steps to a Successful Job Search course!