When you are applying for a job a number of things can stand in the way between you as an applicant and you the employee. Be it personal statements, pre-job tests or interviews, don’t let the interview stage phase you. Face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews and even the more popular and further rising Skype interview can all seem a little daunting, however this post is going to help you feel at ease with Skype interviews, and feel like you can succeed at the interview stage.
Interviews are meant to test you, but also see how you perform under pressure, and to learn more about you as not only a (hopefully) successful candidate but a person in general. One of the best interviews I had was a Skype interview, and knowing you are in familiar surroundings and talking to someone through a computer screen can seem alien to some but is in fact less daunting. Not to say that you should not treat the interview with the respect it requires and deserves, but some comfort can be drawn knowing that you are in your comfortable environment…just make sure there are no incriminating objects that can be seen from your employer on the screen, and no offensive or unsuitable photographs/posters/objects behind you either. Better to be safe than sorry.
2. Prepare well
Skype interviews are time and cost efficient for both parties involved. Instead of feeling nerves on the commute to the place of interview, all you need is a computer with Skype installed. Quicker and more instant than emailing and more personal than simply telephoning, looking at a person in a matter of pixels can seem a little strange. Don’t let it confuse you. Treat the person you are talking to as a prospective boss, and they will treat you as a respected candidate. Research the company if it is applicable, consider your key skills as a successful candidate for the job, keep calm, take a deep breath and most of all try and enjoy it. If you are passionate about a company and working for a company, whatever it may be, then let it shine through.
3. Make sure your equipment is working
I once had a Skype brainstorming session with my new Editor and my fellow writers. The only problem was that the editor’s Skype was not performing particularly well and left us struggling to hear her back and forth for a good 50 minutes. While this cannot be avoided in some circumstances, practising with family members of friends can mean you feel prepared for the interview and confident in your microphone and camera. No one failed from being over prepared, and it can help erase some of those pre-interview nerves.
4. Dress the part
I don’t mean sit in a Sleeping Beauty costume (unless perhaps you are applying for Disney, and still a risky move) or fancy dress but instead wear something you would wear to an interview in an official setting. Smart/casual is a safe bet to have, though a friend of mine did divulge that he sat semi-naked from the waist down in a Skype interview to help him feel confident when answering their questions. Who knew a “I know something that you don’t” attitude could help?
When clicking ‘video call’ take a moment to take a big breath and smile. If you smile you automatically will feel more confident, and happier in what the next x amount of minutes could bring. Skype interviews are no different to other interviews apart from being conducted from two places instead of at the company’s base. To date one of the best interviews I felt I have had (personally) so far was the Skype interview with my now-boss who I’m currently interning with. Due to the feedback on computer, the questions take a little longer to come through, thus allowing you more time to consider what is being asked before giving your answer. Taking a little bit more time before blurting out the first thing that comes to mind can only be a good thing, though waiting five minutes before answering could you encourage your prospective employer’s view of you as slow and unengaged.
Interviews do not have to be scary and daunting. If you are talking about something you have prepared, researched and are comfortable discussing there is nothing to say that the interview has to be painful. Trying to enjoy it can only be a positive thing, so if you feel confident in your Skype interview with your lucky charm, or photograph sat in your eye sight, why not indulge in being interviewed in a familiar place? The hype for Skype is continuing to grow after all.