How to ace your Skype interview

Let’s face it; interviews are one of the most awkward and nerve-racking realities of adult life – and with the advent of technology, the phenomenon could spread into your private domain.

Skype interviews are on the rise – according to a survey by Right Management – 82% of hiring managers have used Skype, with 18% of candidates experiencing a video interview in the past year.

Check out these top tips for succeeding in your skype interview:

Prepare:

As your own cameraman, make sure your setting is suitable. Ensure that lighting and sound levels will help elevate your pitch.

Tracy Johnson, founder of Brainbox Consulting, says: “Be aware of what is on the wall behind you. Tatty posters and an unmade bed won’t make the best impression. Check out the alignment of your camera and screen too – you may not actually be making eye contact with the interviewer and this can interfere with developing that all-important connection.”

Dress as you would for a normal interview, don’t run the risk of exposing your undressed lower half when the webcam slips from its perch.

“Your interviewer will only find out that you’re in your pyjamas if you have to stand up to get something, so strictly speaking your can wear what you like. However, being in business dress might make you feel the part and help with your performance,” says Joanna Keilt, consultant at Futureboard.

Have a backup plan

Make sure you know who is conducting your interview and sign in early to avoid technical issues (forgetting your password wouldn’t be great).

Keilt says: “Download Skype well in advance of the interview and make sure you have a practice call to a friend to iron out any issues. Also, where possible, use headphones and a microphone to conduct the interview: this helps prevent feedback. If you can’t hear your interviewer, let them know so they can try to fix the problem.” 

Show personality

Tracy Johnson said: “You need to develop a rapport with the interviewer as quickly as possible. Think about your non-verbal communication: make lots of eye contact, smile and sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back and down so that you have good posture, open your chest and speak clearly.”

Mike Higgins agrees: “With audio and video channels, less body language information is transmitted, so focus on matching the tone and pace of your voice to the message you are trying to convey. If you say you are excited about a project, sound excited. If there is a mismatch between tone and message, the interviewer will go with the former rather than the latter.”

No Skype at home?

“If you don’t have Skype at home, then ask your university or college careers service if they have a room that you can use – some will offer you a room for a telephone interview too,” says Tracy Johnson.

“If you have to interview in a public place, let your interviewer know in advance”, says Joanna Keilt. “Arranging an interview outside of lunchtime hours should mean that the coffee shop or café is less crowded. Avoid main roads at all costs.”