Preparing for a virtual (video) interview seems to be a big challenge for many people. In today’s global work scenario, more employers opt for Live Messenger or Skype interviews for jobs and internships. These interviews are preferred due to several benefits, including the convenience factors, cost-effectiveness, and a quicker way than face-to-face job interviews.
Here are some useful tips on how to excel in a Skype interview and increase your chances of being selected by the hiring manager.
Prepare and understand your environment
A wrong or mismanaged environment can surely mess up your Skype interview. You should choose a clean room, a private office, or any other quiet place where no one can disturb you. Your background is all that the interviewer would see. Hence, get rid of personal stuff, make it look well organized, and prefer a business like setting.
Like any other interview, dressing for the video interview is vital. Even if you are attending the Skype interview call at home, it is advisable to look presentable and dress up professionally. Choose the color you wear wisely to look better on the video. Glittery jewelry should be avoided completely.
Avoid wearing a patterned top or shirt that can make the image look dancing. The idea is to wear simple clothes that can make the interviewer focus on you and not on other distractions. At the end, make sure that sufficient light falls on your face as dim light can make your video unclear.
Make sure the technology is set right
A few minutes before the interview, you should not find yourself in the situation where you suddenly come to know that the Internet connection is down, Skype is not working, or any other hurdle. Some basic things that you should keep in mind include:
- Username: It is suggested to create a professional Skype username for the interview. Moreover, a professional profile picture is also important. Remember, your username and profile picture is the first thing that the interviewer will see.
- Internet Connection: It is best to connect to the Internet via Ethernet as Ethernet connections are much faster and provide more bandwidth for Skype.
- Webcam Selection: Choosing a HD webcam is a right decision.
- Above all, allow plenty of time to check all equipment before your Skype interview.
New graduates and first time job seekers think that facing a video interview is an easy task and they are more prepared than they actually are. However, it is imperative to practice to be more comfortable and avoid any mistakes. When you start practicing, you will gradually understand a few things, such as how to sit, what is the right body language and gestures, what to do with your hands, where to look, or how to speak. Therefore, practice is anytime important. This can easily be done with your friends, a career coach, or a family member who has knowledge about this. Record it and then analyze the areas of improvement.
Some Other Important Reminders
Apart from these tips, you should keep some simple, but important things in mind:
- Keep your mobile phone off to ensure that no one disturbs you during your interview.
- Watch out the transmission delay that usually happens during a video chat. Make sure that proper pause is given to allow the interviewer finish his question before speaking.
- Keep all important reference material such as web pages, notes including link to your portfolio or resume ready.
- Do not forget to maintain eye contact while speaking. However, there is a slight difference between making an eye contact and gazing. Keep that in mind!
- Keep a watch on the tone and clarity of your voice. Don’t shout while speaking.
- Like any other interview, it is vital to read about the company and job description. This prepares you well to answer any question related to the job role or industry.
One more thing… Smile. It will help you calm down, feel confident, and think positively while answering the interview questions. Moreover, it makes you look pleasant and confident. Treat your Skype interview as a one-man television show where you are the producer, performer, and the director. Hence, logistically everything is fine or not, you are responsible for everything!
All the best.
About the Author – Swati Srivastava is an avid writer with a keen interest in the extensive domain of job search and career counselling. She is Assistant Manager Content at Naukrigulf.com (a part of Infoedge); her articles are published on several reputed job search portals and online career magazines.