Unless you belong to a whole other species (a most peculiar kind that rejoices in all things nerve-inducing), we’re going to say that you probably dread job interviews. We all do, and just to add to the sweaty-palmed mix, conducting interviews via Skype is becoming the latest employment trend.
Now, we can’t say that we’re surprised. Employers are busy, busy people, and technology just makes things easier – for the most part. It also saves you the bother of catching trains, trams or tubes – and hotfooting it across the city or town to arrive at your interview destination a dishevelled mess (we’ve all been there). However, being interviewed via video brings with it its own set of problems.
Some people are relatively new to the concept of video interviews and you’d be amazed at the mistakes and missteps that catch otherwise composed, professional people out. If you don’t want to be one of them, we’d suggest taking a quick flick through our top tips for acing your Skype interview.
Succeeding at Skype: how to nail your video interview
Dress the part: This isn’t a telephone interview, which means that your interviewer will still be able to see you – even though you’re not there in person. It might sound obvious, but we’ve actually heard of people sitting a Sykpe interview in their pyjamas before now! (None of our candidates we’d like to add). You need to dress like you would for any other interview (namely, smart and business-like) – and that goes for your bottom half, too. If for any reason you need to get up before the end of the interview, and you’re sitting with a shirt on top and lounge pants down below, your cover will be well and truly blown.
Remove distractions: Chances are, you’ll be sitting your interview at home (we’d advise against public places like coffee shops because you can’t control the noise levels – or the internet signal). If you have children or pets, ask someone to watch them in another room of the house (you don’t want an overly eager dog jumping on your lap part-way through a carefully crafted competency based answer now do you?) You should also make sure the TV and radio are switched off, and your phone is set to silence. Nothing suggests a lack of professionalism like a phone buzzing mid-way through the interview.
Choose your position carefully: Once you’ve settled on a location for your interview, give your actual position some thought. If you’re next to a fire or a radiator you could start to get a little bit hot once the nerves kick in, which won’t do much for your confidence levels. Likewise, being positioned by an open window could leave you shivering and struggling to concentrate. And because it’s important to see your interviewer at all times (you can read a lot about people from their facial expressions), be careful that your screen is free from glare – and will remain so when the sun starts to move.
Check your surroundings: If you’ve set up your laptop in the kitchen, for example, make sure you don’t have a background of dirty dishes waiting to be washed, clothes to be ironed, or toys to be put away. Likewise, if you want to keep a drink to hand, try to keep it out of shot so that when your interviewer lays eyes on you, you’re not confused by clutter. Imagine your ‘interview area’ as your workspace; you want it to be clear, organised and indicative of professionalism.
Get mentally prepared: Some people find Skype interviews easier because you can sit them in your own surroundings, and you don’t have to meet anyone in person; other people find them more daunting for that exact reason, and struggle to get into the right headspace because of it. If you’re one of the latter, we’d recommend taking a quiet half-hour beforehand to mentally prepare yourself. Drink some herbal tea; listen to some relaxing music; even try meditating! Whatever works for you, going into that interview in a relaxed frame of mind could make a world of difference.
So there you have it; there’s really no need to be scared of Skype interviews. But, if you do still feel concerned, you can always get in touch with our incredibly helpful consultants who will be only too happy to give you an extra helping hand. Find your nearest branch today.
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