Job interview via Skype? Here’s how to nail it, not fail it
Via Telegraph : Interviews are nerve-wracking at the best of times, but people looking for new jobs overseas are increasingly facing Skype interviews as a potentially tricky first stage of the process.
According to Jon Butterfield of recruitment agency Talent International, the number of first interviews being conducted via the video chat service has doubled in the past year.
“For clients looking to source candidates from outside their own national territory, online video interviews now account for 70 per cent of all first stage interviews,” he said.
Facing your potential new employer via a screen in the comfort of your own home does not mean you can be more relaxed about the experience than if you were at their office, however.
In fact, failing to pay attention to some of the fundamentals could lose you the chance of a dream job. Here are some tips to help make the right impression:
1: Check the tech
One of the easiest mistakes to make is to not check the technology works before you are due to do your interview.
Farida Gibbs, founder of Gibbs S3, a workforce solutions company, said: “Make sure that you test your equipment, ensuring that your camera and microphone are working, then be logged on about 10 minutes in advance, just as you would arrive at the reception of a company early. Also, make sure your username sounds professional, as this will be shared with the interviewer.”
2: Think about your surroundings
You might be at home doing this interview, but you need to look and be professional. Lee Biggins, founder of UK job site CV-Library, said: “Interviewees should be careful in ensuring that the background is appropriate, and is not distracting for the interviewer.
“No annoying ceiling fans whirring in the corner, no dogs barking in the room next door or cats crawling in front of the screen, and absolutely no inappropriate pictures or photos in the background.”
3: Be conscious of how you come across
You cannot shake someone’s hand on Skype, and since you are not in the room with them you need to think about how you engage with the interviewers.
Sarah Shaw, a partner in Odgers Interim, an executive search firm, said a good alternative is a nod of the head to acknowledge those doing the interview.
She added: “Candidates should always ensure they are looking directly at their interviewers by looking into the webcam and not at the screen. Eye contact by Skype is just as important as in a conventional interview setting.”
4: Dress to impress – and not just from the waist up
You are in an interview, so dress like it. Graham Oates, of Norrie Johnston Recruitment, said: “Do not attempt to just be smart from the waist up, assuming the interviewer will only see the top half of your body.
“I have been in plenty of Skype interview situations where the candidate has had to stand up. So dress as if you were going to an in-person interview. In any event you feel – and look – more professional.”
5: Use a cheat-sheet
Not being in the same room as the interviewers means you can take advantage of tricks to help you through the most difficult questions.
Huw Jones, operating director at Michael Page Digital, a recruitment consultancy, said: “A huge advantage of video interviews is that you can have prompts and crib sheets. Set them just above the line of the camera and no one will even know you are using them.”
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