16 June 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
With so many candidates to pre-screen, employers are finding video technology especially helpful when evaluating potential employees to bring in for an in-person interview. The advantage of a Skype interview over a phone interview is that the hiring manager and candidate are able to interact with each other before committing to a more time consuming meeting. As many advantages as there are to video interviewing, there can be difficulties as well. Not only must you sound professional, but your surroundings, attire, and preparedness are on display. While factors such as “screen lag” or connectivity issues are for the most part out of your control, here are some tips for you to stay as confident as possible during your next Skype interview. Lighting Have you ever taken a picture in poor lighting or in front of a stark white wall? Not very flattering is it? In order to look your best, try Skyping a few days in advance with a friend or family member in a variety of settings and backgrounds. Warm non-fluorescent lighting, a clean uncluttered background, and a good angle are all important when it comes to appearing professional. Since a goal of a Skype interview is for the hiring manager to not only hear you but to see you as well, it’s a good idea to ensure that an appropriate computer height is chosen for optimal eye contact. A “good” angle is one that puts you face to face with an interviewer as if you were sitting across from them in real life. Attire As with any interview, looking polished from head to toe is a must. Since Skype interviews are generally shot from the torso up, it may be tempting to pair a professional top with your favorite sweatpants. However, you want to be prepared for anything, and simply wearing a professional shirt and unprofessional bottoms (torn jeans, sweatpants, etc.) may give the interviewer the wrong impression. For example, perhaps the interviewer asks to see/review material you’ve left on the other side of the room and have to stand up and make your entire outfit visible. Better to be safe than sorry! Minimize distractions Much like the first tip regarding lighting, it’s essential to make sure your chosen Skype location is free of distractions, so start by ensuring your location has solid internet access or reliable Wi-Fi. Having a prime connection is the best way to ensure that you’re absorbing the important information being relayed; a poor internet signal that fades in and out can make productive communication nearly impossible! Ensuring that this doesn’t happen may require prior location scouting, because unfortunately, the area with the best connection may not be the place with the best lighting or atmosphere. Some simple steps you can take to make your space look more professional include clearing distracting clutter from your background and putting a small lamp in front of your computer to transform your chosen space into a video friendly area. Minimizing disruptions in your area is also a key component of a successful video interview. Do you have a loud roommate or a dog that loves to bark? If so, as much as you may have learned to tune out your surroundings, ensuring a peaceful environment will help you to get the most out of your interview and distinguish yourself from other candidates. Although a Skype interview may seem a little daunting, think of it as an opportunity to promote what makes you unique. You’ll be able to showcase your strengths, personality, and preparedness in a customized environment.