Skype Interviews – Dos and Don’ts
20 Apr 18 by Jason Bishop
For most people, a job interview is an easy way to send their heart rate through the roof. The anxiety as you wait to meet your interviewer, the first handshake and whether you were too firm or too soft, the nervousness as you try to remember all the answers and examples you memorised the night before. Now, imagine a scenario where you aren’t even in the same room as your interviewer. Your reaction will give you a pretty good idea of how well you’d comfortable you’d be with a Skype interview. While you may not have come across one yet, it’s only a matter of time, as more and more companies are using Skype interviews, especially when it comes to overseas candidates.
Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to get you through a Skype interview, whether you’re the interviewee or the interviewer.
Do: Prepare Your Notes
One of the best things about a Skype interview is that due to limited visibility, you can have your notes in front of you. Prepare notes with research on the company, the people interviewing you, industry goings-on and have a copy of your resume handy. Instead of scrabbling to remember all your intense research, you’ll have a reminder. It’s important to try to keep your notes to a page to minimise rustling, and also to bullet point them. Having bullet points makes them easier to read as well as ensuring that you don’t sound like you’re reading off a script.
Don’t: Forget That it’s a Job Interview
While it’s easy to feel relaxed because this interview is essentially on your own turf, it’s vital you take it just as seriously as a traditional interview. That means dressing appropriately and doing all the things you would do to prepare normally. Ideally, you want to ensure that your background is as plain and unobtrusive as possible, you want the interviewer to focus on you. Remember to keep good eye contact by looking into the camera lens when speaking and ensuring it is at eye-level or slightly above will ensure the best camera angles. Keep kids and pets at bay and remember to do it somewhere well lit. All of these steps will help you come across professionally and give you the best shot at acing the interview.
Do: Make it Clear You’re Listening
Just like with a traditional interview, it’s good etiquette to ensure that you are paying attention to your interviewer. While general home life can be distracting, it’s important you keep your focus on the interview. Your concentration needs to be on the screen, so close your internet browser and put your phone on silent. Another great tip is to use headphones, even if you’re in a quiet room. Headphones momentarily block out the world and signal to the interviewer that they have your attention.
Do: A Pre-Interview Technology Check
The one big downside when conducting Skype interviews is the reliance on technology. No one is a stranger to technical issues, but as the party running these interview, these issues can make you look unprofessional and unprepared. Run a test call with a colleague before you call the candidate. Ideally, make sure that the colleague is using a different internet connection in order to get a more accurate idea of what the candidate will actually experience.
Always have a plan B, whether that’s a phone interview, FaceTime or another alternative. You and the candidate have both carved out precious time to do this interview, so try make sure the time isn’t wasted. Also be aware of other technological factors, like the fact that Skype can sometimes lag and freeze, which is important to anticipate when conducting the interview.
Don’t: Conduct the Interview in a Crowded Office
Try to find a quiet spot to do the interview as office noise can be distracting to everyone involved and isn’t a great look for your organisation. Ideally, find a private room you can use, but be sure to ensure that you have an appropriately professional background. Double check that no one can be seen walking behind you and ensure that you have the best lighting possible – daylight actually provides the best light for on camera work.
Do: Organise a Second/Face-to-Face Interview
While Skype interviews are a great tool for an initial screening interview, especially if it’s a candidate you would like to meet but logistics don’t allow you to do so. However, they aren’t a replacement for a traditional face to face interview, and we strongly recommend following up a successful skype interview by bringing candidates in for a meeting. It’s also important to note that Skype interviews are not great for detailed technical assessments either, so these would have to be done later or in between interviews.
While a Skype interview is similar to a traditional interview in a lot of ways, it pays to be prepared. Interviewees and interviewers alike should remember to prepare ahead of time with interviewees preparing simple notes and interviewers ensuring the technology on their end works. The setting might be slightly different, but neither party should forget that this is still a job interview.
With these video interview tips you should be off to a great start. To see how we could help you prepare for your next interview, get in touch today.