With remote working becoming a more common practice, virtual interviews are quickly becoming a reality for job seekers everywhere. Because Skype interviews are a relatively new practice of the hiring process, there’s a whole new set of rules to follow.
But here’s the kicker:
Even though they’re becoming more and more common, the tips and tricks of having a successful virtual interview are only recently being discovered. There are common mistakes that could completely derail your interview, and there are steps you can take to ensure that you go into your Skype call with enough confidence and finesse to land the job.
Here’s everything you need to know to ace your next virtual interview and get the job:
A virtual interview is just as important as a traditional, in-person interview, so treat it as such. Just because you’re not meeting in person doesn’t mean that this interview will be any more or less stressful.
Prepare for your Skype interview just as you would an in-person interview. Familiarize yourself with the most common interview questions, prepare your answers, and dress as you would for a traditional interview.
Because you won’t be meeting in an office, your surroundings matter. Be mindful of what your setting says about you. If you’re in your childhood bedroom, the interviewer probably won’t be able to take you very seriously, and if you hang out in the bathroom for your interview, well, it’s safe to say you probably won’t make the best impression on your interviewer.
Find an appropriate place to have your virtual interview, and make sure that it’s clean. Your interviewer will notice everything about your surroundings, so make sure to pick a spot that’s well lit, quiet, and makes you look like you have your shit together.
For an interview, you always want to dress for success so you can impress. For a Skype interview, that means everything — even your username.
Sorry to break it to you, but it’s time for your high school username “420BlazeIt” to be retired. Opt for a more professional alternative, like FirstnameLastname, or any other variation of your name that makes you happy.
Make sure your profile picture for your Skype account is also appropriate. You may be the reigning beer pong champ of your fraternity, but there’s no reason an interviewer should know that from looking at your profile. Keep it professional.
Dress as you would for any other interview. Even if you’re interviewing at 3 in the morning, get up early and get fully dressed. Yes, that means pants. Just because they’re only going to be looking at you from the torso up doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable to embarrassing mishaps. Just wear your dang pants.
As with any other interview, you should always do your homework ahead of time and have some prepared answers on hand. This doesn’t mean you should read from a memorized script, then you’ll just come off as robotic, detached, and uninterested.
Just because you’re going to be on camera doesn’t mean that the interviewer won’t be able to tell that you’re reading speeches directly from your notebook. If you need some help, write a few cheat cards to jog your memory — but never read entire answers written out verbatim.
Even the most up-to-date technology is prone to the flakiness of the enigma we know as our internet connection. Do a practice run with a friend or family member to make sure that your Skype connection is reliable. And if it isn’t, move somewhere else where the internet is more stable.
We all know that WiFi isn’t the most reliable force on the planet, and dropped calls are understandable — but if they happen frequently, it reflects poorly on you and your ability to plan ahead.
Make sure everything is up and running before it’s time for your Skype interview. Test out your webcam, your microphone, and your speakers to ensure that everything’s in working order before the big day rolls around. It would be a shame if you lost a job opportunity because your interviewer couldn’t see your face or hear a single thing you said.
It’s important to show up to every interview with all of the necessary materials. That means you need to have all of your attachments on hand, so you can reference them easily without having to search through your computer.
Have your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and other work samples ready to go for your interview. It will show that you’re prepared, while also preventing you from wasting anyone’s time.
This one gets a little tricky when you’re interviewing via Skype. It’s your natural instinct to look at your interviewer, but on a webcam, it will appear to them that you’re actually looking away. It’s awkward, but try to look directly into your webcam to feign eye contact.
Feel free to look down at your actual interviewer every once in a while so they don’t feel like you’re staring directly into their soul, but try to focus most of your eye contact toward the actual camera.
We all know how easy it is to get distracted on the Internet. With an expansive world of information and entertainment at our fingertips, it’s hard not to get distracted by the amazing enigma of the world wide web.
It’s up to you to make sure that your interviewer doesn’t get distracted during your Skype call. You’re going to be the size of a tiny Skype window, and it’s going to be easy for them to get distracted by their smartphone or the latest troubling headline circulating on Facebook.
To keep their interest, use hand gestures, be animated, and engage in a conversation with your interviewer. They’re your audience, so you want to keep their attention.
On the other hand, you’re going to want to take measures to prevent any distractions on your end. Silence your phone, close all windows aside from the interview and your supporting documents, and make yourself unavailable online to prevent interruptions.
In our technology-savvy world, virtual interviews are quickly becoming a more common aspect of the interviewing process. Skype offers a more cost-efficient way to conduct interviews, particularly during a time when remote working is becoming more widespread.
It’s easy to make a mistake during an interview, and most are forgivable — but in the world of Skype, one small error can completely derail the success of your interview.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to avoid all mistakes, make a great impression, and land your dream job!