You have your resume, recommendation letters, and references ready to go. You’ve read our interviewing tips to help you prepare. You’re completely ready to rock this Skype interview. Or are you? There's a lot more to Skype interviews than meets the eye, and coming to the interview confused and unprepared will do little to convince your interviewers you're a worthy candidate. Sure, you can interview with someone across the country from the comfort of your own home, but that comfort can come at a price. Luckily, we're here to help! Here are our favorite tips for a successful Skype interview:
Limit Background Distractions
As adorable as your dog can be, having him bark and run circles around you while you interview for that Business Analyst job is not such a good idea. Try to find a quiet part of the house where there is limited activity. If possible, choose background walls with a neutral or warm color. The focus of the video should be on you and not your home. So what should be seen in your background? If you have any awards or certificates, one or two of the most significant achievements might be good to have in your background, but don't overdo it.
Use Natural Lighting
While some people recommend putting a cover on your camera's light or directing the lamp in a certain way, you shouldn't be expected to design a Hollywood set. Simply Hired offers some great advice on lighting, “Having the correct lighting will help your interviewer see you at your best and make it easy on their eyes. Overhead lights that are very bright or florescent tend to wash your face out or even darken your face. The best lighting is natural sunlight from a nearby window. Look toward the natural sunlight and/or a table lamp so that it illuminates your face.”
Test Your Settings Beforehand
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's very easy to forget to check and make sure your equipment actually works. “Just because your laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone doesn't mean the quality is up to par,” says CareerBuilder's Alina Dizik. “Instead, test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera. Before the interview, some companies may send their own video devices to applicants.” You may also want to test your internet connection to make sure you have the best signal possible. Nothing can put a damper on a great interview more than a call being dropped.
Continue To Follow the Best Practices of Interviewing Live
You've heard a lot of these tips before: dress for the job you want, maintain eye contact, a confident posture and project your voice when speaking. Good news! These tips still apply to Skype interviews, but there is a twist to some of them. It's much easier to slack off on these best practices when you're staring into a laptop or tablet, but interviewers will still be looking out for these qualities.
It is especially important to remember you must look into your camera and not your screen; this is one of the most noticeable errors interviewers make. Much like you wouldn't hover over the table and stare into your interviewer at an in-person meeting, you should put some distance between yourself and the screen. Alison Green of U.S. News states, “Don't sit as close to the computer as you normally would. Instead, sit a bit farther back so that your face and upper shoulders are framed in the shot. Additionally, place the computer slightly higher than you normally do, so that it's capturing you face-on and you're not looking down at it. (An easy way to do this is to simply prop it up on some books.)”
Have you done an interview over Skype? What advice would you offer to job-seekers looking for help? Leave us a comment below and send us your tips!