Skype Interviews

Skype Interviews

To save interviewing time and costs, businesses are now turning to the Internet instead of telephones and offices to conduct initial interviews. Video interviewing used to be complicated with special equipment and software. however with the advent of Skype, things have changed.

Skype is easy to use and it’s free to download. All you need is a webcam to get started and many Laptops already have one built-in. If not, one can be obtained very easily and at an affordable price. I would advise getting an auto-focus one.

For the Candidate, it’s easy to be interviewed from home, saving the speculative cost of interview attendance and eliminates travel time, reducing the carbon footprint of the process.

As the interviewer, Skype has certain benefits over the telephone in that you can monitor facial expressions and body language, you can have a better sense of what a person will be like in everyday communications, and of course their potential to fit in with your existing team.

Instead of meeting with say first round 20 finalists for a position, you can screen them with Skype interactions and then bring in the best two or three candidates for closer scrutiny.

As a Candidate preparing for Job Interviews on Skype:

If you haven’t already had a job interview on Skype, the chances are that you will at some stage, so get ready and comfortable with the process.  Perhaps Skype with friends to get used to the experience and get some feedback on lighting, position, etc.

Here are some basic pointers to help you make the most of each interview:

1. Choose a professional username

As with an email address you use for business, a Skype account with a name like redhotloony or wildpartyanimal is not going to help your image. With some common sense, you can usually structure one that comprises your name details.

2. Practice talking to your computer

Before a Skype meeting or interview, make sure you’re familiar and comfortable with the technology involved, practice using it and ideally rehearse with a friend.

3. Arrange the setting

You want to be seen against an uncluttered background with no distracting objects, movement or sound. There shouldn’t be TV, monitor or light behind you, because it will darken your facial image. Wherever you are Skyping from, assess the background to see what the interviewer will see from their perspective.

Go to: “Tools -> Options -> Video Settings”

Make sure that you are clearly visible and comfortably positioned in the “shot” in your chair. If you are using someone else’s PC, office or desk, then take the time to check the background and ask if you can make make changes where necessary.

4. Block out all interruptions

Turn off your mobile ‘phone.   If you’re Skyping from home, banish your family members and pets for the duration, dogs, cats or children, etc.

5. Back it up a little

Don’t sit or move too close to the webcam and monitor.  You don’t want only your face showing, but rather a similar view the interviewer would see if you met in person.

6. Make and keep (virtual) eye contact

Gazing at the computer screen instead of the camera while you’re talking will make you seem shifty. Care in positioning the webcam will help.

Just as in a live meeting or interview, remember that the first impression you make will be lasting, so, particularly for a job interviews, be sure to look the part, even if the company has a reputation for being casual and laid-back, wear a good suit.

7. Be ready and know what you want to cover

Put a post note with your key questions and points you may want to make by the camera so you can get a memory jogger without having to look away.

As with all interviews, research the organisation, the people, the news, etc. around the organisation and the sector they operate in.

Be well prepared, relaxed and be yourself. You might find you enjoy it and discover a whole new method of communication that really works for you.

I wish you the best of luck in your search and hopefully successful interviews!