By Amy @BubbleJobs
Five years ago, the idea that you could be interviewed for a full-time job over a real-time video messaging platform rather than meet the interviewer face-to-face seemed pretty crazy – but fast forward to 2013 and Skype job interviews are all the rage. The thing is, employers are busy people – they don’t necessarily always have the time to meet candidates in person on the first occasion – or they might even be interviewing for candidates in another country – so using a platform like Skype to interview potential candidates makes perfect business sense.
The thing with Skype interviews though is that they can be… well, tricky to master! Why? Because they fall somewhere between a phone interview and a face-to-face interview – they obviously have the visual element to them that a phone interview lacks but they don’t quite have the interaction and feedback element that you get with a ‘traditional’ interview.
Got a Skype interview lined up and not sure how to prepare? Here are our five top tips.
1. Don’t Be Too Casual: Because you’re effectively being interviewed in your own home, it can be easy to forget how important the interview is and not take it seriously – but you need to remember that Skype interviews matter too! Yes, it’s great to be relaxed – but be careful not to be too relaxed! Remember, this is a serious interview and you need to treat it the same way you’d treat any other interview. Think about it; would you sit cross legged and swig from a bottle of your favourite soft drink in a ‘traditional’ interview? Then you shouldn’t do it in a Skype interview either!
2. Look The Part: Following on from my ‘casual’ point, it’s also important to look the part when it comes to a Skype interview. Remember, unlike a phone interview, employers can see you so you need to ensure they like what they see! OK, so you might be more at home in your… erm, home in your jogging bottoms and a hoody but during a Skype interview, your home is actually an interview room so you need to dress accordingly! Also, test your outfit out beforehand to avoid potentially blending into the background or clashing with your walls or furniture.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Surroundings: Remember how I just said employers can see you in a Skype interview? Well, they can also see your surroundings too! Yes, you might love that graphic print from a Reservoir Dogs or Kill Bill you’ve got hanging up in your living room – but would a potential employer? Similarly, while you’re more than happy to have that pile of ironing sitting around, it’s not going to make a great impression on a potential employer so you should probably shift it ahead of your interview. Remember, your home is the interview room so try and ensure it looks clean and tidy for any employers that might have prying eyes!
4. Be Natural: Just like any other interview, it’s important to be natural and yourself. Why? Because employers can immediately tell when candidates are being fake – and they really don’t like it! Although it’s harder to be responsive and natural in a Skype interview compared with a traditional interview, it’s still important to give feedback to create some kind of interaction.
5. Take Advantage Of The Set-Up: Worried you’re not going to remember everything you want to say? This is where you can really take advantage of the set-up that Skype interviews present. Attach post it notes to the edge of your screen with your key notes and pointers or have them open in a Word Doc on your PC during the interview – this way you’ll be able to use them and your interviewer will be none the wiser! Similarly, have the company website open on your PC – you never know when you might be caught out by a killer question about the business!