Skype interviews are now a standard part of many companies’ interview processes, especially within the startup world. While commonly used for initial and second interviews, it’s no longer unusual to hire someone solely based on how well they perform on Skype.
Here are a few tips for maximizing your chances of at your next video chat interview.
1. Dress like you would for a face-to-face job interview
One might think that this would be obvious because the interviewer could actually see the applicant, but many HR professionals report that they often see applicants wear ultracasual attire or even house clothes on Skype interviews. This can look unprofessional and cause interviewers to see you as unprepared. Be sure to wear interview-appropriate tops as well as bottoms, in case you need to stand up to get something.
2. Make sure your surroundings are not distracting
Try to take the call in a quiet room at home. Secure any noisy or extra-affectionate pets and make sure that family members or housemates won’t be a problem. Try to make sure that there is nothing behind you that can reflect negatively on you in the interview.
3. Try to look at the camera, not the screen
Skype isn’t always as intimate as face-to-face conversations for a few reasons. One reason is most people stare at the screen, which removes eye contact. Usually, everyone tends to look like they’re looking at something behind their conversation partner, rather than at them — even if they are actually doing that from their perspective. Looking directly at the camera will help give the illusion of eye-contact with the interviewer and help humanize you, which can give you an edge in the interview.
4. Prepare a cheat sheet
Based on your prior research, you’ll want to have a list of questions you think will be asked as well what you feel will be the best responses. You may also want to list down a few questions of your own. While this could be on your computer, you may want to have it all on a separate notebook for easier access.
5. Close all distracting apps
Interviewers will sometimes be able to notice if you are browsing Facebook or playing games during the interview. Let’s just say you don’t want most of them finding out if you are. Make sure that you are committed to the interview by closing down all distracting and unimportant applications.
6. Use a good pair of headphones, if possible
Headphones will allow you to listen to the interviewer more closely and help give you a little bit more privacy during the interview as well. A microphone would also be handy if you already have one lying around.
7. Use a professional username and profile picture
Your Skype profile pic and username are the first things the interviewer will notice about you. If you have a potentially embarrassing username or profile pic, try to update this before you even start sending out job applications.
8. Send a thank-you email
Stand out from all the other applicants by sending a short email thanking the interviewer for the opportunity. It only takes a few minutes to write but it can go a long way into helping your application be a lot more memorable.
While they certainly are more convenient, we shouldn’t necessarily think of video chat interviews as being less formal or important than their traditional face-to-face equivalents. Make sure to do your homework and follow out tips to get the best possible chance at landing that position you’re gunning for.
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