Whether you're about to attend a final or first-round interview on Skype, you might be feeling a bit nervous about what to expect and how to come across well on camera. In this post I'll share my essential advice for Skype interviews, helping you to prepare effectively and impress your interviewers.
Prepare like it's an in-person interview
The biggest mistake people make with online interviews is not taking their preparation seriously enough. To stand out and impress, you have to prepare the same way you would as if you were attending an in-person interview; this means researching the company and the role, anticipating questions and preparing how you’ll respond. Anything less than this and you’re not investing enough effort to do well in your interview.
Check your tech
When I ask my clients what they’re most worried about in terms of their upcoming interview, many say the technology failing. If this resonates with you, one of my best bits of advice for Skype interviews I can give you is not to wait until the morning of the interview to check your tech – do it at least a few days before. Test your connection speed in various points in the house/flat, and if necessary plug directly into the router to get a stronger connection.
Find a suitable location
Another task to tick-off before the interview day is to decide where you want to sit for your interview. Ideally, you want to pick somewhere with a strong internet connection, that's quiet and has good lighting. You should also pick a location that’s relatively free from clutter. If you’re limited on options and think your background will be distracting, turn on background blur (most other online conferencing platforms offer this feature as well).
Do you want to...
If you live with your family or have flatmates, give them a heads up about your interview and ask them to keep the noise down for the duration of the call. If you share your connection with others, ask them to avoid using the internet during your Skype interview to minimise any connectivity issues.
It can be a good idea to put a note on the door of the room you’ll be using for your interview, asking no one to enter. You could also leave one on your front door too – you don’t want a delivery driver knocking on your door constantly during the call!
Dress to impress
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking what you wear matters less in a video interview, but it's simply not true. First impressions count just as much in a video interview as in an in-person one, so make sure you dress smartly. In fact, this is one of the best bits of advice for Skype interviews I can give as research has shown what you wear can have a big impact on how confident you feel. I’m all for any small wins you can make when it comes to interviews, so bear this in mind when selecting your outfit.
And a word of warning - although your interviewers are unlikely to see what you’re wearing on your bottom half, don’t be tempted to wear your jogging bottoms for comfort. I’ve heard stories of candidates having to stand up for a task or shut a window who haven’t dressed smartly down below – you have been warned!
Try to relax!
If you’re anything like most people, you might find being in front of the camera for your interview a bit awkward. A lot of this is probably down to the fact you're just not used to it, but you also have far less to go on when trying to gauge how you’re coming across (you can’t read your interviewer’s body language as easily). At the end of the day, your interviewers want to get a sense of who you are and what you could bring to their organisation, so try to relax and show your personality. You don’t want to look scared and nervous throughout your interview, so try to relax into it and smile if you can.
So there you have it, my six top pieces of advice for Skype interviews. Follow these and you'll be well on your way to impress your interviewers. Want to take your interview to the next level? Get structured practice and expert feedback on your interview technique with my interview coaching service.