It is prime interview season and when it comes to internships or jobs, employers are currently using Skype as well as other forms of video chatting more and more often during the first rounds of interviewing. It is easier for the recruiter and more practical for college students, especially those looking to work in a city they can’t drive to for an interview during the middle of the week. Skype interviews can be a lot different than in-person interviews, but luckily VALLEY has everything you need to know to ace that interview and launch your career to new heights.
The setting of your video chat interview is very important. Although the interview can be set in the comfort and privacy of your home, you still don’t want to look like you’ve chosen to do it lying in bed. Aim for a plain, not too colorful backdrop or wall because you don’t want to have too much going on behind you to distract the interviewer. The backdrop should also be sophisticated, so try to avoid your patterned tapestry or Migos poster. Lighting is also key to a good Skype interview so you’ll want to have solid light in the room you’ve chosen for the interview. Position a lamp or light so that there are no shadows blocking your face, and try not to have bright lights shining on you and creating glares.
You want to make sure your sound is working before the interview, so make a test call to a friend or family member as a sound check. Speaking clearly and enunciating is just as important if not more when doing a Skype interview as well, so take your time to articulate your thoughts. If you really want to go the extra mile, there are headsets you can purchase to improve the quality of your sound.
Always dress like you would for an in-person interview. Although the bottom half of your body is likely out of frame, dressing your best from head to toe will increase your confidence and give the professional feel of an in-person interview.
The first 30 seconds of the interview — the moment your face pops up on the recruiters screen — is what makes your first impression. Since you can’t make a strong first impression with a firm handshake, make sure you are upbeat and practice your greeting. Finally, always look into the webcam not at the screen or recruiter. It might feel weird, but from the recruiters perspective, looking at screen makes it seem as if you are looking down. Staring at the webcam is the best and only way to make eye contact. As for visual quality, there is only so much you can do, but there are attachable webcams out there that make for sharper resolution.
It also goes without saying that if you haven’t used Skype since the good ol’ middle school days, then make sure your screen name isn’t still SoccerGirl123 or anything else unprofessional, just as you would your email. Use these tips to rock your interview and hopefully score a job along the way!