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How to prepare for a Skype interview

By UCL Careers, on 2 October 2014

This post originally appeared on the Develop your Career blog.

The introduction of integrated webcams into desktop, tablet and smartphone devices together with improvement in broadband speed has meant that a new form of job interview is becoming mainstream. Video chat job interviews, which are commonly conducted using the free cross-platform software Skype, are becoming widely accepted as an alternative to phone interviews. In this article we look closer at several best practices to improve your chances of success.

Plan Your Settings – Unlike phone based interviews, which can be taken discreetlyImage for Skype Interview Prep in many forms, the settings in term of background visual, noise and even lighting conditions should be taken into account. The recommendation is to choose an environment that you control so to help ensure professional looking surroundings, limited or no background noise and sufficient lighting.

Prepare in Advance – Any documents that might be needed (even a copy of your CV) should be handy well ahead of the interview. Make sure that you are ready for the interview at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time. This will give you plenty of time to set up the device, sort out any last minute hurdles, get into the right state of mind and, most importantly, avoid lateness.

Dress Top to Bottom – Webcams feature wide and long zoom meaning that the picture transmitted to the interviewer includes more than your face. It is an all too common mistake to focus only on dressing professionally above the waist while neglecting the bottom part. It is also widely believed that if you want your brain to believe that you are functioning at your best, dressing professionally head to toe helps. With regards to the dress code you can visit the employer’s site or social profiles for clues as to company culture and dress code. Otherwise, recruiters agree that a suit, long-sleeved shirt, tie (for men), little or no jewellery, and a groomed appearance will make a positive first impression on potential employers.

Practice Skype Interview – One of the keys to acing any job interview is demonstrating confidence. If you haven’t any video chat interview experienced, it can be unnerving at first. Therefore you should consider practicing this form of interview before the actual one. A careers consultant might be willing to conduct a mock interview with you. Otherwise, family member or friend can also play the part of the interviewer. Lastly, make sure to switch on the Picture-in-Picture feature in Skype so you can see how you appear.

At The Interview – Look straight-ahead at the camera lens when listening or talking and avoid letting your sight wonder away. Refrain from raising your voice, in fact, try to mimic the tone of voice of the interviewer. The microphone on many devices is incredibly sensitive to background noise, so don’t tap anything, play with your pen or even shuffle papers around. If you are taking the interview at home, make sure no household member interrupts you, whether two or four legged.

Finish in Style – Thank the interviewer for his or her time.

Bio: Written by The Carling Partnership Ltd (CPL). An international search and selection company working exclusively within the brewing and drinks job sectors.


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