How to Succeed in Your Skype Interview
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kype Interview Prep
For almost 20 years, Skype has been at the forefront of video technology.
Newer platforms, such as Zoom, MS Teams, Google Hangout and FaceTime have grown in popularity over the last few years.
There is still a wealth of opportunities to use Skype within an interview situation, however.
What Is a Skype Interview?
Interviewers are more time-pressed than ever before; therefore, video interviews have become increasingly common.
They are a great way to filter candidates as a pre-interview before meeting face-to-face. They can be more convenient if the hiring panel works in multiple locations.
Having a virtual video interview using software such as Skype can easily facilitate and speed up the recruitment process, rather than relying on a time where the committee can meet in person.
Furthermore, if your business offers flexible working opportunities through remote working, recruiters can use Skype interviews to broaden their search to a broader geographical area.
It is anticipated that employers will be more likely to recruit new candidates who could live further away (perhaps even in different states) as remote working becomes more mainstream.
Why You Should Prepare for Your Skype Interview
There are many reasons why you may be having an interview via Skype.
- It could be an interview for a new job or a promotion
- It could be an interview ahead of a proposed relocation
- It could be about building a new business relationship with a digital nomad or a third-party contractor
If you are asked to participate in a Skype interview, it is essential to prepare yourself thoroughly.
Like a traditional face-to-face interview, you need to be ready to sell yourself and make a good first impression.
You need to have researched the company in full and display that you know who they are, what they do and the nature of their corporate culture.
Job interviews are broadly similar whether they take place in person or via Skype.
However, your preparation for a Skype interview should encompass a few technical issues as well.
You want to feel that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible.
As part of this, your preparation should including making sure that you are in the right location, with access to good internet connectivity, while also being in a quiet environment with minimal distractions.
Your preparation should consider your background.
You may wish to test different heights for your laptop/tablet camera to provide good virtual eye contact with the interviewing panel.
Do You Need to Have Advanced Computer Skills to Take Part in a Skype Interview?
One of the benefits of using software such as Skype is its ease of use.
Skype has been around for a long time. It has lasted because it is simple enough for individuals to use while still having an array of attractive features for business use.
Although it is easy to use, you must practice before your interview.
You also need to download the latest update onto your laptop or tablet in advance of the interview.
There is nothing more unprofessional than missing your interview time because your device is scheduling last-minute updates.
Similarly, you need to make sure you know your login details. You do not want to be flustered by the time you log in to your interview.
You may also want to test your microphone and volume control.
You may wish to invest in an external microphone or a new webcam to maximize the clarity of the conversation.
What are the features available within Skype?
Over the years, Skype has continually invested in and developed its software, providing an array of features that you can use to maximize your video call's professionalism.
As part of your preparation, you may wish to test some of these features so you can use Skype like a professional.
This will allow you to integrate the Skype interview into your calendar.
It will provide you with a direct access link, so you do not need to scramble through your inbox trying to find the interview invitation.
In an ideal scenario, you will be located in a quiet room with a clear background.
If you are working from home, you will likely be surrounded by personal belongings.
In this case, you may wish to use the blurred background feature, which allows you to minimize any intrusion into your home life.
Whether you want to hide away some household clutter or enjoy some privacy, this is a great feature.
You can benefit from HD recordings and audio capabilities with a Skype interview.
If you have the bandwidth to cope with it, it can improve your video interview quality. It can help to provide a great first impression.
One of the benefits of Skype interviews is choosing to record the interview live and watch a playback later.
If you are nervous about your Skype interview, you may wish to record it so you can remind yourself of any questions, and you can review your interview performance.
Screen Sharing Capabilities
Suppose you are vying for a promotion or are a freelancer trying to establish a working relationship with a business. In that case, you may wish to use the share screen feature to showcase your portfolio.
In a face-to-face interview, you can easily showcase your work; however, this can be more complex when your interview occurs via Skype.
When sharing screens, ensure you have all of the correct information available at hand so you can seamlessly switch to your work without having to navigate through your filing system.
Top 10 Tips to Help You Succeed in Your Skype Interview
To help you prepare for your Skype interview, here is a 10-point step-by-step guide to making the most of your Skype interview:
1. Practice Your Skype Interview in Advance
Ensure you've downloaded the latest software in advance and test it with a friend or family member.
You want to be confident of your login details and your audio/camera quality before the interview occurs.
2. Check Your Internet Connection
Make sure you are confident that your internet connectivity can cope with the Skype interview.
Most connections are now secure enough to cope with multi-use; however, you may want to use your practice sessions to check that your internet connection is reliable enough.
You do not want your connection to drop out mid-interview.
3. Use a Professional Name for Your Skype Account
Before you log in to your Skype interview, make sure that your username is professional.
If you use your Skype account for a mix of business and recreational purposes, the last thing you need is to log in to an interview with a silly username or filter turned on.
In 2020 there were numerous notorious examples of Skype video calls going wrong. While it may be a low-key ice breaker, having a silly username set up may not show you in a professional light.
4. Arrange for a Quiet Location
It helps to have a calm environment for your Skype interview. This means making sure that anyone else within the household does not distract you.
You should also shut away any pets and turn off any distractions.
The noise cancellation feature in Skype is also worth using as it minimizes any background noises and provides a more professional experience.
5. Dress Appropriately for Your Interview
If you are interviewing in your own home, it can be tempting to be more casual than a face-to-face interview. However, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed, as first impressions count.
6. Anticipate What Questions You May Be Asked
Like a traditional interview, make sure you are prepared for the interview questions.
Practice your answers to these questions until you can memorize and feel confident reciting them.
7. Log in Before the Call Time
If the hiring panel has set up the interview, there will likely be a virtual waiting room for you to join before the interview.
You need to log in a few minutes in advance and wait for the meeting host to let you in.
Try to join a few minutes early to ensure you are on time for your interview.
It is the video interview equivalent of being punctual.
8. Use a Professional Background
As we mentioned earlier, the blur background feature is a helpful tool for hiding away any unnecessary clutter or for maintaining your privacy.
If you are working remotely, it can be hard to maintain boundaries between your home and work life.
The blur function is simple to use:
Next to the camera icon, click on the More menu (the three dots) and click on the choose background effect.
9. Turn Off Background Distractions
During your Skype interview, make sure you minimize other external distractions such as closing your email inbox and muting your phone.
You want to show the hiring panel that they have your full attention.
Remember that if you are sharing your screen, anything that pops up will be seen by your interviewer too, so close any browser tabs that aren't needed and mute your email.
10. Use Your Notes to Prompt Your Answers
An underrated advantage of Skype interviews over face-to-face interviews is that you can have your pre-interview preparation notes to hand.
These can work as helpful hints to note any information you want to share or questions to ask.
If you store these to the side out of view of the camera, they can be there to help you manage your answers effectively. Just make sure you keep eye contact and don't rely on them too heavily.
There are many reasons why Skype interviews may be preferable to face-to-face interviews.
Not only can it cut down commuting times to interviews, it can also be far more convenient for hiring panels located in different places.
A Skype interview saves the hassle of setting up a mutually convenient date for all. When used effectively, it can significantly speed up the recruitment processes.
A Skype interview can have more benefits for candidates as you may feel more comfortable in your surroundings.
You can have written notes available as a prompt to help you guide your answers and help you to apply for new jobs across a wider geographical boundary.
However, it's important to remember that a Skype interview has the same importance as a face-to-face interview.
It will help if you put the same preparation in advance as you would a traditional interview while also making sure that you are familiar with the Skype software.
Preparing for How to Succeed in Your Skype Interview
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