How to nail a Skype interview
Ah, what I would have given to know these little nuggets a couple of months ago… I had to nail a Skype interview to land a staff writer role here at AG, and I’m lucky I survived without this comprehensive guide.
It is of utmost importance that you appear professional. If your Skype profile picture is of you as a child with your head in a giant bucket (I can only imagine I was bobbing for apples), change it before the interview. Adopt a photo that displays a clear image of your face, letting your interviewer and all others you might Skype in the future know that you are indeed a real person, and not a meme.
And while you’re at it, get rid of that CATLIFE1988 username and craft one that is somewhat akin to the heading on your driver’s license.
How comfortable are you in front of a camera?
If you freeze up under pressure, try recording yourself speaking into your webcam and take notes on what works and what looks painfully awkward. If the idea of speaking to a computer with no one on the other end makes you feel weird, try talking through a mock interview with a friend. Practicing like this will help you speak with more confidence when it comes time for the real thing. It’s like using training wheels to learn how to ride a bike, except you don’t need a helmet.
I know it seems odd, but try to make eye contact with the person on the other side of the screen. Looking at the camera might feel unnatural, but after all, this is a real interview, so treat it like one. Do your best to smile and be friendly – it’s easy for your character to shine in person, but via Skype, you might have to kick it up a notch or two to really drive it home.
Log in early, close out of any other pesky applications that might interfere with your interview, and put on some dang pants. Your new contact might catch a glimpse of your pajamas, which would be quite a stale first impression. Oh, and clean the room behind you so that the pile of clothes on your bed doesn’t steal the show, or a stack of papers on your table doesn’t distract. Tidying up only takes a second, and counts for a lot.
This advice goes for any video interview, Skype, Google+, FaceTime or otherwise – the platform matters less than your ability to make a good impression.