It’s no secret that technology is changing the executive search industry. Its globalizing capacity is allowing candidates from all over the world to legitimately contend for local jobs; proximity is beginning to lose its prevailing quality, convenience. One of the biggest contributors to this trend is Skype, which allows audio and video telecommunications between the interviewer and interviewee.
Nobody is arguing that remote interviews are comparable to in-person ones, but the convenience and low cost of platforms such as Skype are an acceptable solution to the problems posed by geographic disparity. More and more companies are turning to Skype to conduct remote interviews, especially for international candidates and preliminary interviews with local ones. Here are some tips to help you ace the Skype interview:
1) Test Your Connection Before the Interview
A low-quality and lagging connection will do little to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job; it will hinder your ability to form a good impression. Test your connection with a friend, or try the Skype test call to make sure everything is running smoothly. Lookout for potential problems such as background noise or distracting visuals. Make sure there are no technical speed bumps that may detract from your interview.
2) Verify Your Username Before Sending it
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by the amount of candidates that send the wrong Skype username (it’s around 25%). Know the difference between your display name and username; send the latter one. An incorrect username not only detracts from valuable interview time via delay, it reflects poorly on the candidate.
3) Make Sure Your Appearance and Background is Appropriate
Skype is preferred to phone calls because it allows the interviewer to gauge the visual characteristics of a candidate. It may feel more casual than an in-person interview, but it is not. Make sure your viewed area is clean, non-polarizing and your appearance is consistent with the job position. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
4) Work on Your Body Language
It is not uncommon for nervous tics to surface in Skype interviews even when they are nonexistent in person; communicating through a microphone and camera can feel unnatural and uncomfortable. Prepare for your interview by practicing in front of a camera and observing your body language. Experts estimate that 90% of cues are given off non-verbally, so it is important to make sure you are exuding the right body language. Make sure the camera is positioned near the screen so you can make eye contact and still see the interviewer.
5) Have a Backup Plan
There are myriad reasons why the Skype interview may fail: the network could crash, your neighbour may decide to noisily mow the lawn outside your window, etc.. Make yourself as adaptable as possible and have a backup plan such as a nearby phone for conversation in case disaster strikes.
Like most things in life, preparation is key.