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12 Tips For Skype Interviews
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12 Tips for Skype Interviews

Although telephone interviews have been used for a long time some employers and recruiters are now choosing to use Skpe interviews. They are a cost effective option especially for international recruitment and they also provide the added bonus of being able to see the candidates. As a candidate it’s important that you prepare as carefully for a Skype interview as you would for any other type of interview and be aware of some of the possible pitfalls.

Before the interview

1. Choose the right location: Choose a room where you can have the interview without being disturbed and make sure that you put a ‘Do Not Disturb – Interview in Progress’ notice on the door. Make sure that you have switched off anything else that could disturb you – eg another computer, landline telephone, mobile phone ...

2. Inform other people: If you live with other people, tell them about your interview and ask them to keep any noise to a minimum.

3. Sit at a desk or table: Don’t sit on a bed or in an arm chair, as this wouldn’t look very professional. Make sure that you have removed anything in the background that could be distracting. Make sure that you have pen and paper and a glass of water.

4. Wear appropriate clothing: Remember this is still an interview and the interviewer will be able to see you (even if it is only your top half!)

5. Check your equipment: Get a friend to Skype you before the interview so that you can check everything is working. Make sure that as well as the sound you pay attention to how you appear on the screen (eg don’t sit too close).

6. Turn off other computer programmes: Close down any other computer programmes that you may have running. You don’t want email or twitter alerts popping up during the interview to distract you.

7. Read through your paperwork: Unlike a phone interview you won’t have the same opportunity to consult your notes during the interview so make sure that you have read through your paperwork again and your prepared interview questions.

8. Check contact details: Make sure that you have the telephone and email details of your interviewer just in case you have to inform them of any technical details.

During the Interview

9. Watch your body language: Remember the interviewer can see you, so be aware of your non-verbal communication and remember to smile and not move around too much or fidget.

10. Listen & speak carefully: Because of the lack of direct contact, it can be difficult to warm to your interviewer so make sure that you use your best listening skills. Be aware of not talking over the interviewer - this doesn’t work well on Skype. Speak confidently and clearly.

11. Monitor the time: Obviously you want to sell yourself – but make sure that you answer all questions concisely and don’t let the time run away with you.

12. Don’t be phased by any technical problems: If there's anything wrong with the connection and you can’t hear the interviewer don’t be afraid to say so. If the connection is lost don’t let it worry you. Just call back and carry on.

Summary The key to successful Skype interviews include being well prepared, minimising distractions, speaking confidently and knowledgeably about your strengths and unique selling points and being sensitive to your non-verbal communication skills. And if there are any technical problems – don’t panic. Be professional and deal with it.

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