More companies and executive recruiters are conducting job interviews via telephone and Skype these days. This can be much more cost effective and convenient, particularly if the candidate lives in a different location.
The benefit of Skype over the telephone is that it allows for video conferencing, so a hiring manager or recruiter can observe you as you respond to questions – your mannerisms, gestures, facial expressions, and other body language.
Skype is widely used in the executive search world, making it crucial for everybody, especially senior executives, to have a Skype account. As you first create your account, choose a professional Skype name and display name – these are just as important as your email address and the personal brand you are promoting. Then be sure your Skype name is included with the contact details on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Tip: It’s not possible to change your Skype name, but you can create a new account and delete the old one.
Simply having a Skype account isn’t enough, though, if you don’t know how to use it. Spend some time on the Skype support page, and schedule a few practice calls before your interview.
Skype interview techniques for executives
Dress as you would for an in-person interview, for men this means a suit, shirt and tie; for women a dress, blouse and skirt or a pantsuit. First impressions count and this is your first impression.
In your practice calls, check where you should position your chair and screen in order to give the most flattering view. Pay attention to what is behind you, because this could be distracting to the other caller(s).
For more tips about video conferencing, including lighting and other equipment, see: How to Create the Best Video Chat Experience.
Telephone interview techniques for executives
While it will be tempting to stay casual, dress for a telephone interview exactly as you would if you were meeting in person. This will do wonders for your mindset, and will help you come across more professionally.
Act as if the other person can actually see you. For example, don’t slouch in your seat. In fact, I recommend you stand up and move around. Use your normal mannerisms like gesturing or pointing, and keep the natural inflections in your voice. You want your hands and voice to articulate the same message and express your personality.
Just like with Skype video calls, give yourself a few practice runs over the phone with a friend, family member, or colleague.
Job interviews by telephone or Skype open up a world of possibilities for your next executive placement. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these settings to shine in the best light. Practice, practice, practice!