- Always look at the camera, not the screen
- Dress for the interview. It is another stage in the interview process, so do not be in your PJ’s or don’t be in something that’s very casual. Dress as if you are at an in-person interview. It gives a professional presentation but also it uplifts you and it makes you feel good. It is important that you feel good during the Skype interview because your attitude and overall wellbeing comes across and this is another part of the screening process.
- Prepare your surroundings. I have seen videos where there are all sorts of paraphernalia in the background and holes in the wall and books falling off the bookcase, etcetera. Make sure you have a professional background. Find somewhere in your house where you could do a Skype interview with a clean and neat background.
- Practice being perfect. This should not need to be said anymore. You need to practice, practice, practice. The more practice you have using Skype the better you become because it is an art to get in front of one lens over an audience or an in-person audience. It is a totally different feeling, a totally different experience. I can say this having been a public speaker and then coming before one lens. So, practice makes perfect. Show the recordings that you make during the practice stage to friends. Email the videos to them and ask for feedback because you need to practice all of this.
- Close other computer programs. Now if you’re anything like me, you have a number of computer programs open and some of them could beep, some of them could ding, and some of them could open up halfway through the interview and distract you. Close everything else down and just have Skype open. That is the only program that you should have open.
- Use notes and have your resume handy. If during the interview I asked you a question about what you have done or I say, “Tell me a bit more about what happened while you were with ABC company”, at least you have your resume prepared and handy. Also, it is a good idea to make notes regarding questions that you might like to ask at the end of the interview.
- Do not just rely on notes. You need to have a good memory. You need to use your memory and articulate a clear and precise message because this is another form of interview and first impressions count.
- Avoid interruptions. Now many of us have pets. I have one pet that I think is scratching on the door right now, so he is trying to interrupt me. You might have kids. Kids make noise, they wander around the house and they don’t’ necessarily know that anything is going on in the room that you’re in so they may interrupt you. It is a good idea to find a place in the house where you can have peace and quiet and concentrate because this is an especially important part of the overall screening process.
- Keep your Skype profile professional. Do not have a racy name as your Skype address. I saw one just recently, ‘Diamond Girl’. Now what is the impression that is going to give? It certainly does not give an ideal first impression. First impressions count! Have a professional Skype address. Your full name with your middle initial is a good idea. There are various combinations you can have but try to get your full name in there.
- Watch your body language. Do not slouch. Do not just lay back. Be active, be engaged, and excite them at the other end. Try to entice them by using your body language. Use your arms and your hands but do not flail all over the place. Do not block your facial expressions just keep your hands low and try to use your body language to your advantage.
- Get them engaged by asking questions. An interview, whether it is in person or Skype, is a two-way interview. That is the reason why you take notes and then you can use those notes to ask pertinent questions that came up during the Skype interview.
- Follow up. When the interview finishes, ask them when they are going to decide regarding the in-person interviews. If you are a long distance away, such as another part of the country, you might need to make some arrangements to attend. You need to have some idea about when you are going to be called back if you are going to be called back. You only have one chance to make that first impression. I want you to reach your career goals.
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