Many companies, especially in the IT industry, are using Skype interviews for preliminary assessments of candidates. It’s a job interview like any other, with a few added technical and environmental concerns. With some preparation and practice, you’ll ace your Skype interview and make a great first impression.
Prepare your tech
Make sure you have downloaded, installed, and tested Skype on at least two platforms far in advance of the interview. It’s best to use a PC or laptop as your primary platform, but you should also prepare to have a backup in place, either a second laptop or a smart phone. With luck, you won’t need it, but it makes you look resourceful if you can recover in seconds rather than having to reschedule. Also, have your camera properly aimed, and make sure your mic works well. Practice calling a friend or two to work out the logistics and identify any problems.
Prepare your site
Ensure that the room you use is tidy and interview-ready. Test the lighting to eliminate glare or shadows. Arrange playdates for the kids, and ensure pet interruptions won’t happen. Turn off phones, beeping appliances, and put out a note asking people not to ring your doorbell.
Rehearse your interview with a friend, it will help you find the flaws in your tech and your site, as well as help you feel more prepared. Practice looking at the camera, not the monitor, so your interviewer has your gaze. Ask your friend to rate your volume, sound clarity, the lighting, and help you find any other potential flaws in your set-up.
Dress for success
On the day of the interview, wear a suit or other proper interview attire. Dress head-to-toe. Please don’t make the mistake of only wearing the top of the suit: Despite the camera angle, you never know when you’ll have to stand up and move off-camera to fetch a resource or resolve a disturbance.
Have your materials ready
Have any materials you’d bring to an in-person job interview at hand for the Skype interview: Your resume, the job description, your questions about the job or company, etc.
As with any interview, remember to follow up with a handwritten thank you note. You can choose to send an email as well, but be sure to send the traditional letter. A high-tech interview is not more casual, just more modern!