12 tips to ace Skype based job interviews

Video chat type job interview is gaining in popularity. In certain cases it has become a modern day substitute for the popular phone-based job interview. Of the various videos chat software available, Skype being free and cross platform is the most widely used for this purpose. Here are carefully selected tips to help you ace the interview. Use these tips in addition to normal job interview tips.

  1. Username – Before the interview can commence, the interviewer will have to search and add your username to his or her contact list. When opening a Skype account, think carefully about your username and avoid names that might reflect poorly on you.
  2. Profile Picture – One of the options when setting up a Skype account is adding a profile photo. This is an optional feature, but should you choose to use it, make sure that the photo is dignified for the occasion and fit for purpose.
  3. Setup and Configuration – If you are new to Skype, it takes a few minutes to download the software and configure it. You should aim to have it setup and working well before the interview starts.
  4. Backup Device – Cross platform software means that you can install it on various devices, from laptops and smartphones and on various platforms, from Apple to Android. You will do well to set it up on at least two devices should you need to switch devices during the interview.
  5. Close Other Programs – The microphone on most video chat applications is sensitive and can pickup background noise including sound that comes from your other applications. For example, email notifications during the interview can be distracting and even annoying. Therefore we suggest that you close all non-essential applications to refrain from such interference.
  6. Use Picture-in-Picture – The picture-in-picture is a build in option in Skype that lets you see yourself as well as the other party. It is recommended that you use this feature, so you are aware how you come across to the other side during the interview.
  7. Suitable Internet Speed – The room that you have selected for the interview must have suitable Internet speed to conduct the interview without the picture freezing or worse, the chat disconnecting. It is recommend choosing a room that has fixed hardwired broadband as opposed to using for example, public 3G or wireless.
  8. Choose The Environment – The interviewer will see well beyond your face. The webcam on most devices is wide enough to capture your desk and even the background. Give this a serious thought before the interview starts. Make sure your immediate area as well as the background area is clean and tidy.
  9. Dress Head to Toe – Don’t think that because the interview is web based and you are seating down you can leave out dressing for the occasion. Make sure you dress head to toe and not just above the waistline. Beyond the possibility of the interviewer getting a glimpse at your full stature, dressing accordingly is thought to help you get into the right state of mind for the interview challenge.
  10. Practice Makes Perfect – If you are concerned about video based job interview, practice before the real deal. Practice with a friend, family member even with an agency recruiter to help work out any kinks.
  11. During The Interview – Make sure that you adjust the webcam so that your eyes are leveled against the camera. Otherwise, the interviewer might only see your forehead. Try to look right at the webcam, as this is the closest you’ll get to make eye contact. Avoid knocking or tapping anything on your desk as this might generate unflattering background noise.
  12. Troubleshooting – As with any piece of technology, kinks can happen when you least expect them. Interviewers often look for candidates that are problem solvers, so here is your chance to shine. If the video chat job interview has hit a snag, chat or email the interviewer telling them that you are working to resolve it. Try and use your alternative backup device. Make sure your Internet connection is working, or try alternative connection if you have one. If all falls, suggest that you complete the interview over the phone. Try not to reschedule as by the time your interview comes up again, interviewer might have interviewed other candidates.

Good luck in your career job search.

Written by the staff at The Carling Partnership Ltd (CPL), a leading search and selection agency offering jobs in the brewing industry. Formed in 2001, CPL is the leading search and selection company working with and for the drinks industry.

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