Saturday, 2 June 2012

Skype Interviewing - Like a Boss


How has everyone's week been? Lots of study? Lots of down? Lots of up? Bit of this, bit of that? If you're looking for a good read over the weekend check out my post (it appears one-off) Impact Brands Friday. It might stay one-off for a while (hehe). Anyways time to jump straight into it! 

This week a few friends undertook Skype interviews. These days it is common practice for companies to afford these to interstate applicants. Though not as personable as a face to face interview, there are instances where they are undertaken if the company does not want to fly you down or you do not want to fly down at your own expense.

Either all its a good experience to have under your belt! I was fortunate enough to help out my mates set the whole thing up and am happy to pass on some advice as to how to optimise your experience in a Skype/Videocall interview. It will be just like you're in the same room as your interviewer! I have split it up into two parts, 'pre-interview' and 'during interview'.


This is all the prep work before your scheduled time. This is a MUST. 

1. Internet connection 
Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. If you are using a laptop connect your cable instead of going the wireless. Wireless is not as stable as your direct port cable and you don't want to have any drop outs which will wreck the flow of your interview! 

2. Hardware check
Make sure your webcam is working and in the event of, have a secondary source ready such as a laptop. Use the Skype test function which engages your working mic and camera. 

3. Environment
Generally you want to conduct your Skype interview on private premises. At home. No distractions, no noise. Just like an interview room.

4. Camera Angle
Now my friends and I did a lot of testing on our laptops and desktops to find the optimal angle. We were using the laptop webcam as well as the classic Logitech (clip on the top of your screen) webcam. No matter how you position that clippy webcam you can never look at the screen and look at the camera directly (more on this later). You want the camera to face a neutral background, so if you can, move your monitor into position. We found the laptop worked best for mobility issues. 

Whether you go for more face or more body, we decided to go for 1/2 - 3/4s down the tie. It's a great ratio as interviewers can see your hand movements when you are emphasising your point.   

5. Skype Profile
My friends added the company's recruitment profile as a friend. MAKE SURE YOUR PROFILE IS CLEAN. What I mean by that is that you have no tacky picture and that you have removed any 'joke' profile details (You don't want your gender to be Female when you are most certainly a Male - or maybe you do? Shows creativity).  

Also ensure your Skype profile name has some resemblance to yours. This makes it easier for your interviewers to identify you when your time comes. If it's one you made when you thought DragonBall Z was the bees knees then its time to make a new account. 

6. Attire
Business attire. Dress like you would any face to face interview. Wear that suit around your home like a boss. Use the situation as an icebreaker (lol). 

During Interview

You just never know. Seriously. I know its tempting. You may never know when you need to get up for an emergency and you show off too much of your 'personal assets'. That's not the behaviours your interviewers have questions for (what behaviour is that?). And it gets cold. Really not all its hyped up to be. If you must go for the novelty of it, wear trackies. 

2. Eye Contact!
This is the important factor. Now what separates Skype interviews is that there is a constant trade off. Firstly you can look at your interviewers and see how they are responding to your answers so you know you are on the right track. Or you stare down the lens of your webcam as you respond (this is just like making eye contact). What you need to do is go for the direct eye contact and in between S. T. A. R stages of your answer (you know what I mean) keep on referring to see how your interviewers are reacting. But staring at that camera is paramount. That camera is a person. So treat it like one. 

In many instances when you do look down at your interviewers you lose that connection and your eyes do move away from the camera (it is actually by quite a bit, do it yourself sometime).

I recommend 80% (camera eye contact), 20% (interviewer on screen contact) but definitely tailor it to your individual situation!

3. Speak Clearly 
Usually mics have great pick up but make sure you measure your speech so you aren't mumbling but clearly ARTICULATING. Also don't be afraid to ask your interviewers to repeat the question if you aren't picking them up that well (they will totally understand!) 


All I can say guys is, enjoy the experience! It's a great thing to have done and if you encounter any technical issues, simply re-initiate the call.

If there are constant technical issues the interviewers usually offer to conduct the rest of the interview over telephone. However, if you can, stick with the video aspect. It really aids in making the experience as close to a face to face as possible. 

With that said, good luck in your future endeavours and chat soon. Also don't to forget SHARE THE LOVE if this could help someone!

Always Remember,

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