In order to save money on travel expenses and associated interviewing costs, many companies are taking advantage of the virtual power of Skype. Skype allows HR personnel and hiring managers to “meet” you and see how you present yourself in relation to appearance and interpersonal communication skills.
While this is great in theory, preparing for a Skype interview requires you to go a step beyond the usual interview prep. Skype presents some challenges that should be addressed to allow you to make the best impression you can.
Here are some suggestions to help make your Skype interview a positive experience:
- If you don’t already have Skype downloaded on your computer, the first thing you need to do is go the Skype website and do this. Make sure you have everything configured properly in terms of camera position and sound volume. You want a few buttons of your shirt to show and your entire head should be visible. Conduct a test beforehand with a good friend, a family member, or a colleague.
- Positioning the camera so that items in the background are neat and professional looking is a smart idea. While interviewers realize that they are “meeting” you in your home, having a distracting picture or sloppy bookshelf in the background can bring unwanted attention.
- Lighting is another critical issue you should test before your interview. Bright light coming from a nearby window or a poorly positioned lamp can lead to unnecessary glare. Place lights in a position that illuminates your face without shadows. The lighting should be as flattering as possible.
- Avoid wearing clothing that has distracting patterns. Additionally, whites will detract from your appearance. Instead, opt for darker colors with a sleek, professional look. While you can wear bunny slippers if you like, be sure to dress to impress from the waist up.
- Practice making eye contact with the camera. Don’t focus your glance at the image of the person on the screen. This will make it appear as though you are looking down. One trick is to tape a photo of somebody next to the web-cam lens.
- Prior to the interview, be sure to take precautions to eliminate all potential noise. Barking dogs, ringing telephones, and other noises can be distracting.
Skype presents its share of challenges, but it can also be your ticket to the next and final interview phase. By carefully preparing, you can be one step ahead of the competition and make an impression that will get results.