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Top tips for a successful Skype interview

Businesses are increasingly using technology to save time and money. This ethos is applied to every aspect of a business, including hiring. The number of interviews taking place on video platforms such as Skype, Zoom has increased tenfold over the past few years and given the situation with Coronavirus we are taking more precautions and staying home. Video interviews have now become the standard practice for recruitment. It’s common for people to feel more nervous about it or not make as much effort as they’d so with a face-to-face interview.

Using Skype or zoom to interview potential candidates cuts down the length of the hiring process considerably.

“Often, a prime candidate for a position is flat-out working in their current job and a face-to-face interview can take weeks to organise. A half-hour chat over Skype is a great way to speed up the recruitment process and find out very quickly if the candidate is suitable for the role,” 

If you are applying for jobs, especially in the tech industry, there is a high chance of at least one of your interviews will take place on a video conferencing tool similar to Skype or Zoom. 

Here are some top tips for a successful video interview

  1. Prepare your environment
    • Conducting a job interview on Skype in your living room with a stack of dirty dishes on the coffee table, a poster of Jimi Hendrix peeling off the wall behind you, and Family Guy blaring on the TV, will not put you in good stead for the job.
    • It is important to create an environment that says to the interviewer that you are responsible, organised, and are taking the process seriously. 
    • If you have a home office, tidy up and take the call there. If not, take the call in the nicest room of the house. A clear table and blank wall behind you is essential.
  2. Set up your Skype to look professional
    • Your profile picture should be a professional photo of you, dressed appropriately. A picture of you at the beach in a bikini or riding a motorbike on the highway is inappropriate, regardless of how cool you look. 
    • If you are still clinging onto an old hotmail address with a funky name, we suggest updating your email address to a simple first and last name with a few numbers. could give the impression you are not taking the process seriously. First impressions count, so treat this call as if it were a face-to-face interview.
  3. Don’t let a tech-fail ruin your chances
    • Imagine a perfect job falls through your fingertips because the wifi drops out, or the camera on your computer malfunctions.
    • If possible, connect your computer to the modem via a LAN cable as well as being connected to the wifi. This way, you have a safety net if the wifi drops out or the signal becomes weak.
    • Ensure your camera and microphone work and the quality is high. You want the interview process to run smoothly. If the interviewer has to ask you to repeat yourself over and over again because the sound quality is poor, the overall interview experience will be diminished.
  4.  Treat it like a normal interview
    • Do your research on the company and prepare, just as you would with a standard interview. The interviewer will most likely want to know a bit more about yourself, what you know about the company and why you would like to work there. If you get through to the next stage, you can go through your answers in more detail.
  5. Be aware of your body language
    • A common pitfall of a Skype interview is the participants can forget they are on a video call. If the interviewer asks a tough question or even a stupid question, the danger is you might pull a face, shrug your shoulders or tilt your head in confusion. It is important to be aware the interviewer can see everything you are doing. Try to keep your body language positive and professional.
  6. Have your notes in the interview
    • A huge positive of having a video interview is that you can have your notes in front of you without the interviewer being aware. If you have a valid point you want to make or a question you need to ask, having notes allows you to do a quick skim read if you forget something!
  7. Dress appropriately
    • If the job you are applying for requires employees to wear a suit and tie, or blazer and skirt to work, wear these clothes in the Skype interview. It could be a major turnoff to a prospective employer if you answer the Skype call in a singlet. It sends the message you are not taking the interview seriously.
  8. Follow up after the interview
    • Just because this isn’t a normal face-to-face interview, it is still an extremely important stage of the interviewing process. Therefore, remember to follow up with a thank you email and that you look forward to hearing from them. Following all these top tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful Skype interview and be onto the next stage in no time!

Know your value in the market

Remember to ask questions about the team and show that you are enthusiastic about the process. The next step after the Skype interview may proceed to a face to face which may end up in a job offer if it all goes well. It is now important to know your value in the market, our value my cv tool will give you an edge in providing an indication of what your salary is.

This can act as a negotiating tool or a reference point when you are considering the job offer.