I've yet to see anyone look good on Skype and I find that the quality of the call can detract from the process, so you'll need to do everything you can to get the best out of the experience.
- Treat a Skype interview like a real face-to-face interview. This is not the same as talking with your pals. It's a formal interview... your opportunity to make an impression and to shine. Dress the part - top to toe. Although the interviewer will only see your head and shoulders, dressing the part will put you in the right mindset and will come across in your demeanour. As with any interview, your hair, teeth, fingernails, etc should all be squeaky clean.
- Ensure that the space behind you is clutter free and there is no background noise. Ideally the space behind you should be a blank wall with no distractions. You should be in a quiet room totally free of noise and distractions. That includes family, friends, children, pets, radio, TV and street noise. Close the windows and doors. Turn off all other programmes on your laptop or computer and make sure you turn off mobile phones too. You don't want any distractions. The interviewer should only be able to hear YOU - nothing else.
- Make sure you've done your homework and researched the vacancy and the company. Have a short list of questions ready to ask at the end of the interview, but don't ask questions if the subject has already been covered. At this stage the questions should be about the role and the company - not about pay and benefits.
- Re-read the job specification, your CV and your prepared questions before the interview commences, so it's all fresh in your mind. Be prepared to answer questions about how you've handled a specific situation or how you would approach a problem.
- Be ready about 10 minutes early. Use the loo, make a drink (room temperature water is best), have paper and pencil ready, and keep the job specification, your CV and questions to hand.
- The webcam and computer screen should be level with your face so you are not looking up or down at an angle. There needs to be sufficient light so the interviewer can see you clearly. You'll need to remember to look directly at the webcam itself during the interview - not at the screen. Stay focussed and make "eye contact" with the camera.
- Don't fidget during the interview. No scratching your head, clicking pens, squeezing stress balls, bouncing or swivelling on your chair. Be natural but not too casual.
- Answer the call professionally. When the Skype call comes through, take a deep breath, smile and answer the call professionally. Stay positive and focussed and "engage" with the interviewer. Listen carefully to the questions. Answer comprehensively but keep your responses relevant... don't ramble off subject or give too much information. Stick to the question.
- End the call courteously. At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time and for the opportunity. It's ok to ask when you might expect to hear back from them. Make sure you've definitely disconnected the call before you utter another word.
We offer interview skills training at Compelling CVS, so if you'd like a mock interview or a little more advice, please get in touch or click here to find out a little more about our Interview Skills Training Service.