Skype Interviews

Any kind of remote interview contains inherent problems, and they’re never as good as face-to-face interviews, but if it’s the only way to do it then make sure that you’re well prepared. It’s unlikely that your interviewer is going to spring an unscheduled call on you so you’re going to know the time of your interview beforehand. Apparently this isn’t enough for some candidates though. The number of Skype or Google Hangouts interviews where the candidate is not logged on, or has their speaker settings all wrong, is depressingly high. Those first precious minutes while you are scrambling to make yourself heard will give the interviewer a bad impression.

While you might not be able to account for some technical problems you can still do as much as possible to ensure that, from your side at least, everything is ready. Make sure that you perform a dry run using whatever program has been specified by the employer. Conduct a short call with a friend to make sure that you can be heard clearly and that they can hear you, and if your interview will include video then consider your appearance and your backdrop. You might be hundreds of kilometers away but dress yourself in the same way that you would for a face-to-face interview, and sit in front of a nice clear background – you might love The Happy Mondays but a tatty poster of Shaun Ryder looking over your shoulder during the interview may not present you as the most professional of applicants.

There is actually one great benefit of having a video call – you only have to dress from the waist up! (no, just joking of course, you’d never forgive yourself if for some reason you had to stand up half way through and reveal that you are wearing just your ‘lucky underwear’). The real benefit is that you have the chance to record your dry run and play it back to see what you look like. Okay, you won’t be able to prepare for the exact questions, but you can at least make sure that you look and sound presentable and this should in turn make you more confident during the real call.

Lastly, have a backup in place in case your video call simply won’t connect. Make sure that you at least have a contact number for the person who will be interviewing you and if the video call isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to phone them to try and arrange an alternative.