How to Nail That Skype Interview and Get the Job
May 17, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
May 17, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
Though we’re stuck at home for much of the foreseeable future, life goes on. Thanks to the internet, many companies are still running, some even hiring. Most companies are now using video calling platforms like Skype or Zoom to conduct their job interviews. Even if you consider yourself a pro at impressing hiring managers, doing job interviews through a screen is a completely different experience that might throw you off completely. Here are some things you can do to make the interview as successful as possible.
If your current username is somewhere along the lines of CutiePatootie69, you’ve got a problem. While the best time to fix that was yesterday, now will have to do. Before your call, make sure to add your interviewer’s contact details on Skype so it’s easier to coordinate when the day of your meeting rolls around.
(If you use Skype or Zoom regularly for personal calls, you might also want to create a separate ID that’s reserved for professional calls.)
Technical difficulties may happen, and sometimes there’s nothing we can do to stop them. But at the very least, you can prepare beforehand to minimize them. For example, you could do a test call with a friend half an hour before your interview to make sure that everything’s working. But if a glitch still happens during your call, don’t lose your cool. Instead, politely apologize for the issue, then look for a solution. If it looks like it’ll take a while for you to fix the problem, ask if you can call the interviewer back once you’ve got everything up and running again.
We all know how important appearances are, so even though you’re at home, make an effort to look presentable. Put on a button-up shirt. Comb you hair. And remember: don’t limit your professional clothing to the upper half of your body. You’ll never know when you have to stand up for something.
Is there anything more dyahe than having your mother barging in to remind you to clean the toilet when you’re on a business call? Totally not speaking from experience here. To prevent a similar faux pas from happening to you, tell your family/housemates about your important business call so that they can stay out of your hair.
And lock your door. Just in case.
Find a quiet space in your home to have the interview. Avoid places where there’s plenty of background noise (e.g. a room next to a busy street). If there are loud noises like construction on the street or a dog barking, it will make the interview painful to listen to, which will do you no favors.
Also, make sure that whatever’s visible in your background isn’t distracting. Straighten up your books, clear the sofa of your unfolded laundry, and make sure all the visible art/posters are appropriate.
You can conduct a job interview without video, but working audio is essential. Be prepared with working earphones or headphones, as they’ll reduce background noise and help you and your interviewer hear each other with more clarity. And of course, make sure to test your audio before the call.
Nobody looks good with a camera that’s pointed up at their face. Looking down at a camera does nothing for your jawline, and even when you’re sitting at a window, this angle makes the light hit you in all the wrong places. To solve this problem, make sure that your webcam is at eye level. You could buy a laptop stand for this, but you can also prop up your computer on something (e.g. a box) to elevate it.
To foster more camaraderie with the interviewer, look at the camera — not the screen — to simulate eye contact. You could look at the screen every now and then, but make sure that you’re focused on the camera.
Do you have other Skype interview tips? Share them in the comments below!
Though a chronic dabbler in whatever tickles her fancy, Cristina claims she can count her passions on one hand: feminism, literature, the environment, embroidery, and the power of a solid pop song. She lives in Uniqlo lounge pants and refuses to leave the house without a winged eye.
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