Video chat two-way job interviews are on the rise. In a popular survey involving more than 500 human resources managers, 63% reported using video chat regularly to interview candidates. In addition, a significant percentage of HR managers also envisage the trend to grow in the coming years.
In this post we look to offer various tips to tackle a job interview held using Skype, a free app used by 82% of HR managers.
Pay Attention To Your Profile Name – When you sign-up to a free account with Skype, you must pick a profile name. Before the interview commences, the interviewer will search and add your profile name to their contact list. Therefore it makes sense to opt for a profile name suitable for the occasion such as a variation of your name rather than a potentially embracing informal name.
Configuration Backup – Skype is cross platform, meaning it will suit desktops, tablets and smartphones from all the main manufactures. It is a wise move to install and configure the software on two devices to allow you to fall back on a backup device should your main device cease working for any reason.
Right Time and Place – The webcam in most modern devices transmits a wide-angle picture, meaning that your immediate surroundings such as your desk and even the background behind you are visible to the interviewer. Furthermore, candidates often prefer to use the built-in microphone of their preferred device, meaning that presence of background noise must be taken into account. Finally, it is essential that whichever area you have in mind it has stable Internet speed. The area that ticks all right boxes is a meeting room, but most candidates haven’t free access to a meeting room and will therefore choose the home settings instead. When doing so, we recommend that:
- Check the area behind you and if need be stage the right background
- Opt for a time when you are not likely to get interrupted by other household members
Get Familiar With Skype and Take a Mock Interview – If you are new to Skype, the actual interview is not the right time to get familiar with its operation. Ask a friend or family member to explain its working. You my also visit YouTube and search for Skype Tutorials. Once you are comfortable in receiving and conducting a conversion, the next step is to test your device, your speakers and even your nerves by attending a test interview. Again, ask a family member, friend, even an agency recruiter to interview you. This little exercise does wonders to increase your confidence levels.
Dress Appropriately – The same best practices that apply for a face-to-face interview also apply in this case. The fact that the interview is web based does not mean that you should only dress above the belt. You should dress head to toe based on the employer culture (see their site and social channels to learn about corporate culture) and if you are unsure, conservative dress code is a safer option.
Final Preparation – Make sure you are online and ready well ahead of time. Switch off all non-essential software apps so your device does not produce noisy sounds during the interview. If you need any supporting documents, make sure these are available when you need them. The interview isn’t the right time to start searching for a copy of your CV or any other supporting document.
During The Interview – Many of the face-to-face interview tips apply here as well. These include greetings the interviewer, giving friendly expressions, listening and taking in what is said, etc. In addition, you should look straight at the camera to make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and slouching. A top tip is to drag the Skype video window nearer your webcam (on desktop) so you are ‘forced’ to look straight at the camera. You may also decide to unable the picture-in-picture feature so you are aware at all times how you come across.
Good luck in your interview.
Ran Neil is social media editor at The Carling Partnership, an international search company in the drinks and brewery jobs sectors. CPL (The Carling Partnership) works across different sectors from distilling to wine and beer.