Online communication is part of our daily routine, it doesn’t matter the platform, at some point you will face the situation where you need to connect to Skype to attend an interview or a business meeting, for example. When it comes to the recruitment process about 70% of the companies conduct part of their hiring program using Skype or other online meeting application.
In this article we will cover a couple of tips and checklists to help you to ace a Skype interview. They are also useful for meetings, conference calls, hangouts, and more online situations where you must present yourself in a professionally way.
Seems obvious, but it is extremely important to have an appropriate photo e not that one with your family, hanging out with friends or enjoying your last amazing holidays at the beach.
- Use hi-res, well-lit photo.
- Dress professionally.
- Pick up a proper background for your meeting, usually it helps to use a solid-coloured wall and a light background.
- Never leave your profile photo blank, this applies for all your social and professional profiles.
- Don’t use an icon instead of a photo.
- Don’t use a selfie or group shoot. You can use a selfie since you manage to take it without showing that you are holding the mobile phone. One tip is to use the photo timer and put your mobile in a place that is aligned with your height. Most of the smartphones now came with a couple of selfie options including simulating lights from studio, which helps.
Check Your Tech Gear
There is nothing worse than try to reach someone and get that message about poor connection. A problem like this ruin your prospects, so make sure that you check everything in advance.
- Make sure you have enough bandwidth in case it not you will have time to think about an option.
- Check the latest updates for the software that you will use.
- If it is possible use a wired connection or locate yourself as close as possible of the router.
- Use a hi-res camera and a reliable headset or speaker, that was previously tested.
Prepare Yourself For The Call
It is essential to take some time to prepare yourself for an online job interview or an important meeting. They tend to be even more difficult than the ones in person. In person your body language can help you, through Skype you need to choose carefully every movement and be ready to react quickly according to what the other part is asking you. Frequently this kind of interview is done for more than one person in the opposite line, so you need to be ready to concentrate on everyone.
- Find a clean and quiet venue.
- If it is possible use a simple light-coloured background.
- It helps when you position the light source in front of you. So, you can provide as much as face contact as possible.
- Make a test call one day before to test your equipment.
- Adjust the webcam to frame your face.
- Check your privacy setting to make sure that you can receive calls.
- It is always good to close every program that you don’t need for the interview.
Invest Time in Your Own Preparation
Print a copy of your resume and have it ready in case you need to send or share your screen. Print a separate copy with your highlights, things that you believe are important to mention about yourself and your experience, highlight everything that you can’t forget. By doing that you can avoid that feeling of finishing a call and realise that you had forgotten important topics.
Write down the names and roles of the people who you are talking with, so when you get back to them you can say their names properly and create a good impression. Take note of the questions to make sure that you answer all of them.
Practise answering interview questions on camera, record yourself with your mobile phone, so you can check if you are speaking too fast or too slow. Those interviews rely completely on the internet, that’s why it is good to slow down a little bit to guarantee that your interlocutor is getting as much as possible from you. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat a question in case you didn't catch it, is better than guessing.
Body Language Matters
Even though, your body language will be more difficult to notice during a Skype interview it doesn’t mean that you can forget about it. Body language and tone of voice help convey meaning in addition to the words you say. We listed below a couple of do and don’t to pay attention during your call.
- Dress the part
- Speak clearly and with a positive tone, practise before will help you
- Look at the camera and not the screen
- Nod your head to demonstrate understanding.
- Frown or furrow your brow
- Talk too loudly or softly into the microphone
- Slouch or lean backward
- Position yourself too far or too close to the camera
End in a Positive Way
Last, but not least, you need to end the interview with a good impression. The best way to do it is following the steps below.
The steps and process above will reduce your chances of failure and make you feel comfortable with the situation. The more you prepare yourself more chances you will have to succeed. These tips can seem a little bit obvious, but they apply for every professional online meeting that you might attend.
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*The article above is also based in information provided by Microsoft.
*Free royalty image from Rawpixel.
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