With the technology available today, more and more employers are using Skype and other online video platforms to interview potential candidates.
Interviewing successfully via video takes a little more preparation than the traditional in-person or phone interview. Dr. Leila Moore, Vice President of William Spelman Executive Search, offers tips on how to successfully engage in a Skype interview.
SET THE SCENE
It can be tempting to relax a little because you’ll (most likely) be interviewing from your home. But it is important that you treat your Skype interview with the same professionalism you would for an in-person interview.
Dress the part, from head to toe–don’t assume that you will only be seen from the waist up. Look at yourself in the monitor and assess your background. Make sure the area where you will be conducting your interview is clear of clutter and personal items. Pay special attention to your lighting; it is better to have your lighting source be in front of you rather than being lit from behind.
MAKE EYE CONTACT
As is the case with in-person interview, making eye contact during your Skype interview is important. Before the interview begins, take some time to make sure that your camera is positioned correctly. It can be tempting to stare at your own image so make a concerted effort to look at the camera when you are speaking.
TELL STORIES OF SUCCESS
When asked about the successes you’ve had at work, respond with stories of things you’ve learned or seen while on the job. Story telling will not only energize both you and the listener, it will display experience and growth in your career. Before your interview, practice talking about your successes in an enthusiastic way.
BE MINDFUL OF FILLER WORDS
“Um”, “so”, “you know” are all filler words-words we use to fill the space until we think of what we want to say. Ideally, you want to avoid using filler words as much as possible. But understandably, that is easier said than done.
If you find yourself needing a pause before speaking, try closing your mouth. It will give you the same pause that using the word “um” would give. Dr. Moore also suggest lowering the tone of your voice while speaking until you are able to remove filler words completely.
RECOVER YOUR TRAIN OF THOUGHT
Losing your train of thought during an interview is common. Instead of repeating the question or saying, “I’ve lost my train of thought,” try summarizing what you’ve covered so far in response to the question. This will buy you time to remember the thing that you forgot. Or at the very least, it will help you to forget the fact that you’ve lost your train of thought.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Taking the time to practice will help to smooth out the language that you’ll use to explain your ideas. It will cut down on the amount of time it will take to explain your thoughts and ideas and will help reduce the amount of “um’s” and “so’s” you’ll use during the actual interview.
Practicing beforehand will also give you the opportunity to iron out any technological glitches that may pop up. Running through a mock interview with a friend a few days before your interview will help you work out the bugs (i.e. lighting issues, volume adjustments, wardrobe decisions) before the real thing. It will also help you plan for how to handle any glitches that may pop up during the actual interview.
To watch the video of Dr. Moore’s Skype interview tips, click here.