Ace your Skype interviews

Companies and recruiters are always on the lookout for ways to save time and resources, and Skype provides them with a perfect medium. You may not be very happy about a Skype interview or to sit in front of a camera, but if a recruiter sets up one, you will have to oblige.

Ace your Skype interviews

Kulneet Suri

Companies and recruiters are always on the lookout for ways to save time and resources, and Skype provides them with a perfect medium. You may not be very happy about a Skype interview or to sit in front of a camera, but if a recruiter sets up one, you will have to oblige. Hiring officials see the video or telephonic interviews as ways to filter  candidates faster from the hundreds of applications they receive, and you will never make the cut if you show your inefficiency in sitting through one. If you treat a Skype interview as a normal one, then things will just be fine.

However, no one can deny the fact that Skype interviews are different at many levels. There is a computer screen between you and the recruiter, and this almost demands that you take care of a few essentials. To make you an expert and ensure that you ace every one that’s coming your way, here are 5 pointers for you to follow. Take note and prepare well.

1. Get the technicalities right

Not only will you require a fast computer, but you must also have a proper webcam and good headphones. A computer with a decent RAM is a must for your Skype to function properly. This, combined with fast internet, will allow you to go through the interview without any buffer or interruption.

Avoid using your laptop’s camera. The resolution of these is usually not that high and you will want the interviewer to have a clear view of you. Again, a separate headset with a microphone ensures that the background noises are drowned effectively, which otherwise might create distractions for both parties.

3. Take care of the setting

You must be in the proper mental space for an interview and it cannot happen if you are in your jeans underneath the formals. Make sure to:

  • Put on your complete interview attire for the Skype interview.
  • Keep your computer at the right level, as if the interviewer is sitting just across you.
  • Remove all distractions from your background. A bookshelf or plain wall works fine.
  • Turn off sounds from all notifications on your computer or cell phone.
  • Manage the ambient lighting to avoid glare on your screen or on the camera lens.

These small steps will make the recruiter understand that you have really put in an effort for the scheduled interview.

4. Set up mock interviews

This will fine-tune your screen presence. Body language matters in a Skype interviews as well and plays a major factor in your selection just like any standard interview. Ask a friend to call you on Skype and take note of the following:

  • The number of times you are looking away from the camera. Really work on reducing this.
  • Your posture, whether you are sitting upright or seeming too restless.
  • If the friend can tell that you are looking away to refer to your notes. Consider changing the position of the notes in such a case.
  • And, of course, if he/she can see and hear you properly. Even the sounds like “hmm” or “yes” which tend to get drowned.

Work on all the glitches beforehand and you will appear as a pro even before the interview ends.

5. Keep everything handy

For instance, you do not want your interviewer to catch you searching for a notebook or a pen. Keep these next to your writing hand, besides your computer. Similarly, it is obvious that questions will come up from the resume that you had submitted. Unlike telephonic interviews, you cannot constantly look away to your CV during the Skype call. Memorise the important points that you want to highlight or paste a sticky note on the space beside your webcam’s lens.

And if you can’t keep everything on the tabletop, put these in the nearest drawer and excuse yourself before accessing them. 

Keep things professional and you will make the right impression.

Do your best to keep things as perfect as possible. The trick is to appear smart and minimise fumbles in every possible way. Be prepared and you will ace that interview!

The trick is to appear smart and minimise fumbles in every possible way. 

Practice speaking in front of a camera

This is important because:

  • Eye-contact happens when you directly look at the camera and not on your computer screen.
  • Your notes should be at the camera level to avoid looking away frequently from the interviewer.
  • You are allowed to look down on the screen at times but you can really stand out from others if you can maintain a constant eye-contact with the camera. It is advisable that you keep your notes on the screen, right below the camera so that whenever you are looking down for reference, it seems like you are looking at your recruiter’s face. It is a smart tactic to avoid a fumble.

— The writer is Senior Director at Institute of Management Studies (IMS) Noida

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