Video interviews using programs like Skype are becoming increasingly popular among both employers and job seekers. It allows both parties to save valuable time and, aside from occasional technical issues, is pretty easy to learn. While the programs themselves might be user-friendly, conducting a Skype interview can pose some visual challenges, especially for those who are not used to the technology.
Anybody who has used Skype or programs like it will readily admit that the first time using it can be a little awkward. We are used to speaking to people face-to-face, so speaking to someone through a screen can be a little jarring. The first habit you will need to shake is looking at the computer screen rather than the camera. While it feels natural to look directly into the speaker’s eyes, you won’t actually be doing that unless you look into the camera.
Here are five other tips that will improve your Skype or video interview techniques:
- Shut yourself off from distractions: Since you will be at home rather than in the employer’s office, there are likely to be more things that can distract you. Make sure to conduct the interview in a quiet, secluded part of the house where you will not be bothered. If you live with other people, put a sign on your door so that people know not to interrupt you.
- Practice in front of a mirror: The Skype interface contains a small window that shows how you are being seen by the other caller and this can be a little awkward if you have never seen yourself speak. To prepare for this, practice speaking in front of a mirror so you are not caught off guard.
- Choose a clean background: Take down any posters or other distracting items that are on your wall. Even though you are in your home, you still want to come across as professional.
- Dress professionally: Along the same lines, you should still wear the same clothes you would wear if you were going for a face-to-face job interview.
- Prepare for technical issues: Like any technology, video chatting can have some technical hiccups. The quality of the call depends on the quality of your internet connection. Even with the best of connections there can be some choppiness so speak slowly to account for this. If you’ve never conducted a video interview before, practice with a friend so that you can iron out any potential problems and so you are used to the format.