I ‘m currently preparing for that all important first ever Skype interview for a freelance role that I applied for about a month ago.
I’m slightly nervous about this because I’ve had lots of face to face interviews over the years and a few telephone interviews, but I have never had a Skype interview before, so I decided to write this blog post on how I’m going to prepare for it.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare for a Skype interview:
Dress to impress
Just because the person on the other end can only see the top half of you, doesn’t mean you can laze around in your favourite pair of tracksuit bottoms or your pyjamas. I plan to dress up, go for a smart casual look, and do my makeup as I would usually do when I go to in-house interviews. I find that if you look good, you will feel more confident when talking to the interviewer. It could be embarrassing if you have to stand up to set up or move your computer so your interviewer can see you on camera, and you are still in your favourite PJ’s, shorts or ripped jeans.
Set up the computer and clear away clutter
There’s nothing more distracting than background clutter when talking to someone. You don’t want your interviewer to get distracted by background mess. If the room that you are planning to have your Skype interview in is a mess, make sure that you tidy up. If there are lots of candidates being interviewed it could come down to something as minimal as being untidy. This might give the impression that you work in a chaotic space and that you aren’t a tidy and organised person when it comes down to doing the job you have applied for.
Make sure you are sitting in silence
Find a quiet room with no interruptions. If you have children in the house make, sure that someone is keeping an eye on them and if you live in a shared house, ask your housemates or family to make sure that you are not interrupted between the times of the call. There’s nothing worse than having to shout at the kids in the background or shouting at the interviewer , over the television, radio or a barking dog because you can’t hear them. This could be suicidal in terms of taking your application further. Switch off the television and music and make sure that your mobile is turned off or on silent.I will be keeping my mobile phone nearby and on silent just in case I get cut off.
Make sure you are prepared for getting cut off. With technology anything can happen, the electric could go off at either end or your laptop battery could go dead in the middle of that important Skype call. By keeping your mobile phone near the computer you can always call, the interviewer back by phone if anything should go wrong and they can call you back if they lose connection.
Charge the laptop battery
Have you ever been in the middle of an important call or document and suddenly your computer cuts out and the battery goes dead? I have and it’s annoying, so I’m going to make sure that this doesn’t happen and that my laptop is charged up and ready to roll.
Make sure that your Skype works
Check that your Skype account is working properly. Ask a friend or family member to Skype you before the big day. This will iron out any issues that you may have on the day. The last thing you need is to get a phone call or an email from the interviewer telling you that your Skype ID is wrong or isn’t working. This will just get you into a fluster and might annoy a busy potential employer, especially if they are short on time.
Prepare as normal and research the companies’ website and social media outlets
After setting up your machine, it’s easy to forget to do your homework .If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. DON’T FORGET to read or re-read the job description. Make sure that you understand the job role and what is required. If you are unsure, ask and ALWAYS prepare questions to ask at the end of each interview. I usually aim for around five questions.
If you need any further advice on preparing for interviews visit Prospects.