Nowadays, it is increasingly common for companies to use Skype Interviews in their recruitment process – especially if they are looking for candidates from all over the world. This allows them to hire the best talent based on skills and abilities, not just location!
Therefore, if you live in a different country and you are willing to relocate for your internship, you might have Skype interviews! Even though that means you can stay at home for the interview, preparation is still essential. As in all interviews, this will be the first live impression your potential future company will have of you. Your appearance and performance will significantly influence if you get the internship of your dreams or not! However, since the interview is via Skype, some additional factors have to be considered. Additionally, to being prepared for the actual interview, you also have to make sure that no difficulties occur during the call. Don’t panic though – we have some top tips for you that will help you master your Skype Interview.
Here are 10 top tips to prepare for a successful interview:
1. Check the Equipment
Before having the interviews, it is important that you check if everything works properly. So, test the microphone, the camera and make sure you have a good internet connection. This might seem basic but is essential for the interview. Position yourself so you’re at the centre of the framing (not cutting off the top of your head or your chin, not too much on the left or the right). Make sure you are well visible, so check the lights. If it’s too dark, consider turning on a desk lamp over your laptop, or sit facing a window.
2. Check your Skype Name and Picture
The first thing your interviewer will see of you is your Skype profile. Think about the impression your Skype name will give the interviewer and make sure it’s professional. Anything that is difficult to read (like C4XY6) or appear immature (like Bunny16), might be worth avoiding. Don’t be afraid to be boring, use just your name! Also, think about your profile picture. It doesn’t have to be as professional as a CV photo but remember that is one of your first impressions.
3. Prepare the Surroundings
Make sure you are in a quiet place where no distraction can occur. Inform your relatives or flatmates that you will have an interview, so they won’t interrupt during that time. If you have any dogs or cats that could bark or jump on your computer, it is probably better to lock them out of the room or find them another nice place to stay for the interview time.
Sit in a comfortable place with your laptop and check the background. This is what the interviewer will see, so assure it is not a distraction. If you are at home, tidy up your room, watch out for too many colourful posters on the wall…)
4. Close Non-relevant Programs & Applications
Getting Facebook notifications during your interview can be distracting. If notifications are accompanied by a noise that can seem unprofessional. To avoid embarrassing situations, close all not relevant windows on your computer. This way you can completely focus on the interview and make a favourable impression.
5. Wear Professional Clothes
Just because it is a Skype interview and you probably do it from home, it doesn’t mean that you can do that in your pyjamas! View the Skype interview as a real professional interview and prepare like you would for a face to face meeting. An idea would be to think about what kind of clothes you will need to wear in the case you get the job and then wear them for the interview. If you will be working in an office environment, you will have to wear smart clothes such as blouses, shirts, trousers or skirts. Do your best to look smart, professional and well groomed!
6. Look at the Camera not at the Screen, and Smile
It can be hard to avoid looking at yourself on the screen, of course you want to know how you look! However, it will make a better impression if you look at the camera which equals to make an eye contact. In addition, remember to Smile! This is something that comes naturally when you meet someone in person. But even behind a screen, it helps in creating a friendly atmosphere and in making a great first impression!
7. Have Some Notes Ready
Re-read the job description attentively just before having the interview! Research the company’s website to the finest detail to understand what this company is all about. This will help you to be prepared relaxed and confident in the interview.
Prepare a list of questions you have for the recruiter and keep them with you during the interview. If they are still open in the end, ask them. Asking questions shows you are interested.
Don’t forget to open on the screen your CV, Cover Letter and the job description of the role you applied for, it will be very helpful to keep an eye on them while answering questions.
8. Rehearse Before the Interview
If you really want to convince the interviewer, make sure that you remain calm, likeable and professional during the chat. You can use the mirror or your webcam to practice what you want to say in advance. Think about the most important and frequently questions recruiters ask and prepare the answers. You might want to ask a friend to help you with this and have a test interview!
9. Check out your Body Language and Tone of Voice
The amazing thing about Skype interviews is that you can have a face to face conversation without being in the same room. Be aware that even though you are at home, you are in an interview and adjust your body language and tone of voice accordingly. Avoid slouching, moving too much or touching your face. Instead try to make good eye contact, smile, listen and take an interest in what the recruiter is saying. Just like you would in a normal interview!
10. Handle any Technical Problems with Elegance
Things can go wrong, especially on Skype. Even though you might have checked your camera and microphone, your Wi-Fi signal might not be reliable. Your interviewer understands that. If something happens, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot. Don’t be afraid to ask to hang up the call and try again if your Skype is freezing up. It shows just how well you handle a stressful situation.
These 10 steps will help you to be more confident and prepared for the interview, but remember, the most important thing is to be yourself! If you really want the internship, you can convince them!