The interview landscape has changed. In an era of new technology it is no surprise that there are now interviews over the internet. Whether you’re interviewing at a new startup, internship or college admission, conducting an interview over the platform has many perks to it for all parties. While some of you may be skeptical about its effectiveness, it is surely something that is becoming much more popular than the traditional interview. This interview style is convenient, but it also tests how good you are with technology.
If you can’t setup Skype, how are you going to handle company technology? You have to adapt. As a professional resume writing service, I have to adapt to changing trends and needs of my clients to ensure their success. You can’t be so rigid in how you are comfortable interviewing. If you’ve never had an online interview, you’re going to have to start from the ground up.
The Set Up
The most important tip is the setup of your equipment. While you may not be meeting up with your future employer in person, it is still important to make that good first impression. Since this is over the internet or web-cam, you need to make sure the camera being used is centered, and that the upper part of your chest is visible. The last thing you want is the top of your head to be the end of the frame, so leaving some space above your head is works well.
One of the most crucial things in any interview whether it is in person or over Skype is being able to be heard clearly. Since it is a video chat service it is not always certain that the sound will come through. A good way to test that you can be heard clearly is video chatting with friends beforehand. This will also give you the opportunity to hear how people sound in different backgrounds which is good for testing the sound on the other end. If you have a headset, use it! Getting a headset will eliminate low computer microphones.
Don’t forget the lighting. The room of choice and the amount of windows can determine how you appear to the interviewer. You don't want any background glare and you want to appear as natural looking as possible. Test out what works and what doesn’t. Depending on the time of day of the interview, you’re going to have to make some adjustments as needed.
The background setting is something that is also highly important. Your bedroom may be the most comfortable spot in your house, but in a professional setting, no one wants to see your bed or personal in the background. This is not a casual chat. Clear your background of any personal items if you can. Having a background that is the least distracting will provide for a better interview.
With Skype you’re able to share a file. If for any reason the interviewer doesn’t have your resume handy, offer to send it. There is nothing more impressive on any type of interview than preparation. Also, you can take the time to prepare Q & A and have your journal notes handy. Don’t look down a lot while trying to read. Tape notes to the wall next to the computer or on the side of the computer away from the camera. Make sure you know where things are, so you’re not fumbling or looking all around for things.
Continue your preparation by rehearsing. It will help you to be mindful of where you are looking and how you appear to the person or people conducting the interview. Instead of looking at the screen or monitor, try to practice looking at the camera instead. It’s the online version of eye contact. Continue to video chat with friends drilling questions and allowing you to be comfortable on camera if you are not.
Anything that can distract you or the person giving the interview should be removed from the environment, so that the sole focus is you and your skills. If you have pets or children it is best to try to find someone who can watch them while you are having your interview. Turn off machines, alarms, and close all windows to prevent loud neighbors or traffic.
Even though it is a luxury to be at home while having an interview, you still want to dress the part. Wearing the same clothes you would wear to a face-to-face interview is important. It shows that you can be professional in any setting and it will help you feel that you are actually at an interview in person.
Going full out is recommended because wearing the proper clothes on top and wearing pajama shorts on the bottom can cause you to lose that professional feeling and slip into causality. If you need to stand up for some reason, you’re in trouble.
It is easier to lose your focus when you aren't meeting in person, so be mindful of subtle signals that you are communicating. If you are done all of the above steps, there should be no home distractions. They can only see you from the chest up, however, constant fidgeting in your chair, tapping, or bad posture can communicate you’re not taking the interview seriously. You can actively listen without saying a word.
Yes, a Skype interview can be nerve racking, but taking these steps and preparations will set you up for success and help you ace that interview.
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