Are you ready for your next Skype interview? These days, interviews conducted over video conferencing technology are just as common as phone or in-person interviews. You may be interviewing for a job a few towns away, or even across the country, or the interviewer is out of town. Either way, it not only saves travel expenses, but it just makes more sense to conduct an interview over the computer.
While you may think you're fully prepared for your next Skype interview, don't forget that there are certain nuances that come with this type of interview that you may not experience otherwise with regular interviews. With that said, here are 5 things to keep in mind before you walk (or log) into your next Skype interview.
It's still a full-blown interview. While it may seem more casual, a Skype interview may not be the same as a phone interview (which sometimes are more preliminary than anything). If you're anticipating a Skype interview, make sure you know what you're in store for and have the same mentality going into it as if it were a full-blown regular interview at the physical firm location. In other words, you should take it just as seriously as a standard, legitimate interview.
Dress appropriately. Many like to take the lazy route and look appropriate on top while wearing PJ pants or scrubby pants as their bottoms. Don't risk it. You already are saving time and money by being within the confines of your own home or somewhere more convenient, so you should put your all into still looking the part. Besides, you don't want to run the risk of accidentally needing to stand up and have the interviewing attorney catch a glimpse of your Elmo boxer briefs, right? ... Right.
Plan your surroundings carefully. While your room or home may be an obvious choice to conduct a Skype interview, think this one through carefully. Make sure that you pick a location that doesn't raise any eyebrows (Questionable posters? An especially messy room? These are all telling.), one with good lighting, and a fairly basic and conservative enough background. Also, remember noise and other interruptions. Is your roommate going to be drunkenly crooning Britney Spears from the shower in the next room, or will any pets unexpectedly burst in? These are all crucial considerations you should be making.
Practice, practice, practice. You may not be comfortable or familiar enough with a video conference-style interview to go into it blindly for the first time. It may be jarring to see your own face on the screen as you're in the interview. With that said, make sure you do a couple practice runs first. In front of the mirror, or even with yourself on your webcam, just so you're familiar with what you look like to yourself and to the prospective interviewer. Practice making eye contact, smiling often, and avoiding too many hand gestures.
Close out everything else. Make sure that when your interview begins that Skype or the video conferencing software or program is the only thing running. You don't want to run the risk of getting several Facebook notifications, requests from other people to chat, or pop-up ads that can easily pull you away from an otherwise smooth interview.
Lastly, don't forget, avoid any "can you hear me now?" situations altogether by ensuring that your computer is up to date and running smoothly. Any technical interruptions would not only be frustrating, but unprofessional. If there was ever a time to call upon your most tech-savvy friend for that favor he or she owes you, this is it.
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