By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer and Founder, ResumeOrbit.com. The 1 question a jobseeker in today’s market needs to answer is: am I willing to embrace new ways of doing things? The Skype interview, which is increasingly being used by employers as a way to identify high-potential candidates prior to a face-to-face interview, is a perfect example of this.
“But I’ve never used Skype before! Can’t I just request a phone interview?”
Short answer: nope! Even in the unlikely event that an employer is willing to make a concession at this stage, you will still pay a price by either a) coming across as scared of technology, b) inflexible, or c) all of the above.
Here are some expert tips that will help you feel comfortable and in control during a Skype interview:
–Home is the best choice for Skype interviews. Never conduct it in a public place. Take it from personal experience: it’s very hard to present your best self when worried about a bad internet connection or the incessant chatter coming from the Starbucks table next to you.
–Do a test video call to make sure your camera and microphone are functioning correctly. Call up a friend and run through a few mock questions. Adjust the lighting in the room to avoid shadows. Remove visual distractions like that awesome framed Star Wars poster you have on the back wall.
–Silence your phone and other devices immediately prior to the call.
–Eye contact is all-important. Practice answering questions while looking straight into the camera. It’s weird, I know, but does wonders in terms of making a connection with the person on the other end. It helps to set your camera up at eye level.
–Provide your Skype account name when confirming the interview. This shows that you’re familiar with the technology. Ask whether they’ll be initiating the call or you will.
–Prepare just like you would for a traditional interview. Research the company, the industry and the person who’ll be interviewing you (Glassdoor.com is great for company research, LinkedIn is a natural spot to research your interviewer and potentially find a piece of information which can be used to break the ice).
–USE YOUR RESUME AS A CHEAT SHEET! During a lull in the conversation, it’s easy to glance at the resume and pick out a particular accomplishment or position that merits elaboration. Communicating fit and passion for the role lands jobs; use this as the focus of your efforts.
–Don’t freak out if you have a dropped connection. The interviewer is probably also aware of what’s happened. Wait a minute or two for them to try and reconnect. If nothing happens, try starting a new video call from your end.
–Say thank you at the end of the call! A little gratitude goes a long way. And be sure to send your interviewer a quick follow-up note (email or snail mail) within 48 hours of the call restating your desire to work for the company and highlighting your excellent fit for the position.