How to handle Skype interviews

When your surroundings become important

Conducting interviews over Skype or over other forms of video conferencing is very common these days. It’s not just that we have become more global, the technology just makes us more accessible so many employers are now opting for this method at first or second interview stage and indeed on occasions even final, if the interviewer is based in another country.

Many recruitment agencies also use Skype for interviews as it saves on travel and interview time. Video conferencing meetings can be daunting, as they are in most respects very similar to meetings in person, but also come with their own additional considerations. There are many factors that can make them more difficult to manage than a conventional meeting, but they are a key part of working life nowadays and therefore something you need to master.

Here are a few tips to help you make the best of them:

Make sure the tech works

This is absolutely key, and the main reason that remote interviews tend to go awry is technological problems. If the call suddenly shuts down, there are problems with the sound and image or you fail to connect in the first place, this is unlikely to reflect well on you, whether it’s truly your fault or not!

First of all, you should make sure that all parties have agreed on the platform to be used, the time (this can be a problem if you are dealing with different time zones) and that your computer, internet connection and headset are working and reliable. Finally, make sure that your computer is plugged into an active power source and you are not running on batteries – interviews can last a long time and the last thing you want to have to do is cut things short because your machine has run out of juice.

Treat it like any other interview

Just because you are on Skype, it’s tempting to think that the interviewer(s) will only see your top half, and you can conduct the interview in your pyjama bottoms. This is often not the case as you may need to get up, and you should dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. You should also have everything you need to hand and ensure that you act just as formally as you would in a normal interview, and try not to have anything that could count against you (like half-eaten meals or mugs of coffee) in view of the interviewer.

Prepare yourself

As with any other interview, you should take the process seriously and prepare yourself – have a notebook ready and ensure that you have prepared to answer questions that are likely to come up, as well as asking your own once the interviewer is done with theirs.

It’s also wise to remember that, unlike with a standard interview, you are partly responsible for setting up the venue. Make sure that you are in a quiet, private place that is free from distractions – if your flatmate comes into frame and opens the fridge behind you, if someone starts playing loud music or your husband walks across the line of vision stark naked (yes this has happened) this will not look good.

It’s even worth considering what kind of impression your surroundings will make – if you make it look like you live in a pigsty then this will count against you, but if the room behind you is elegantly decorated and tidy this will add to your lustre as a candidate.

For more tips on how to make the best of remote interviews, contact one of our recruitment experts at  Talentmax