How to breeze through your Skype interview

Practice makes perfect. This applies to learning to do anything well including doing a Skype interview with confidence.

At Limitless Consulting, we recruit people from all over the world for clients who are also in various locations globally and therefore the first round of interviews are usually done via Skype to save cost and time. Therefore, knowing how to present yourself online is important and I often give tips to our candidates to make sure they ace their video interview. So, yes, practice does make perfect and there is nothing wrong with recording yourself to see how you come across to other people online as what they see is probably different to how you think you look.

So in addition to practicing, how else can job seekers prepare for an online interview? Here are some tips to help you through.

1. Get Rid of Distractions

Make sure you are the only person in the room. Even if you are 31yrs old and still living with your parents, the person who you are interviewing with doesn't need to know that. If you have kids then organise the interview for a time when someone can look after them. Likewise, with pets, make sure they are not in close vicinty. I interviewed someone in New York recently and she took the Skype call in the living room, which I can only presume had wooden floors, as all I could hear was her dog trying to run and clawing away trying to get grip as well as yapping away in the background. Not a good first impression!

2. Make Sure The Lighting Is Correct

Lighting is crucial. Make sure, if a window is behind you, that the blind is drawn so that the person interviewing can actually see you. If you have a desk lamp, turn it on, but not straight on to your face like you are being interrogated. Just make sure the lighting is enough that the inteviewer can see you and that you aren't squinting.

3. Look Into The Camera

When interviewing online, do not fixate with yourself on the computer screen. This will give the impression of not making eye contact. When the interview starts, take a moment to make sure you look fine on the screen and then focus on looking into the camera.

4. Dress For Success

Please make sure that you are dressed appropriately for an interview. So wear the complete suit or smart outfit and do not just wear the top half of them! Wardrobe malfunctions can happen, for example you could forget that you are only half dressed for the interview and then need to get up for something and you can get caught short, literally!

5. Plug In Securely

Make sure your laptop (if you are using one) is plugged in to the wall as you don't want the battery dying mid call. If you are doing a video interview on your phone or tablet, make sure they are fully charged. This may sound like simple and obvious advice, but it is surprising how often it happens.

6. Slow It Down

It can be all too easy to talk over someone on a Skype call so wait for the interviewer to stop talking before you answer. This also gives you a few seconds to think about what you want to say before you speak.

7. Lean In

Sit forward and lean toward the camera so you become a talking head, just like on TV. This is the best way for employers to read your facial expressions, which can add a great deal of meaning to your words.

8. Be Enthusiastic

Skype interviews can seem to dampen your personality so make an effort to smile and act like your pleasant self as much as possible.

9. Dress Dark With A Touch Of Color

As with any on-camera scenarios, don't wear stripes or tight woven patterns because they'll come across like strobe lights to your interviewer. It's best to wear a darker color with a contrasting tie and for ladies a coloured shirt/blouse under a suit jacket, to bring a little color to the image.

10. Get A Handle On It

Whether it's Skype, an instant-messaging client, or another video-conferencing app, you likely have a user name or "handle" that you sign in with. Make sure it's not something like boozelover2014 or partyanimal69 and also make sure your online status is suitable and not what I recently saw which I cannot share on here! As with your email account, choose something professional -- if you can't use just your name because it's already taken, try your name combined with your industry (jdoe_aviation, for instance).

I hope these basic tips have been useful and if you are prepared for your video interview then chances are you'll get through to the next round with no problems!

Thank you for reading.

Richard Khan Jr.
Managing Director
Limitless Consulting (UK) Ltd.
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