Six tips to master Skype interviews

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Web-based interviews are on the rise, making it more important than ever for candidates to interview comfortably online.

Hiring managers from the world's leading businesses continue to stress how important it is for candidates to perform well during a virtual interview, and share the same key tips to getting it right.

Whilst preparation is key for all job interviews, Skype interviews can require a slightly different approach:

  1. Look the part - Dress the same way as you would for a professional face-to-face interview. This will put you in the right frame of mind, and negate any embarrassment if you need to stand up or move in front of the camera. Dark colours are typically best, so avoid overly white or bright patterned clothing.
  2. Remain engaged - Looking into the camera - rather than your image on the screen - will help you look as engaged as possible. Ensure a good posture and lean forward toward the camera to increase eye contact and allow the interviewer to better read your facial expressions.
  3. Prepare your surroundings - Make sure your interview space is distraction free and reflects a professional setting - blank or neutral backgrounds are best. Before you start, test the angle of your lighting to avoid being shrouded in shadows. Try to find a room that minimises background noise such as traffic, phones ringing or people talking.
  4. Don’t rely on notes - Notes can be particularly handy in a Skype interview, but use them sparingly. Reading notes or sounding too rehearsed will disrupt the natural flow of conversation, making you look under-prepared.
  5. Anticipate technical issues - If you experience a technical glitch such as a weak connection or interference, ask the interviewer to repeat the question. If the problem continues, politely mention it and ask to reconnect to avoid missing any crucial information. Monitoring the speed and tone of your speech will also prepare you for any delays in communication. It’s important to test your equipment well in advance of the interview.
  6. Finish on the right note - As with any face-to-face interview you’ll need to summarise your main points as well as thank the interviewer for his or her time, while confirming any next steps.

Skype interviews are a great way to get candidates in front of clients at short notice, and they are becoming an increasingly common trend in place of first round face-to-face interviews.

Other things to consider;

  • Your username/profile picture – Think about what kind of first impression this will create. Does it position you as a professional?
  • Body language – Adjust your webcam so that the interviewer can see your head and shoulders. If circumstances allow, you should mimic an in-person interview environment by sitting behind a desk.
  • Interruptions – Inform those around you of the interview so you are not disturbed.
  • Documents – Have a printed version of your CV handy as well as any other necessary documentation. Keeping your email account open is also a good idea in case you need to share any documents with your interviewer.
  • Headphones – These are typically clearer and more reliable than speakers. If you use them, make sure they are subtle in appearance so as not to distract the interviewer.

Anticipate what your interviewer will be likely to ask you by downloading our Interview Guide.

Or, find out what you're worth using the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

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