How to Ace a Skype Interview

In the early stages of an application process you may be invited for a telephone or Skype based interview. For some, this can seem very intimidating as you are conscious of yourself on screen. With these simple hints and tips you can ace this stage of the process and ensure that you are invited through for an in person interview. 

Dress well 
Don’t fall for the smart top only trick- wearing a shirt and pjs pants is not a good idea. You will feel more professional if you dress as if you were going into an interview room- shoes included. Feeling professional will translate into your body language which will in-turn ensure you appear more confident and employable. 

Unplug the phone
If you have a house phone make sure it is unplugged, same goes for the doorbell! Having a loud noise go off while you’re speaking can put you and your interviewer off. Just make sure you plug everything back in when the interview is over!

Put your mobile away
As well as making sure your phone is switched off or on silent ensure it’s not in your eyes view. Trying to conspicuously check your texts during an interview is a big no no. If you wouldn’t do it in an in-person interview also don’t do it on Skype. 

Think about setting
Ordinarily you might Skype your friends from the comfort of your bedroom but this isn’t great for an interview. Make sure you are sat in a proper chair, ideally at a desk with a very neutral background. If the eyes of your interviewer are drawn away from you it may mean you are less memorable. Make sure you are central to the video frame. 

Make sure you test the sound and video quality beforehand and that you know what you are doing. You could even try calling a friend just to check that everything is working properly and ask them to point out if everything looks good. Having issues during the interview will demonstrate that you are not prepared and haven’t thought about any issues such as internet connection ahead of time. 

Tell people about your interview
Whether you live at home or in a share house make sure everyone knows that you have an interview at a certain time. Unexpected loud voices, or worse still, someone barging in mid way through is not what you want. 

Have some water handy
It’s always a good idea to accept water at the beginning of an interview as when you’re nervous your throat tends to dry up. It is the same when on Skype. Additionally, if you get asked a tricky question a sip of water can provide you with the time to think carefully before starting to answer. 

Turn off any notifications on your computer
If you receive any pop-up notifications on your computer make sure they are switched off. Sometimes these pop-ups can interfere with your Skype video, making the video appear smaller on your screen.

It really does seem vital to keep distractions at bay but also remember to enjoy yourself and stay confident. A Skype interview is a great way of gaining interview experience without the stress (and cost) of travelling so make sure you see it as a way to learn. 

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Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

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