A Skype job interview can be a roaring success or a disappointing disaster if you aren't well prepared. Save yourself the embarrassment by covering all your bases:
Put Your Pants On. You never know when you may have to stand or leave your chair, so dress the part from head to toe. You certainly don't want your client or interviewer to see you in your pj's. Dress for success and be prepared for any unexpected bumps along the way.
Location and Background Matter. Take down the beer posters, Victoria's Secret pin ups, or anything that will give the wrong impression. Make sure the room is well lit, and that you are sitting in an area where you have lots of natural light. Conduct your Skype interview in a quiet place where you won't be interrupted by flushing toilets, barking dogs or screaming kids.
Do a Run Through. Have a practice interview and ask your friend to be brutally honest with you. Do you have shadows, triple chins, are you stammering, and do you know your stuff? You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Take a Look at Your Username. If your interviewer has to dial in to "SexySarah," chances are slim you will be awarded the bank job you've been coveting. Even before your first Skype interview, begin cleaning up your usernames. While you are at it, take a look at your social media profiles and do the same with them.
Double Check Your Camera and Technology. Five minutes before the interview is NOT the time to discover technical difficulties, or that your Skype account has been cancelled. There are simple tools to perform a technology check within Skype - take advantage of the "test call" (to yourself) to ensure you are coming through crystal clear.
Be Aware of Your Body Language. Look into the lens of your webcam, which isn't always the same thing as the screen from which you view the person on the other end. It's easy to pay the most attention to your computer screen (where you can see the interviewer) instead of looking into your webcam. Know that this comes across as if you aren't looking him or her "in the eye". You can also easily toggle their Skype window just below your webcam to maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
Mind Your Framing. Angle the camera so the other person can see your upper torso, not just the top of your shoulders and head. Sit up straight, don't bob back and forth, swing side to side, or fidget. Also remember that shaking your feet nervously under the desk will result in your entire body shaking.
Keep a Clean Desk. Remove all snack bags, dirty coffee cups, messy paper stacks and stray gum wrappers from your desk. Use your notes if necessary, but make sure the other person knows what you are doing so they don't think you are texting or otherwise distracted in the middle of your interview.
Don't Forget the Follow Up. Send a thank you email, and a handwritten note within the same business day of the Skype call, paying special attention to grammar and punctuation. Stationery, pen choice and stamp selection are also important in sending the right message.
Imagine you are sitting across a desk from the interviewer. It's time to demonstrate confidence while at the same time being friendly and composed, just as you would if you were sitting in his or her office. Take your time when needed and don't fail to ask questions to show you're interested and prepared.
Good luck on your Skype interview!
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