With the slumping job market more and more professionals are looking for opportunities abroad. It comes as no surprise then that many employers would meet potential hires online first. Thus, it is important that candidates acquire and perfect online interview skills in order to land that job opportunity. Here are a few tips on how to confront a Skype video interview.
1. Dress for the job – although you are likely to be at home during this first encounter do not forget that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Dress up as if you would be actually going to the employer’s headquarters and you would be meeting their CEO. Dress up and keep in mind the corporate culture to make sure you are not over or underdoing it.
2. Prepare the atmosphere – make sure that you take the call in a quiet room where there will be no distractions. Make sure anyone who might be in the flat at the time of the interview knows not to enter the room while you are taking the call. Check out the Internet connection with the camera on as it sometimes may cause trouble. Make sure that what the interviewer would see in the background is acceptable. Your favorite Nirvana poster might not be the best scenery for a qualified financial job application. Take the safest route – move away all personal items and organize your desktop. Simply, make it look like an office and not a home station.
3. Practice makes perfect – online interviews are harder than face-to-face ones. You need to prepare not only for the questions asked but also you will need to get used to looking at the camera rather than your own image on the bottom of your screen. Try with a friend first. Ask them to note where you do and where you should keep your hands, how loud you need to speak and if all the other settings of your video are fine. You do not want to lose and opportunity due to a fuzzy camera.
4. Release stress – although a job interview is a stressful situation if you confront one offline you are likely to be more at ease with the interviewer – smile upon arriving, engaging in small talk and so on. Make sure you are just as natural online. Smile and relax, although the cameras might not be the most inspiring surroundings. Make sure your behavior reflects your easy-going and welcoming personality.
5. Be a good listener – being in front of a PC with an active online connection is just an open invitation to space out, check out a Facebook comment someone just made or double-check what comes next on your calendar. Don’t! If you are not using a camera, make sure you add in an occasional “Yes”, “Hmmm”, or “I see” phrase to let the other side know you are still there. If you are using video keep in mind that your eyes wondering around the screen will be noticed. So make a safe bet and disconnect any other windows and apps you might have running.
6. Use your notes – on a phone or video interview you could get away by using your notes, as long as you make sure they come out smoothly and you do not get overly stressed for not following a plan you have previously made. You can keep a list of bullet points regarding highlights in your CV, news about the company and potential questions you might want to ask the interviewer.
7. Address tech issues right away – although you might have double-checked everything just an hour earlier it might so happen that the internet connection does not go as well as expected. You do not want to risk not hearing the questions due to a bad line. A simple “Excuse me” should work fine, and need may be you might want to consider redialing to try to get a better sound. The interviewer might even give you bonus points for being a hands-on problem-solver with initiative.
Good luck with your distance interview. We are sure you will do a great job!
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