Tag Archives: skype interview

How to master a Skype interview

Skype meetings are now commonplace in the workplace, and are increasingly used for job interviews too. Here are some useful top tips on how to prepare for them by Kirsty Brewer (The Guardian 16th May 2016).


Dress professionally

Should you still dress as if you are in a face-to-face interview? Yes – general interview etiquette still applies. “The dynamics are different, with body language being the main barrier, so it is vital to make a good impression based on your dress and surroundings,” says Matthew Roberts, CEO at NonExecutiveDirectors.com, a network site for employers.

Don’t be tempted just to dress smartly from the waist-up, assuming that’s all the interviewer will see, warns Graham Oates, CEO of Norrie Johnston Recruitment. “I’ve been in plenty of Skype interview situations where the candidate has had to stand up.” Being in formal dress will also help you to feel like it is a formal interview and put you in the right frame of mind, he adds.

Pick your backdrop wisely

How much attention will be paid to where you are sitting for the interview? The safe rule of thumb is to assume that a lot of attention will be given to your surroundings – so set up well in advance and take time to look at how the interviewer will see you.

“Find a neutral, tidy spot if possible. Mess, pot plants or food may subconsciously impact an interviewer’s view of the meeting and reflect badly on you,” says Jonathan Bennet, a director at Capita Resourcing. His advice is to set yourself up so the interviewer can see your face, hair, shoulders and upper torso. Consider the lighting and how you are sat too. “They don’t want a giant, poorly lit face talking at them for an hour.” Also, make sure you are in a quiet room which will not be interrupted.

Get to grips with the technology beforehand

Before you begin, make sure you’ve got to grips with the technology to avoid any last minute panic, especially if you haven’t used Skype before. “Set up a practice interview with a friend to make sure you are happy with how you come across on screen as well as being able to confidently use the system,” suggests Roberts. Check your microphone is properly set, your voice is audible, the picture quality is good and that you are in a spot with a strong internet connection.

But if technology fails midway through, don’t panic, says David Cairncross, director at Hays. “If a problem with your technology throws you off during your interview, just remain professional,” he says. The interviewer will be aware that some things are out of your control, should anything happen start the call again to regain a connection, and quickly make contact to update the interviewer so you can continue as soon as possible.

Don’t be late

“You wouldn’t dream of turning up late for a face-to-face interview, so having to delay one over Skype because you haven’t done your technical groundwork is inexcusable,” says Oates. Call and get it all setup a few minutes early to avoid any awkwardness. Equally, have your notes ready and a glass of water to hand so you aren’t fiddling with papers or getting a dry mouth once you make a start.

Remember body language

Skype interviews leave little room for those informal interactions you might have on the walk from reception or the ride in the lift – so it is important your eye contact and facial expressions are not compromised by the technology either.

“Remember to look at the camera – not the screen – that way the interviewer will feel you are maintaining eye contact,” says Oates. “Remember to smile and have an engaged and pleasant facial expression. Try to forget you are talking to a computer screen and imagine the interviewer being physically in the room with you.”

how-to-master-a-skype-interview 16th May 2016

UoC Careers and Employability team can support you with interview skills practice, and this includes setting up a face-t0-face or Skype mock interview too.

Email careers@cumbria.ac.uk to make an appointment.


The rise of the video interview – and how to prepare

Today’s guest post is from James Rice, Head of Digital Marketing at WikiJob, on why more employers are using video interviews, and the best way you can prepare for them.

source: http://pixabay.com/en/macbook-notebook-home-office-336692/

One thing we’ve noticed on the graduate forums at WikiJob is that more and more people are talking about their experiences with video interviews, or asking for tips on how to negotiate them successfully. Recently we’ve seen discussions on video interviews used by Standard Chartered, Nestle, John Lewis, Morrisons and many more large graduate employers. If you haven’t faced one of these interviews yet, the chances are you will soon.

Why do companies like them? The short answer is that it saves them money and time. A video interview cuts the transport costs of getting an applicant or interviewers somewhere, and it ensures a quick way to streamline the candidate pool. If the interviews are pre-recorded, candidates can be more easily compared in a short space of time. Videos also provide the interviewers with a better feel for the candidate than a phone interview might.

For job candidates who haven’t experienced them before, a video interview can be pretty nerve-wracking. All the more so as they are increasingly automated rather than live, with the candidate having a short amount of time to prepare and then answer a pre-designed set of questions, while being recorded. As one of WikiJob’s forum users said:  “The interview made me panic because you only have 90 seconds, yes, 90 seconds…to answer these questions. You have a minute before the question and then 90 seconds to answer.”


Get comfortable

Much of the anxiety comes from unfamiliarity. The secret is to find out how to make the technology work for you, and become comfortable with the environment. Here are some tips on how best to prepare for an interview:

1. Choose an appropriate location.

Find a quiet space with a simple, plain-colour background. Try to avoid anything that could prevent a distraction, such as a window onto the street, or a room beside a road. If you live with others, make it clear to them that you’re not to be disturbed.

2. Dress for a regular interview.

Definitely do not be tempted to wear a suit jacket but then sit there in your boxer shorts. Even if the interviewer never notices, the psychological effect of dressing as you would for a regular interview will get you in the correct frame of mind. Also avoid any bright patterned colours.

3. Test your tech.

Don’t invite catastrophe in the form of your computer switching off or being unable to operate the software the employer uses. Run a dummy test (or several) beforehand, and make sure the equipment you will be using for the interview is reliable.

4. Look into the camera, not the middle of the screen.

In the same way that maintaining eye contact in a face-to-face interview will demonstrate confidence and trustworthiness, so it is for a video interview. The difference being that it’s easy to look at the middle of the screen and not into the camera. If you can move your camera, position it at a natural level with your eyes.

5. Keep good posture.

It’s easy to slump in front of a computer – and it’s easy to yawn or fiddle with items on the desk when there’s no-one else in the room. Consciously sit up straight, and picture yourself in the interview room you’re aiming to get to at the final stage of the process.

6. Use a quality microphone.

Depending on your computer, the quality of the microphone may not be too great. Test it, get someone else to hear what you sound like, and if necessary, buy a better version so the sound of your voice is clear.

Above all, treat it like a real interview!

What do you think of these tips? Have you ever had a video interview, or do you have one coming up? Please let us know by emailing us at careers@cumbria.ac.uk.