The world of technology has reshaped how people interact at different levels. We can see how social media influence our opinion and emotions about nearly every single topic you can think of. What is most amazing of all is that technology has now crossed the borders of what not long ago was nearly an impossible task to achieve without you being there – like job interviews.
It’s undeniable that job interviews can be stressful: Having to face people you’ve never met before and who are being paid for assessing whether you’re the right person is something that takes a lot of preparation and clear thinking. Online job interviews, however, take place at a very different level and channel. Most online job interviews tend to be done via Skype, a telecommunication application designed to provide video chat or voice calls in real time. So if you have applied for a job, let’s say overseas, the chances of having an interview via Skype are very high.
How can you get yourself ready for it? Robert Half’s advice is accurate and consistent. Firstly, you need to check that everything is working in perfect condition. Your computer, laptop, tablet or even your phone should be fully charged and working neatly. As the interview will be carried out on the Internet you will need a place where the connection is reliable and fast. Always have a backup plan – Internet’s been shut down unexpectedly? Plan B is to have a 4G connection at hand. If something suddenly goes wrong, do not panic and address the issue straight away. You can even suggest to restart Skype or reboot your system – remember, employers like someone with initiative and good problem-solving skills.
You might be choosing your own home as the place where to be interviewed. Choose a room with plenty of light and that looks spotless. Likewise, try to avoid any external noise, such as traffic, animals or, you never know, noisy neighbours. Your room might look great and it might be the quietest place at home but remember, you’re having an interview and therefore you should mentally place yourself in an office so that your frame of mind is set for the task.
Dress codes must not be taken lightly. Wear smart clothes, this will show how much you actually care about the opportunity of being interviewed. Do not forget that the people carrying out the interview will want to see how seriously you are taking it, so be aware that their expectations will be high. Never assume that your torso is the only part of your body that should look smart. It’s true that your interviewers will only be seeing part of your physique. However, the last thing you need is an unforeseen reason to stand up and be caught wearing your pyjama bottoms.
If you had to stand up for any given reason it means that you were not completely ready. Have everything at hand on your desk: Paper, pens, backup plan (a mobile phone in case there is any communication issue) – remember you’re in control of the space so make most out of it. A very likely situation you will face is getting thirsty during the interview; anxiety will dehydrate you so you will want to have some water to drink. Details like these show preparation and employers notice them.
A very common mistake people make is to stare at the video and not the camera. Looking at the camera for as long as you can shows your confidence and accuracy. It proves that you know what you are talking about, that you are not being distracted and that you really want to send your message across. Moreover, try to project a positive image with your body language – smile for instance.
Practice makes perfect and interviews on Skype are no exception. Get a friend or a family member to act as mock interviewers. This involves a bit of research as well, you should know what type of questions you will be asked so you know what to say. Ask your mock interviewer to jot down your mistakes, what gestures you are making that will go against you and ultimately ask them to do it not just once but several times. By the time you have your real interview, it will feel more natural and you will excel.
Skype interviews do not differ from face-to-face interviews so extra tips given here will help refine your task. Despite the fact that you are not at their office, you must bear in mind that what you want is to impress your potential employer. Finally, remain calm and trust your own skills and knowledge. If you are invited for an online interview, it means that your interviewers believe you are a good candidate for the job.