5 ways to rock your Skype interview
With the increased popularity of job interviews being conducted via Skype™ Internet calls, it’s essential to learn how to make the best impression through the lens of your computer’s camera.
In addition to the standard preparation for any interview, here are five tips from Patricia Addesso, executive coach and instructor in the MBA program at the University of Phoenix San Diego Campus, to help you receive rave reviews on-camera:
Scout the best location.
“If possible, it’s always best to use natural light when you are appearing on camera,” Addesso says. Think about the time of day and whether sitting facing a window will help. “When using artificial light, make sure the light is hitting your face and not coming from behind, or your face will appear in shadow and the interviewer will not be able to see you at all.”
Set the stage.
Make sure that whatever will appear in the background is neutral.
“Be sure to avoid dirty laundry or towels in the background,” Addesso says. “Ask yourself, ‘What is the person going to see?’ and ‘Is this the image [I] want to convey?’”
Think about your appearance.
Choose dark clothes with a splash of color, and avoid wearing white, busy patterns or anything that can take away from what you’re saying. “You don’t want anything really busy because that’s going to look odd on the screen. Checks and things like that tend to distract the eye and make the monitor go crazy,” Addesso says.
Ideally, you want to sit at the right distance from your computer so just your head and shoulders are visible, she adds, noting it is important to dress appropriately from head to toe so you feel professional.
Ensure quiet on the set.
“Cellphones should be turned off and put away,” Addesso emphasizes. “Do not hold your cellphone or try to text below the level of the camera lens. It’s rude, and everyone will know what you are doing.”
Remove any distractions and sources of interruption. “Small children should be supervised by someone else during the interview,” Addesso says. Dogs need to be far enough away so barking can’t be heard. Televisions and radios should be off.
Hold a dress rehearsal.
It’s crucial to test-drive your equipment before the big day. Have a friend do a practice online interview with you in the same spot where you’ll do the real one to determine whether your friend can see and hear you clearly, and to ensure that your background looks appropriate.
“The last thing you want to do,” Addesso says, “is annoy the interviewer by having your sound cut in and out. … They might find you annoying, and you’ll lose your shot at the job.”
Skype is a trademark of Skype.