Not quite a face-to-face meeting and much less limiting than a telephone interview, Skype calls are a mix of the two and we can see why there might be confusion on how to approach them. People are unsure, for instance, whether they should wear a suit. Often these kind of calls are not taken seriously enough and we've had candidates fail because they had their child on their knee or didn’t create a professional impression. Plus there’s the eye contact conundrum – should you look at the interviewer’s image or at the camera on your computer? Here’s a few tips we'd like to share:
Don’t get too comfortable
In our experience, Skype calls often take place in the evening when you’re likely to be at home. It’s important to remember that this is not a time to relax and wear those comfy jogging pants. Make sure you dress to impress.
Move the washing out of shot
It is important to look professional so be aware of your background – no one wants to see your washed clothing hanging out to dry. Also make sure all lights (including windows) are behind the camera, otherwise you will appear as a dark blob in the centre of an otherwise bright screen.
Cut out the background noises
A prerequisite of any call is that you can hear each other – if there is a lot peripheral noise it will be both distracting and irritating for the interviewer. Find a quiet spot where there is little chance you will be interrupted. If background noise is unavoidable, use a microphone headset.
Remember the camera
Be conscious of where you are looking. In a face-to-face interview (or any business meeting) eye contact is vital, so replicate that on Skype. If you are watching the interviewer’s image you will not be making eye contact. To give the impression of eye contact you need to look at the camera. Also be aware that an animated performance in person can convey enthusiasm but if someone is flapping around a video screen it can be irritating.
Check everything works
Your interviewer will not be impressed if you struggle with the technology during the interview. If the equipment or software is new to you, carry out a dummy run with your recruitment consultant beforehand to make sure nothing is likely to go wrong come interview time.