How to prepare for a Skype interview

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Phone interviews are making way for video chats as technology becomes more capable and businesses adapt to the changing times, so you need to make sure you’re ready to grow with the world around you. With apps like Skype and Facetime becoming more convenient and accessible, in some cases entirely replacing face-to-face interviewing, recruitment specialist Robert Walters has compiled its top tips for preparing for a video interview.

Dress the part
Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you aren’t expected to look the part. Don’t just wear smart clothes on your top half either, as not only will this avoid any uncomfortable exchanges if you need to stand up mid-conversation, but dressing for success helps put you in the right frame of mind and remind you that this isn’t a casual chat. Your profile should also dress the part, make sure your screen name or username is appropriate and that your picture looks professional.

Maintain eye contact
Looking an interviewer in the eye isn’t as easy over video as it would be in person. For a start, you need to avoid the temptation to look at your own image in the bottom of the screen, as you will appear distracted. This can still be the case when looking them in the eyes however, and the real key to looking engaged with your interviewer is stare at the webcam.

Be aware of your surroundings
Location is much more important than you may initially realise. If you’re having the interview on a mobile device or laptop, be sure to avoid loud and busy places that can provide distractions for both you and your interviewer. If you’re having to raise your voice above the crowd, how are you supposed to hear the questions? You aren’t off the hook if you’re in your study or office, however, as you should still be mindful of anything unprofessional in the view of the camera.

Notes aren’t necessary
A major bonus of not meeting face-to-face is being able to read from notes, but practise how this looks with a friend before going into the interview. If it’s too obvious, go in without the notes, as a natural and composed response will look more professional than anything pre-rehearsed.

Prepare to lose connection
Technology is becoming a powerful tool in recruitment, but connectivity can still be an issue so be prepared for the call to drop. Should you lose connection or begin to glitch, this is an excellent opportunity to prove that you can improvise under pressure, keep calm and offer alternatives should problems persist.

What do you worry about most during an interview? What tell-tale signs do you look out for in a client? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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    Toby Cruse

    Content Writer - PA Life

    All stories by: Toby Cruse