This is what technology does to the world! A few years back, no one would have thought about interviews being conducted over Skype. But necessity does bring out a whole lot of creativity in people. With job opportunities coming in from across the globe, it is not feasible to present oneself for the personal interview all the time. This could be due to geographical restrictions or simply time limitations. In such cases, Skype comes to the rescue as it allows recruiters to view the candidate and his / her responses in real time. It is basically like an interview but without the physical presence of the recruiter.
I am sure that you might have been asked to appear for a skype interview at some point. The key to successfully cracking the interview is to remain professional during all the phases of the process, namely, preparation, conduct, and follow up.
Before you actually start the interview, make sure that the location is perfect. It does not have to be a board room setting. The location can be your bedroom, a spot in the campus, the living room, or even the store room. As long as you have a non-distracting setup within the focus area of the camera, you should have no problem in delivering a good skype interview. Distracting elements such as open windows or moving curtains can take the attention away from you and the recruiters might miss important bits of information that you speak. Would you be comfortable in taking such a risk?
It would also be a good idea to check the lighting in the selected location. You would not want light to come from above you or behind you as it would make it difficult for the interviewers to see you clearly. With that taken care of, you need to check for updates for the software in case you have not logged on for a while. There could be some important updates that might just improve the quality of the skype call. Before you actually make the skype call, perform a test run with your friends or family to check for errors in communication or other technical glitches.
During a Skype interview, it is important to maintain eye contact with the interviewer at all times. Never fidget around for anything while the interview is being conducted. If you need to keep something handy for reference, make sure that it is placed towards the left and right side of the system and clearly out of sight. This is applicable for your professionally written resume also. You should not hold it in your hand or place it in your lap. Keep it aside and refer to it carefully without breaking eye contact frequently. Even though you are meeting the employer in person, you need to take care of your clothes. Don’t be dressed in a funky outfit as it would simply be a turn off. Black, dark blue or grey would appear the best in front of the camera. Try to get outfits in these colours.
Conduct refers to your behaviour during the interview process. As mentioned before, eye contact is an absolute essential. You may not realize the frequency of breaking eye contact, but it rather distracting for the employer. So make sure you try to maintain eye contact as much as possible. It is possible for you to get distracted yourself by the small window which shows your video capture. Cover it up with a post-it note so that you may focus your attention on the interviewer.
You might be used to using your hands for expressing yourself while talking. I would suggest that you keep your hands on your lap and avoid using it unless absolutely necessary. Whenever you feel the urge to move your hands, clench them tightly and apply some pressure to supress your urge. Now that the hands have been taken care of, you need to work on your posture. Never slouch in front the interviewer, even if he is present virtually.
You need to sit upright with an attentive posture that does seem off putting. Lastly, make sure you put up a smile and be happy. A smile goes a long way in brightening up the mood of the interview and it also says a lot about the confidence as well as enthusiasm that you have for the job.
Following up on a skype interview is pretty much the same as you would have done after a personal interview. Contacting them via email is the best way to follow up, although you could try calling them if you are able to keep your desperation at bay. You need to understand the importance of follow-up in job search without going over-the-board with it. In such times, confidence will be your most powerful asset. Go ahead and give it