June 15, 2014

Avoid Embarrassing Skype Interviews

Do you know much about Skype? Skype is a voice-over-Internet and instant messaging service. This incredible technology uses home computers and mobile devices to connect the world via the Internet. It allows for telephone calls, video chats, file transfers, international phone lines to be either free or only cost pennies per minute. Skype is the future of communications.

In 2010, Skype had 663 million registered users. In 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion. Skype is big business. If you’re not already a Skype user, you should be. It connects families, friends, and businesses. It’s also a common tool for recruiters who want to conduct Skype interviews.

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Skype interviews are the perfect solution to the long distance job search. With Skype you can interview for a job in New Zealand while sitting in your lake view condo in Michigan (or where ever else you might be!). Using Skype technology allows businesses to open up job listings to a global applicant pool. It also saves time, money, and travel expenses.

It may seem a bit surreal when you are sitting in the comfort of your own home having a Skype interview. A Skype interview is still a very real job interview. Skype interviews take advantage of the voice-over-Internet or video-over-Internet technology. This makes the Skype interview very similar to a phone interview or an in-person interview. Take it seriously.

If you don’t prepare for a Skype interview, it can be extremely embarrassing. When you have your next Skype interview, there are a few things you need to be aware of:

  • Internet Connection – A strong internet connection is mandatory. Wi-Fi will often work, but it’s best if you can plug directly into the Internet. This will ensure that you have a strong signal throughout the Skype interview.
  • Sound – You need to be a in a quiet place. Lock the roommates out of the house. Let the dog go on a walk with a friend. Send the kids off to school. Turn off your cell phone. Change your settings on Skype so there are no extra sounds.
  • Location – Think about where you are during the interview. Everything your webcam sees, your recruiter will see. Take down the prayer flags from the wall, remove any dirty dishes from the area, clean up your desk. Make your surroundings look professional.
  • Lighting – The way the light hits the webcam or you can make a big difference. Play around with where the light shines on you. Typically if it illuminates your face that is better than hitting the camera straight on.
  • Position – Think about your body position and body language while you talk. Yes, your recruiter could be on the other sided of the planet, but she can still see you!
  • Skype User Name – This is just like your professional email address. Have a professional Skype user name. When people contact you for your interview, they will take you more seriously if you are BobSmith instead of surfgod411. Do this right now, before you have to supply your Skype user name to some one.
  • Computer – It’s easy to find yourself surfing the web, editing photos, or playing mindless games while you are chatting. Do not do this in an interview. The recruiter will know that you are distracted.

We recommend doing a test run with Skype prior to your Skype interview. Call a friend and get some feedback on your set-up.

Obviously all of the other job interview tips that you know still apply. Be a professional. Come prepare. Know how to use Skype. It’s easy to be a star applicant on a Skype interview if you plan ahead. Plus, Skype interviews may help you apply for jobs all over the world.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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