Hiring the wrong person can cost a business thousands of dollars. More than ever, companies are attempting to minimize recruiting costs by using Skype as a screening tool. Here are five tips to help you nail the Skype interview.
Your Skype alias Before a hiring manager jumps on a Skype call with you, the first thing he will notice is your Skype name. Make sure that both the profile picture and user name look professional. Don’t use a screen name that may send the wrong message, like vodka_dude, and refrain from using slang. Ideally, you will have a mixture of your name with your job industry, like Aaron_linux. And since Skype accounts are free, it would be a good idea to have an account set aside for work related stuff.
Dress the part Although the hiring manager will most likely only see the top half of your body, be sure to dress professionally from head to toe. If, for whatever reason, you need to get up, this would keep the interviewer from seeing your sweat pants. Groom yourself as though this were a face-to-face interview and check out the company’s social media accounts and website to get an idea of how people dress. At a minimum, go for a business casual look. Avoid busy patterns and go with darker colors, as they will better outline your face.
Build your stage The camera will also show the hiring manager what’s behind you, so it’s important to do some staging. Use a blank background and place a lamp on both sides of the computer. If you have roommates, let them know about the Skype interview to avoid any interruptions. Also, keep pets and small children in another room during the interview. Ensure you have a strong Internet connection and invest in a pair of USB headsets.
Rehearsal time Before jumping on the call, do a few practice runs with a friend. Record yourself and study the clip. The toughest part will be to teach yourself to look at the camera and not at the computer screen. Don’t attempt to memorize facts — create notes and keep them next to the computer.
Body language The interviewer will be paying attention to your body language, so it’s imperative that you don’t fidget or nervously tap the desk. Close all other programs on the computer to help you stay focused and remember to smile.
Belo Cipriani is an award-winning author, former staffing professional, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University. Learn more at BeloCipriani.com.