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Top 5 tips to nail that Skype video interview

More and more interviews these days are being conducted via Skype, video conferencing or digital video interview system.

There are numerous reasons as to why companies are choosing to have video interviews. It could be that the job seeker is looking to relocate and is not based in the location at the moment, or it might be the case that the internal recruitment team is not based in the same city/country.

You need to treat a video interview like a face to face interview. I can’t stress this enough. You should not assume that it is an informal chat (unless you have been told that it is). First impressions count so here are my top tips to make sure you are prepared:

1. Quiet place and stable internet connection

The interviewer will be noticing everything during the video interview so make sure that you are in a quiet place with a stable internet connection. Turn your phone to silent or turn it off. Take the home phone or landline off the hook. If you know there are going to be loud noises beyond your control, ie – construction going on outside, make sure you tell the interviewer at the start of the interview. Use a laptop or PC rather than your mobile phone as it tends to be more stable plus your arm won’t get sore from holding the phone up for an hour!

2. Be aware of your surroundings

The interviewer will notice the background behind you and may get distracted by what they see. Test the lighting. Is it too bright or too dark? Angle the webcam so that it is at eye level. If possible, avoid doing an interview in your bedroom. If that’s not possible, make sure that your bed is made and that your room is neat and tidy. No clothes or books lying on the bed. Try and have a plain background behind you. I’m sure you don’t want your potential new manager to see your Justin Beiber posters!

3. Body language

Try as much as you can to look at the camera lens when you are delivering your answers. It will make the interviewer feel that you are doing your best to maintain eye contact with you. Don’t forget to smile! If you are sitting in a chair, try not to swing the chair or fidget with your hands. This will distract the interviewer from your answers.

4. Look the part

Suit up. Dress professionally. Again, the interviewer is treating this as the next best thing to a face to face interview so make sure that you look the part. Be careful to wear neutral colours rather than stripes or bold patterns. Patterns and stripes can sometimes be distorted when viewed via a webcam. Test it out with a friend before to see what they think. Would they want to hire you based on what they saw?

5. Don’t search the company website during the interview

If you get asked a question about the company that you don’t know, be honest. I would prefer the person to be honest rather than bluff their way through an answer by reading information off the company website during the video interview. Don’t try and sneakily search the company website during the interview. The interviewer will notice any changes in your eye movement and eye contact.

Good luck and I hope your next video interview is a success!

Further tips in this video from Morgan McKinley Japan:

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  • Jul 23, 2015
  • Careers , Culture
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Morgan McKinley

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