Making a good first impression is an important part of the interview process — and this process can take different forms, thanks to today’s online technology. You may even start with an online interview for the job before you land an in-person meeting. Video interviews are becoming more and more common, so it’s important to know the best ways to prepare for them. When your interviewer can see you and your space, you have a little bit more to consider than you do during a phone interview.
Wondering “How do I prepare for a Skype interview?” Read on for the top online interview tips.
Do Your Research
Always research the company you’re interviewing with. Search for press releases about the organization to track down major projects, expansions, and partners. You’ll feel more confident, and be able to engage in conversation and answer questions more effectively when you know some facts about the company. It will also help you formulate questions to ask about the company culture, clients, and more. Bring these online interview questions to the appointment, and you’ll look interested and professional.
Prepare Your Surroundings
You’ll want to choose a spot with natural light that shines in front of you — light behind you will cause you to appear dark. Use a lamp placed in front of you if you don’t have appropriate natural light (overhead lights will appear harsh). Choose a neutral, clean space with limited clutter. Silence your phone and computer notifications, and make sure you let the people you live with know about your interview in advance to avoid disruption.
Dress for Success
How should I dress for an online interview? Do I wear a suit? The answer to these questions and more is “always dress for the part.” You’re more likely to interview better if you feel confident, so wear an outfit you would typically wear to an on-site interview. The best colors to wear for a Skype interview are shades of blue, such as navy blue or even sky blue. Gray and beige are also good choices. Avoid patterns and bright colors, including white, as they can appear too intense on screen and might be distracting. Finally, make sure you’re also aware of your body language — no slouching, looking away from the screen, or making distracting gestures.
Test Your Technology
You’ll probably want to invest in a professional microphone or a headset to ensure all parties can hear each other clearly. Set up and test all of your accessories. Close all programs that you aren’t using, including any that may be running in the background. If possible, plug your computer directly into your internet connection, rather than using wireless, which tends to be less reliable.
Schedule Online Interview Practice
The best Skype interview tip is to practice, practice, practice. Set up a time with a friend or family member to make sure all your technology is working correctly. Practicing your online interview will help you work out any technical kinks, determine the correct volume and microphone distance, and get an accurate idea of how you come across on video. Make sure you record each session so you can review it later.
It’s easier to get distracted when you are speaking to a person who is not physically in the room. Listen actively and try to engage naturally, as you would in person. Avoid letting your eyes wander away from the computer screen and maintain eye contact. Also, try to pause slightly between comments and questions, just in case there is any lag time between you and the interviewer.
There are many benefits of a Skype interview, including being able to read body language and make a more authentic connection. Remember, you are interviewing your potential employer as well, so don’t forget to ask questions! Follow these online interview tips and you’re sure to shine in this stage of your job search.
For more interview preparation tips, consider our 12 Steps to a Successful Job Search course or our New Career Suite of courses.