If you’re in the market for a new job (or your first job!), it’s basically impossible to be too prepared. Whether you seek out a second set of eyes to review your resume, ask a friend to help you shop for the perfect interview outfit, or do some extra research on the company, the more time and effort you put in, the better off you’ll be. The same goes for prepping for a Skype interview. Even if you think you’re tech savvy, you still need to make sure you’re totally on your game before you meet with a potential employer over a video conference.
Skype recently partnered up with total #girlboss Maxie McCoy to get her tips on how to nail this kind of high-tech interview. Keep scrolling for all the details!
1. Have a good handle on the technology. If showing up late and leaving your phone on to ring incessantly is a surefire way to make a bad impression at an in-person interview, then using technology inappropriately or ineffectively is the video interview equivalent. Several days before you’re set to meet, make sure that your Skype username, profile photo, and status are in a good state. If you’re a little rusty on how the video conferencing program works, brush up on the basics so you can seamlessly participate — and troubleshoot, if necessary! You can even show a little extra initiative by providing your interviewer with a Skype link to avoid a username exchange.
2. Dress professionally from head to toe. If you’re like the more than 20 percent of participants in a 2016 Skype survey who admitted that they’ve dressed professionally on top and casually on the bottom for a video interview, McCoy urges you to change your ways. Resist the urge to stay in your PJ pants (no matter how cute they are). Being fully dressed for your interview will keep your head in the game, and you won’t need to stress if you have to stand up for some reason during the conversation.
3. Be prepared to share documents. Even though you and your interviewer aren’t meeting face to face, you’ll still want to have your resume, cover letter, and portfolio easily accessible in case she didn’t get a chance to review the materials in advance. Leave those files on your computer desktop, and if your interviewer asks, you can simply share them with her via Skype during the interview. It may also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of screen sharing, in case that proves useful during the discussion.
4. Keep a cheat sheet handy. One of the perks of having an interview via Skype is the opportunity to keep a cheat sheet on hand! “So many people, especially new grads, minimize their accomplishments,” McCoy says. In order to avoid forgetting your long list of experience and achievements, make some notes and stick them to the side of your computer screen. Underline key words, and make sure you’ve reviewed the material before the interview actually starts so you’re not stumbling over them.
5. Share your stories. This tip goes for all interviews, whether you’re meeting in-person or through a screen. Have some stories prepared to help illustrate your strengths, skills, and experience. Anecdotes like this will make you all the more memorable and relatable. Take the time to practice telling your stories to make sure you know how to hit the most important points.
6. Get on-camera practice. Everyone has a smartphone, so put yours to good use in the days before your interview. Record yourself answering some basic questions and see how your voice, facial expressions, and body language read on camera. “The more you get comfortable giving answers and talking about yourself out loud, the better you’ll do,” McCoy says. “You’ll have a grasp on that language and feel more comfortable. You’ll also be able to tell where your answers don’t feel smooth and can adjust before the call.”
7. Prep for the classic “Tell me about yourself” prompt. You know that your interviewer will ask you some variation of this question, so you might as well be ready for it! Think about how you can set yourself apart with an anecdote or statement that also demonstrates your strengths for the position. McCoy suggests using starter phrases like “This quote sums up my view on life…” or “My friends would describe me with these three words…”
8. Expect the unexpected (and keep your cool). If you’re conducting your interview in a public place, or even at home in the apartment you share with roommates, be ready for weird noises, service breaks, and other interruptions. If one happens, don’t panic! Acknowledge it, calmly apologize, and just move on.
Do you have other tips for successful Skype interviews? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)