Getting used to the ‘new normal’ is something we have all had to deal with recently. But how do you manage when you are job hunting in this new environment? As many offices are switching to temporary or permanently remote working, many companies are also taking their recruitment processes online. If you have been invited to an interview via Skype, a Zoom video interview or any other type of remote job interview, take a look at our foolproof guide to making a fantastic first impression digitally, no matter where you are interviewing from.
Dress to Impress
Needless to say, just because you are interviewing remotely from home doesn’t mean that you should take any less care with your appearance. When taking a video call interview, you should dress exactly as you would if you were attending the interview in person. This includes ensuring your hair is clean and tidy and your face is free from any marks. In terms of what to wear for your Skype job interview, you should dress in the same clothing you would wear to a face to face interview, so this would include a shirt and tie, office wear or a suit if appropriate. Making an excellent first impression is even more important as the job market becomes more competitive so it is essential you dress and look the part before the interview even begins.
Choose Somewhere Quiet
Whilst you may be comfortable working from your local café, this is not an appropriate place for an interview. Choose your Skype interview location as carefully as you choose your attire. Your chosen spot should be somewhere private and quiet where you will not be interrupted at any point. Having someone walk across the shot for a conversation part way through does not set a good first impression and whilst pets may be a cute addition, having them interrupt your call can be distracting and could take away from the professional impression you are trying to give.
Check the Background
In addition to having a quiet space to take your video call, another of our Skype interview tips is to set up your space in preparation for your call. Set up your computer as if you are about to take the call and have a quick check of your background and surroundings to ensure everything is neat and tidy and there is nothing in shot that could detract from what you are saying or look unprofessional. A plain background is ideal if you want to keep it simple for your Zoom job interview or Skype interview as is a tidy bookshelf or, if you would like to inject a bit of personality to your call, in front of a wall hanging or another non-distracting element. The key to the perfect job interview backdrop is to avoid clutter.
Check your Internet Connection
One of the most irritating things during a Skype video call is when either person can’t see or hear the other. One of our top Skype interview tips is to combat this by doing a test run of your video call and checking your internet speed to ensure it is up to scratch. Whilst you are doing this, do a quick check to ensure you can hear the person on the screen and they can hear you without interruption. If this is difficult, connect a headset for clarity.
If this is your first time using Skype, Zoom or any other video calling software, walk yourself through all of the features and controls to check that you know how they work. There is nothing worse than someone having their microphone turned off during the call and not knowing how to fix it.
This Skype interview tip is a given for any job interview. As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Brush up on the company you are interviewing with, find out about how they work, any recent projects they have worked on or products they produce, a little bit of background knowledge goes a long way in video call interviews and if you can show you have made a genuine effort to learn about the company you are bound to impress.
Take an in-depth look at the job description you have applied for and think of examples of times you have demonstrated each of the qualities asked for or perhaps times you have excelled at a task they have mentioned or software they have asked for. One of the benefits of interviewing remotely is that you can keep discreet notes in line with your screen for if you find yourself floundering. Do not use any notes longer than a few bullets however, reading off a piece of paper can be quite obvious so is best avoided to avoid looking unprepared.
Have Everything you Need to Hand
Give yourself plenty of time before your Skype interview starts to prepare your area for the call. Some handy things to have next to you during the interview include a glass of water and a copy of your CV. Although you should know your CV by heart, having it in front of you allows you to quickly check if any questions are asked about a particular part. You may also want to have a pen and paper ready in case you would like to take note of any answers given to questions you have asked.