By Guest Blogger Joyce Hoff, Pachter & Associates’ Training Director
In addition to my work at Pachter & Associates, I am an officer of a non-profit organization. As a result, I have had many opportunities to interview and hire professionals. Recently I participated in a job search for a new Education Director, using Skype as an initial resource in the interview process.
Observing job-seekers on Skype made it clear to me that many people don’t know how to use this technology to their best advantage. Here are six suggestions to help you interview effectively on Skype:
1. Remember you are creating a snapshot of yourself. Use a non-distracting background that is clear and uncluttered. Make sure your location has good lighting. Be careful if you have a window behind you. If it is bright outside, you will appear dark. Run a test with a friend or colleague to make sure you look good in your surroundings.
2. Control interruptions. No phones ringing, people walking in and out of your room, children yelling or dogs barking.
3. Make sure your clothing is appropriate. Just because you are not “in-person” does not mean the interviewer cannot see what you are wearing. And don’t assume only your upper body is showing. Dress professionally from head to toe!
4. Allow plenty of time before the interview to test the equipment. Five minutes before the interview is not the time to find out that your Skype connection is not working.
5. Don’t be late making the connection. Sign on early. There are people waiting for you and judging you on your promptness.
6. Smile. Let your personality shine through. Speak audibly and clearly. Talk to the camera. And just as in any interview, be prepared for the questions.
Companies often pre-screen candidates on Skype before bringing potential employees into the main office for an “in-person” meeting. Paying attention to these suggestions will help you present yourself professionally, and move to the next step in the interview process.