With the rise of internet (and the plethora of apps that followed), we are now able to contact pretty much anyone, from anywhere, at any time. Some can think it’s a bit scary (Big Brother may be watching you as we speak), but it can also be quite a blessing for job seekers. Why? Well because today you can apply to (and get!) a job in NYC / Hong Kong / Buenos Aires / about anywhere in the world, without leaving the comfort of your living room. Lucky you!
Concretely, this means you probably won’t escape the “Skype interview” (quotation marks only serve the purpose of sounding a bit more dramatic here). And to be completely honest with you, I’m sure your friends call you “the Jedi master of questions-answers”, it won’t be enough to save you from a big moment of loneliness when your connection lags and you can only hear one out of two words.
So chop chop! No rest for the wicked. Here’s THE check list to follow to shine like a star, even on a small screen.
If your Wi-Fi tends to play tricks on you every other day, make sure you have access to a reliable connection during the half hour of your Skype interview. Coffees, coworking spaces, friend’s apartment… There are many options; all you have to do is plan ahead. If your mobile plan includes loads of gigabytes, share your connection with your laptop: sometimes 4G works better than Wi-Fi.
If you have a Skype interview with a recruiter, there’s a good chance that you two are on a different time zone. If that’s the case, please don’t shoot yourself in the foot by messing up with the time difference! Thank god, there’s the Internet.
Warn your roommates / your family that you must not be disturbed (or your risk feeling like this guy), put all your pets in a different room, try not to have the sunlight in your back, and make sure there’s nothing… compromising showing up on screen (posters, holiday pictures, dirty laundry…).
Alright, I have to say it: if your username resembles something like “honeybee_xx”, that won’t do. Please, please use the name.surname combo, thank you very much. While you’re at it, check your profile picture doesn’t portray you takings shots… Just saying.
To avoid any confusion, it’s best to decide in advance who is calling the other. Otherwise? You lose a decent 10min sweating in your suit, staring at your computer and waiting for the recruiter to call. Then comes an awkward email exchange: “Still good for our skype interview?” “Yes, I thought you would call me”, etc. Not the best introduction, if you want my opinion. Here’s a magic cure: at the end of the email where you confirm the interview, simply slide a little “I’ll be waiting for your call”. Boom, mic drop.
A beautiful thing about Skype (among others) is that you can use your notes in total discretion. Some people feel better when they have some things to look at while they speak, so don’t hesitate to have a Word file ready with all the points you want to mention. Still be careful not to read your text out loud… Discretion, discretion!
Let me stop you right now: no, a Skype interview is NOT a good excuse to only wear the top of your suit. You never know what can happen that would make you stand up from your chair, and the poor recruiter doesn’t necessarily want to see you in your undies.
Check everything is working before your interview: microphone, camera, speakers.. use headphones to avoid echoes. Why not ask a friend to make a test call? Don’t forget to put your Skype status to “available”, or the recruiter might think you’re busy.
Try to speak a bit more slowly than usual, for there might always be a bit of delay. Avoid making big gestures when you speak; you can sit on your hands if it prevents it from getting out of control. Bonus: look at the camera “right in the eyes” rather than your own image on the screen, it will give you a confident look that recruiters are really fond of.