Skype job interviews are increasingly common today for sales and marketing professionals, so how do you make the best of them, and land the job of your dreams?
Internet phone and specialist video communications systems for first stage candidate assessments have certainly proved their worth for employers, being incredibly cost and time efficient.
Probably most popular right now is Skype internet calling. It costs nothing to use between two Skype users, and allows both parties to be free from holding a receiver up to their ear during long conversations.
Skype cuts out the need for travel for the candidate, and allows employers to easily reach out to regional, even international candidates. Skype is a great way to track down good people for marketing roles, and using Skype could well be part the job you’re being interviewed for, so doing well is even more important!
Skype video recording, with the addition of special programmes means the employer can tightly control, pause, replay and share interview footage, generally making the selection process easier to manage.
Candidates might only be speaking to their interviewer, and not seen via video link-up, but if you do find yourself in front of the camera you should see this as a real opportunity to shine.
Compared to a phone interview, Skype allows you all the benefits of communicating with positive body language, but the trick is to make sure you come across as confident, calm, genuine and well-prepared. This is not the time or place to mumble, frown, slurp coffee or shrug your shoulders disinterestedly!
How to get set up with Skype
To get set up, simply visit to www.skype.com and look for ‘Free Download’. There’s a lot of information on this site to help you make the best of the service.
Then you need to have a webcam so you can let people see you (although this is optional), a reliable internet connection, and a computer or mobile device with a microphone and speakers, or headset attached.
Tips on how to prepare for your Skype interview
• Start by carrying out all the usual research you would do for a regular job interview. Make a proper effort with your appearance so that you look the part, and have some great answers lined up to show off your skills and experience really well.
• Remember to treat the Skype interview just as seriously as you would an in-person one. But at the same time be aware that the video element puts a whole new dimension on this stage of your job hunt, and is a different experience for all. Spend some time thinking about what you can do to look and sound like the ideal candidate.
• Have a neutral background – lots of clutter in the background will distract and could depict you as chaotic and disorganised. It can help to adjust the lighting by bringing in extra lamps or ensuring you sit somewhere with lots of natural light.
• Check your internet connection is strong, your wi-fi is working and that the microphone, headsets and screen are all ready for action – best to do this several hours before you are due to have the Skype sales job interview!
• Tell family or flatmates not to disturb you while you’re recording or doing a live video interview– people bursting into the room will be distracting for all.
• Practise – if you have a webcam, record yourself to see how you appear on camera. Get used to the technology so that you know what to do on the day.
• Dress appropriately in professional interview attire, just as you would for a regular face-to-face marketing interview.
• Don’t drink while you’re being interviewed as this looks too casual and is distracting for you and the interviewer.
• Smile and relax, and try to look directly into the camera, not down at the desk or table.
• Don’t be tempted to fiddle with papers and notes, and make sure you don’t move around too much, which affects image quality.
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Photo: David Burillo on flickr