More and more companies are using online interviews as the primary indicator for recruitment. It’s easy to presume that a Skype call is a casual preliminary to a “real” in-person interview, since technically you could conduct it without wearing pants. But make no mistake: the way you prepare for a Skype interview is as extensive, if not more so, than a regular face-to-face meeting. It counts.
Follow this advice for the most successful virtual interview possible, and avoid the common pitfalls that could mark you out as a Skype interview amateur.
Always do a dry run before going live on video. Whether it is calling a friend or checking in with the Skype tech team, make sure that your internet connection is solid, your camera is working, and that you don’t have unexpected background noises or an embarrassing backdrop from where you have set yourself up in the kitchen- dirty dishes anyone?
Also: make sure you are familiar with the technology. That awkward “Can you hear me? Hello? HELLO?” exchange is no less irritating to a prospective employer than it is when your mother does it to you. Spend half an hour going through how to use the technology convincingly, else you’ll be instantly categorised as a tech dinosaur and lose out by default.
Use Your Name
Normally, the strength of your handshake and the cut of your suit is first impression enough at an interview. Online, it’s your username. Drunkfairy69 won’t win you any esteem, so consider setting up your.name to give the most professional impact possible.
When you get connected, it’s tempting to keep checking on your appearance. Your reflection is right there! Look how pretty you are! OH NO- YOUR HAIR! Is it okay? Consider x-ing off your own cam, so that you can only see the person interviewing you and not yourself. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Focus on giving thoughtful and intelligent answers to the questions asked- not on whether or not you have a double chin.
Silence Your Social (Media) Life
You’d switch off your phone in the interview room, so silence your Google notifier, Facebook messenger and G-chat to squash any distractions you might have when chatting on the Internet.
Let anyone around you know that you are in an official interview. And don’t think the taptaptap of your keys on the typepad can’t be heard: if you’re live-tweeting your conversation the interviewer will know. Don’t be an idiot.
You might have embraced technology in order to apply and interview for the job, but bust out the real stationery for a classy thank you note.
Putting pen to paper is a chance to not only reveal your impeccable manners, but will be a gentle reminder to your interviewer about who you are, when come tomorrow the other candidates have been long forgotten. An email can get lost in amongst everybody else’s, but a simple note will be remembered.
And to get the job? You need to be remembered.
[This post was authored by Milestone Operations, the U.K.’s leading recruitment specialists for HGV Jobs]
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