Got a Skype or video interview? No problem

Simple tips for what to expect and how to prepare for your video or Skype interview, to help you put your best foot forward. 

Pre-recorded video interviews are increasing in popularity for filtering candidates at early stages. They are more suited to certain kinds of business such as, like investment banking, IT and consumer goods employers. Most interviewers will use a seperate system when offering you a video interview, you will be invited to log in and then answer a series of pre-recorded questions set by the company. While Skype interviews are much closer to the standard face-to-face interview.

While both these types of interviews offer benefits such as convenience, no travel costs and comfort of your own surroundings. However, there are some difficulties that come with them (much like any interview) the main ones being technical issues and the fact that they can be bloody terrifying for applicants to just talk to a screen. Regardless of which type of interview you have these tips should help you put your best foot forward.

 

The kind of questions you should expect

The common type of questions that crop up are competency-based interview questions, strengths-based questions or a combination of both.

Some employers may use a ‘job simulator’ or ‘online immersive assessment’. This is just a way of using video technology to give you different workplace situations and ask questions about them. If they do, you might have to respond through answering multiple choice questions, recording yourself speaking or typing your answer. Nothing too scary.

 

Practice

Get used to talking to your laptop and recording yourself, you don’t want to feel self-conscious about doing a video interview. But if you do, then get ahead of the game. Switch on your laptop and start rolling, practice your questions and then watch yourself. Like most presenters or celebs, being on TV or online doesn’t come naturally. You have to learn to feel comfortable facing the camera.

Play yourself back to see how you’re coming across. Check your body language, do you fling yourself or arms around, pull faces, mumble into your chest, fidget or slouch? You don’t need to look like a professional or a TV presenter but you don’t want to look like you need a straight jacket. If you are worried then get a mate, parent or tutor to give you some feedback on your performance.

Eye contact is also key, so try not to always refer to your written answers. Once in awhile is fine, but try to make eye contact more than staring at your notes. In order to make eye contact, you need to look into the camera and not the screen.

If your interview is being done via Skype, then think about the impression your Skype name will give. ‘Badboi69’ is not likely to come across as very professional, and you may get off on the wrong foot. Remember that there may also be a lag because of online connection so try not to talk over your interviewer, just wait till they have finished, take it slow and don’t rush through everything.

Even if you have  years of experience with vlogging or Youtubing, an interview is different and you will need to adapt. So it is still important to practice and review how you come across.

 

First impressions ALWAYS count.

This is not a catch up call with your gran or your mates, just like for any interview you need to look the part and wearing PJs or joggers is a no go. They may make you feel comfortable but if you had to stand up or move around then its game over, treat all interviews as if they were a face-to-face interview. If you are worried about what to wear then check the dress code in the company website, or if in doubt just dress smartly.

Just like you should make your social media profiles and cover pictures work appropriate when applying, yes they do check. You should also think about where you are sitting and what the interviewer might be seeing behind you, you don’t want to risk an embarrassing on-screen moment. Taking an image of what is behind you might help you see the pile of plates and dirty laundry, or posters and other inappropriate images that might be in your background. Finally, remember to warn your housemates so that you will be not be disturbed during your interview.

 

Make it a seamless experience for both

Remember to;

  • Practice your interview technique, on-screen appearance and how you come across

  • Prepare your answers like any interview

  • Appear professional in looks, backgrounds and your social media

  • Engage with the camera, not your screen

  • Have a back-up plan if the connection fails.