Winning your next Skype job interview takes some preparation and research, whether you are a seasoned professional, student, or entry-level worker.
What are the best Skype interview tips?
- Conduct pre-interview research
- Dress appropriately
- Find a quiet place
- Maintain good posture
- Utilize notes
- Ask for the job
- Maximize the STAR method
Nail Your Next Skype Interview With These Pro Tips
Whether you are interviewing for residential construction, building materials, or tech jobs, it’s essential to be well-prepared ahead of the discussion to reduce interview mistakes. And interviewing in front of your computer is no exception. This article summarises some of the most useful Skype interview tips to nail your virtual meeting.
1. Do Thorough Pre-Interview Research
Do your homework and research the target company. Do more than look up their website. Check out their reviews, their blogs, and gather some unique information. This offers you organizational cues about the business and draws out more depth to your answers now that you know more about the company.
We recommend following the following ways to research the company for which you will be interviewing.
Utilize the Company Website
A no-brainer first step here. If the company has a news feed or an investor relations page, check them out for recent stories that might help you generate thoughtful questions.
Leverage Industry Websites
For example, Builder’s list of the top 100 builders and local leaders can provide a breadth of information for construction professionals in homebuilding.
Find Unique Information on Google, Bing, and YouTube
Google, Bing, and YouTube are where you will see what the rest of the world thinks about your target company. You may find information about an employer different than what the website tells you, depending on the quality of the website. Here you’ll find what is being written, said, and videoed about their products or services. Again, look for unique events and news that might set this company apart from others and create strong talking points during an interview.
Check their LinkedIn Company Profile Page
For many companies, from Fortune 500 to local private companies, LinkedIn will often have information about the people who work there (and how you are “connected” to them in LinkedIn) and the organization itself – plus job openings. Consider following their page and digging into their posts for great relevant information.
Research, the Interviewer
While on LinkedIn, take the time to research the person or people that will be interviewing you. Does this research raise any questions or show you any opportunities? What are their reputations? Experience and education? You may find that you have some “connections” with someone interviewing you.
Most importantly, you may find some significant commonalities between you and the person you are interviewing that will make rapport-building during the interview seamless.
If the Company is Public, Check Out Their Stock
Suppose you are specifically interested in a finance or accounting job or only in avoiding an employer heading for a dire future. In that case, it’s a great idea to become familiar with how well the builder is doing financially. Also, take the time to review the balance sheet, the short-term and long-term stock performance, the latest press releases, and the other information available. Morningstar and Zacks are great places to begin your stock research.
Check Out Company Reviews on Glassdoor.com
Glassdoor.com is a great site that creates and accepts reviews from numerous companies. Please keep in mind, though, that the provided content is by people who visit the website and may or may not be providing reliable and well-articulated information.
Avoid a Bad Employer With These Quick Google Searches
Protect yourself by running a handful of these Google searches to ensure you are going into your interviews with eyes wide open. Some will work better for you than others, and some may not be appropriate for your situation. Use the search results you get to refine your search until most of the results are relevant to you.
PRO TIP: Try not to get too carried away with info-hunting but show that you are interested in the company with a unique take or question. For more good tactical tips, please read all of our pre-interview research tips.
2. Dress Appropriately
Dressing comfortably and avoiding unwise dressing choices are other essential Skype interview tips. Professional fit and appropriate attire is the way to go. Appearance is 30% of the overall impression. You can find suggested interview attire for both men and women here.
PRO TIP: Be comfortable in front of the camera and the interviewer to avoid fidgeting.
3. Find a Quiet Place With Few Distractions
Pick a quiet place to start your interview. You don’t want the interviewer saying, “I can barely hear you.” The location you are in subconsciously says something about your choices.
Where is the best place to do a Skype interview?
Spark Hire suggests that you:
Be in a place free of distractions. Being free of distractions means you don’t want to be in a place with too much going on in the background, i.e., dogs barking or kids interrupting. Ever notice how, when you to a traditional job interview with an employer, you usually end up in a place that is away from the commotion of the office? Having privacy is key to establishing a good personal connection with the person with whom you are interviewing. The best place to do your video interview is in your own home where you can control the surroundings.
PRO TIP: Avoid the coffee shop, find a quiet place in your house, and consider where your pets are.
4. Do An Equipment Check and Brief Rehearsal
Troubleshooting potential tech problems before they arise is another important Skype interview tip. Adjust your camera for the best viewing angle, typically a bit above your head, and properly install and test your microphone. Also, double-check your internet connection, fully charge your laptop battery or plug it in, and close browser tabs and non-related programs.
The Balance Careers suggests these preparation tips ahead of the call:
- Download the software at least a few days in advance of the interview.
- Create a professional username.
- Do a test call or two with your friends or family.
- Adjust the lighting.
- Check the background.
- Test everything again an hour or two before the interview. Know who is contacting whom.
PRO TIP: Consider testing your equipment by recording a video a couple of hours before the interview.
5. Have a Great Posture
Research suggests that about 90% of the cues we get as humans tend not to be verbal. Consequently, keeping your body language and tone appropriate is vital for a good impression. Avoid closed body language that suggests you hide something, such as crossed arms, an arched back, or a lowered voice. Keep your voice as natural as possible.
The correct posture is crucial to have open body language. Flex Jobs suggests these 7 Body Language Tips for a Video Interview.
Maintain good eye contact.
Sit up straight.
Lean in, but not too far.
Try to keep gesturing to a minimum.
Don’t cross your arms or legs.
Nod when necessary.
6. Utilize Notes
Notes can be convenient in a Skype interview but try to use them sparingly. Reading notes or sounding too rehearsed will disrupt the natural flow of conversation and make you look under-prepared.
The Muse suggests narrowing your notes to one Post-it Note.
Skype interviews require you to be a lot choosier about what’s in front of you—the interviewer will notice if your gaze is darting off-screen every 10 seconds.
For that reason, you should condense the things you most need to remember into one Post-it note. It won’t be easy, and it may require a couple of draft notes before you finally get one you’re happy with.
It could include the skills you want to highlight, your most impressive achievements, or even a reminder to smile!
Here’s the hack: If you put this Post-it on your computer screen right below the camera, the interviewer will never be able to tell you’re looking at a note and not his or her face.
7. Ask for the Job
One of the best ways to close a Skype interview is to ask for the job when the conversation starts wrapping up. Feel free to be either subtle or straightforward in your approach.
It’s been a pleasure learning about this opportunity today. I appreciate your time, and I’m enthusiastic about the job. Have you narrowed your field of candidates?
After speaking with you, I can confidently say that I want to be part of your team. Everything about this job speaks to me, and I think I could make a real contribution.
I’m not shy about telling you — I want this job. Love the people, the product, and the leadership. I hope you feel the same about me.
8. Master the STAR Method
The STAR interview technique is the most recommended and straightforward strategy with behavioral interview questions because they require you to provide a real-life example of how you took the initiative in the past.
It’ll be easy to understand when these questions are asked because they often start with describing a situation when you…
- Tell me about a time when you
- Have you ever
- Give me an example of a time when
- What do you do when
- Describe situations where
The STAR interview technique is an excellent strategy for tackling these questions. STAR is an acronym that stands for:
Situation: Describe the situation you were in
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain precisely what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
For more detail, check out our post on the STAR technique and behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions.