3 ways to be kickass in that Skype/video interview

Thanks to telecommuting, working across the globe in different time zones is feasible within clicks! Video interviews via softwares such as Skype and Google Hangouts is commonplace these days. A video interview can make you nervous as there’s quite a bit of coordination work just to get ready for one. Here are three must-dos to get the hang of video interviews!

1. Set the stage

You’d probably be doing the video interview in the comforts of your own home or a quiet space in a library of meeting room. You definitely need a table — it’s not a Skype call with friends or family from the comfort of your bed! The table and the background need to look clean and neat. There shouldn’t be anything very distracting in the background such as dangling fairy lights, your soft toys on the bed, movie posters and polaroids of you and your friends on the walls. You may try to drape a cloth over if it’s needed, but just find a room with plain walls if you can.

Your home or the room for the interview needs to be quiet for that period. Turn off your phone and other tech alerts then, so that you’re not distracted by Instagram and Whatsapp and that your microphone will not pick up too much ambient noises.

2. Dress the part

Dressing for the video interview should not be too different from going to an interview in-person except you will be barefoot at home. Wearing what you would on a normal working day and make it more formal as if you’re attending a job interview is the way to go. It may be tempting to skip formal bottoms, but you might want to go all out so that you’re not looking too relaxed or comfortable in your pyjama bottoms! The effort that goes into a video interview is comparable to that of an in-person interview. So make that impression. Ladies, spruce yourself up with makeup as if you are leaving the house. Effort also needs to be made for the hair — it shouldn’t look like bed head.

3. Test the tech and everything else that could go wrong

So you’ve got your set-up of the room with your table and chair, and your interview clothes on. You’ll need to check your hardware — make sure you have a good pair of earphones and a strong wifi connection on your laptop with the camera and microphone functions in tiptop condition. In terms of software, you need the programme of your interviewer’s choice and make sure you know how to use it. Now is the time to do your audio-visual (AV) checks beforehand to smooth out all technical issues. Rehearse and make sure your camera is at eye level and the angle is not oddly positioned to show the top of your head or your double chin *wobbling*.

Make sure your sound equipments are all working. If Murphy Law strikes, apologise and carry on with your chin held high. Technology is a huge distraction — turn off other programmes and don’t be surfing other sites like Facebook or Instagram during the interview!

There you go, the three simple tips are setting the venue, wearing something appropriate and then testing everything that could possibly go wrong. Keep your fingers and toes crossed! Don’t forget to send in everything the hiring manager asked for in advance, be it write-ups, application forms or your resume.

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