Increasingly job interviews are being conducted over the phone and indeed, Skype, as this allows for a reasonably effective version of video conferencing. Skype is a great way to meet up with people far away and it is also convenient and quick, even for a meeting a few blocks across town. However, undertaking a job interview over skype can add its own level of stress and you should take some care.
A few suggestions follow on making it an effective job interview.
Conduct your interview from a nice quiet spot. Where you won’t have domestic life intruding with barking dogs and washing machines launching into overdrive (and indeed, your mobile phone going off). Being dressed in a professional way with suit, tie and jacket is always good practice (perhaps, you can still be daring and wear shorts and sandals as the interviewer will not see this?)
The lighting should be good and the surroundings should look professional. You want to project your environment to the interviewer. Ensure your (web)camera is set up to capture you comfortably situated throughout the interview and keep an eye on Skype to check what you are seen as.
The audio should be of high quality and it worth testing this out beforehand. What is enormously irritating for the interviewer are cracks, pops and delays in your speech due to a poor bandwidth connection or problems with your hardware. Naturally, test and test again, your overall set up to ensure there are no last minute glitches which would cause a long delay while you battle to find out why your microphone isn’t working.
Ensure you are prepped for the interview with your notes (and pen) neatly in front of you together with a few easy questions (perhaps also to set the interviewer at ease).
The Actual Interview
During the actual interview, you need to project as someone positive, committed and keenly interested in what is happening. Do not let distractions from a phone or email cause you to lose your concentration. Look directly at the camera when the interviewer is speaking to you. Be cautious about some lack of spontaneity with delays with skype and wait carefully before speaking.
Once the interview is over, send a follow up email providing any documentation requested. Confirm your interest and enthusiasm about the job and wait positively for a secondary interview – this time, generally conducted face-to-face.
Good advice from ‘Dame’ Edna Everage: Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
Yours in engineering learning,