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9 tips for a great job interview on Skype

Using Skype for a job interview, young woman behind her laptop

Do you want to work abroad? If so, it may be interesting for both the recruiter - who is recruiting remotely - and the customer to discover who they are dealing with. That’s only logical, but also as a candidate it is always nice to match a name to a face and get a better idea of what the job is about. That's why more and more job interviews are held via video chat apps such as Skype. We will give you nine tips to make a positive impression during your online job interview.

Test your equipment

Preparing well is definitely worth it. This applies not only to the content of your call, but also to testing your devices. Technology is fantastic, but hiccups can always happen. So make sure to have a stable internet connection and test your webcam and audio settings in advance (we recommend using earphones). Try Skype, so you know how the application works and what features you can use during the interview.

Get used to your image

Pretending to be different from who you really are is never a good idea. But when you see yourself on the screen for the first time, it may be a bit strange. Watch how you come across on the screen and, by way of rehearsal, answer a few simple questions by yourself. It will make you more comfortable with the medium and more at ease with the technology during the conversation. Don’t forget to smile and show some enthusiasm! 

Set up a professional account

You are fully prepared, but you almost forgot: your personal Skype account has a funny nickname and a separate email address. Avoid embarrassing situations: the username bricklayer_123 or email address may not give the best of impressions. You could consider making a second account and use ‘firstname.lastname’: professional and clear. Adding a photo is also a good idea.

Dress neatly

Rest assured: we are not the Fashion Police for job interviews. Nevertheless, it is important to take care of your appearance. Put on clothes you would also wear during an offline job interview. And make sure to dress from head to toe: you may have to get up at some point during the interview. I'm sure you wouldn’t like the interviewer to see you in your boxer shorts. Avoid wearing colours that are too bright or jewellery that may be distracting for the recruiter.

Choose your setting wisely

A job interview should best be organised at your home, not in a bar or in the meeting room of your current employer. Your room doesn't have to be spick and span, but sit in an orderly room with a neutral background. Try to have some natural daylight, but don't sit too close to a window, as this will cause too much backlighting. Sit down calmly at about an arm's length from the camera and position it at eye level. In this way you will look directly at the recruiter.

Avoid distractions

The sound of silence! Close any unnecessary open programs before you start the job interview. You don't want Facebook notifications to suddenly pop up or your Spotify playlist to start playing loud beats. Also, set your Skype status to “Do not disturb”. And we do understand you love your pet, but please make sure that the little rascal can’t enter the room and jump onto your lap or the keyboard, barking loudly.

Use notes

We’re sure you’ll prepare your interview well: look up information about the company, think about answers to frequently asked questions ...  But looking at your notes is not a crime: you could make a list of things - using key words or highlighted phrases, for example - that you definitely want to say or ask during the conversation. But also check your notes thoroughly before the start. It doesn’t look natural when you read things out loud or recite them by heart.

Keep useful documents at hand

Besides notes, it may be useful to have a printed copy of your CV, cover letter and, if appropriate, your portfolio nearby. It will allow you to keep up with the recruiter when he or she is going over your documents. Skype also makes it easy to share your documents or send them to each other: make sure to put them in a folder that you can find easily. Also keep a notebook at hand to take notes.

Expect the unexpected

You can prepare everything down to the last detail, but something can always go wrong. It’s not the end of the world: we're all human beings and technology wouldn't be technology if something didn't go wrong on a regular basis. The most important advice: stay calm during this challenging moment and don't let it get to you. It is even an excellent way to show the recruiter that you keep your calm in unexpected and stressful situations.

Looking for a great job (abroad)? Let’s do this:!