It’s been a few months that you’ve been job hunting, and at this point, you feel that you’re an interviewing ace. You know how to greet a potential employer, where to sit during the interview—you even know all the questions that a hiring manager could potentially ask. But all that changes when you have to do an interview via Skype. Doing a Skype interview is much different than an in-person interview. Here are five ways to ace your Skype interview.
1. Get dressed
Your daily outfits consist of yoga pants and a sweatshirt, but that doesn’t mean that you should wear that during your job interview. Don’t get lulled into the idea that simply because you are doing an interview from your home that you don’t have to get dressed. Treat your Skype interview as you would an in-person interview, and be dressed professionally. Make sure that your hair and makeup is done as well.
2. Spruce up your space
On an average day, your home office is a sea of papers, your kid’s preschool drawings and assorted coffee cups. Before you sit down to have your interview, though, you’ll need to clear out your office. After all, you are not only being judged on the strength of your answers to the interviewer’s questions, but yes, on your digs as well. A potential job candidate sitting in the middle of a mess can signify to a potential boss that your work ethics aren’t up to par—and can definitely be counted against you.
3. Hire a babysitter
You’ve warned your kids not to make a peep while you are interviewing with a prospective boss. You’ve even plunked them down in front of the TV with their favorite program, juice boxes and Cheerios galore. (Yes, you’re not proud of it, but a working mama has to do what a working mama has to do.) Even if you take every precaution possible, your two-year-old might still wander into your home office and announce that he has tried to use the potty—unsuccessfully. To prevent interruptions—and to be viewed in the most professional light possible—have someone watch your kids for you while you do your interview. To ensure that your potential boss doesn’t overhear your toddler’s terrible—and spontaneous—ear-piercing tantrum, ask your sitter to take the kids outside for a while.
4. Practice speaking
Looking right at your interviewer during an in-person job interview while giving an answer is a skill that can take time to master. Speaking directly into a camera while you explain why you’re the top candidate for the position is something entirely different—and can be difficult to do. You might be tempted to look away as you gather your thoughts, but it’s best to look directly into the camera as much as possible. And as much as you would like to look at your computer screen while responding, get into the practice of looking into the camera instead. This can take some time to get used to, so practice as often as you can—with your spouse or friends, for example—before your interview.
5. Be prepared
Before your interview begins, have any necessary papers or notes in front of you—and out of sight of the camera. If you need to reference your resume or your cover letter, for example, they should be right in front of you. You can keep the papers right below your computer screen, so you can quickly glance down and get the info you need without skipping a beat. This will help prevent you from shuffling through your papers to find the info that you’re looking for—and answer the question perfectly.
With some patience and practice, you can master the art of the Skype job interview. Be prepared—and above all, pleasant—and you’ll land the job of your dreams in no time.