At Step we use Skype a lot, whether it’s for an interview, a way of meeting the candidates, or to do your pre-start checks (passport check, payment schedule etc). It is still extremely important to be professional when using Skype, so we’ve listed a few tips to help.
- Is your Skype ID professional and appropriate?
Remember that when you use your Skype account for an interview you will need to share your contact information with the caller. Just like an email, the name you use should be professional and just like LinkedIn, the avatar picture should be appropriate to use in a professional setting. And that Mood Message you set up when you first logged in saying you were feeling ‘Bleurgh…’ make sure that’s appropriate too!
- Technical problems
Make sure that your camera and microphone both work and that your laptop or tablet are fully charged. If you are using your phone, try to prop it up so that you don’t give your interviewer motion sickness.
- Location, Location, Location
Make sure that the room you choose to conduct your Skype interview in is appropriate. You are essentially inviting your potential employer in to your home so ensure that those parts of your life you would rather keep behind closed doors are hidden from view. Posters, photographs and general mess can be very distracting – you want to make sure that your interview is concentrating on you and not your holiday snaps from your backpacking adventure during your gap year.
- Pets, siblings, housemates and parents
Hopefully, you wouldn’t bring your cat to your interview, so make sure that they are not purring around your legs asking to be fed during your Skype interview. It will be distracting for you and the interviewer so make sure that all distractions are removed. Tell your parents / siblings / housemates that you are on a call to prevent them from floating around in the background or shouting out that the bathroom’s free at an inopportune moment.
- What shall I wear?
It’s an interview so dress for it. Admittedly you probably don’t need to go for the whole suit and tie but smart attire is a given. Not appropriate are onesies, pyjamas and nudity. Obviously.
- What to expect on the call
Without wishing to sound like a broken record, it’s an interview so prepare in the same way as if you were going to the offices. It may be that the call is a bit less formal than a meeting, and it tends to be harder to get going without the usual ice breakers of “would you like a coffee?” and “how was your journey?” But once you and the interviewer are in the swing of the call, they will still want to know who you are, why you want to work for them, what you can do for them and whether or not they want to offer you a job.
- What happens next?
It’s rare that a job offer will follow a Skype call, although this can happen, especially when the candidate needs to relocate for the role. Usually, Skype can be used as a first stage screening process or a final stage when a face to face interview has already happened. Don’t assume that there won’t be a meeting following the call but also don’t assume that there will be. Make sure you get all the information you need from the call by writing down your questions before the call and making sure they have all been answered.
Overall, be professional and be prepared – it’s still an interview!