If you have ever had a Skype interview, you know they can be nerve racking. To start with, there’s the interview itself. Add to that the tech prep, choosing the perfect waist-up wardrobe, and setting up the perfect background somewhere in your apartment. But developing a good Skype shtick is critical since now more than ever, employers are conducting initial interviews remotely. This is especially true in the hospitality industry, where employers recruit internationally to find the best candidates available. The good news is that you can control most aspects of the interview with just a bit of set up.
Here are our tips for successful Skype interviews:
1. The wardrobe department
Just because you are interviewing in your living room doesn’t give you permission to dress like a couch potato. You’ll actually want to make more of an effort with your wardrobe and grooming—many positive things that an employer could potentially perceive about you in person (body language, gestures, subtle cues, a full three dimensions) will be lost over remote video. So how you appear in that little window is super important. Choose solid colors that present well on video (do a test run to see how you look) and avoid jewelry or accessories that might distract the interviewer.
2. Mise-en-scène matters
Take some time before the interview to set up a well lit, quiet, clean and neutral backdrop for the call. Read: no construction noise, clutter, dishes from last night’s dinner or visible personal items. The concentration should be on you and you alone—not your collection of artisanal soaps.
3. Prep your profile
Use a professional Skype ID and profile picture. That means no pictures of you out at a club, in sunglasses on the beach or on the couch cradling your cat—keep it simple and use the same photo you have on your CV or on your hosco profile. Likewise, your Skype ID should be your full name or a close variation of it. It’s time to retire sassypants89.
4. Testing, testing 1, 2, 3
Do a trial run with a friend so that you can get feedback on your appearance, voice, body language and background. All of those things can then be tweaked before the real deal. Also, be tech-ready: check your microphone and wifi connection, and have supporting documents ready to fire off upon request during the call. You may even want to invest in a USB microphone that delivers higher quality audio than the built-in one on your laptop. Remind the recruiter of your Skype ID before the call or, better yet, be proactive and add the recruiter yourself ahead of time so he or she doesn’t have to waste time searching for you. Now, just don’t forget to smile for the camera and you’re ready to go!