Skype Interviewing, Tips and Technology
Skype interviews are quickly replacing phone screens and even face-to-face interviews. And no wonder--conducting interviews with Skype can be very cost efficient and convenient if done correctly. Here are some tips to make your Skype interviews go smoothly and effectively: Make sure you're comfortable using the technology. Practice making some Skype calls to friends and family before using it for interviews. Inspect your setting. What will the other person see? Your visual background should be uncluttered, clean, and professional. Make sure light is not projecting from behind you, as it will darken your face. Minimize background noise. Turn off your phone, television and other electronics. If you're at the office, find a quiet room to use. If at home, make sure the family won't bother you and pets are elsewhere. Test your sound settings before the interview. Click on the "Echo Sound Test Service" and "Call" to test your sound settings. You can also click on "Check Settings" to make sure your microphone, speakers, webcam, and connection are working properly. Don't get too close (or too far away) from the camera. Don't be too close--no one wants to see EVERY detail of your face! But don't be too far away--it will look like you're yelling. A good rule of thumb: the first three buttons of your shirt should be visible. Dress appropriately. Don't wear patterns or the color white--they don't show up well on the screen. Make "virtual" eye contact. Eye contact on Skype is different than a normal interview. When the interviewer is talking, look at his image on the screen. But when you speak, look at the camera. Remember that a Skype interview is a real interview! Be timely, be professional, and be prepared. As with any interview, first impressions count! Technical Requirements
- Make sure your computer has a camera. If you do not have a camera built in to your computer, you can purchase a mountable camera inexpensively at any of the larger office supply or computer technology chain stores.
- Download the (free) Skype software at www.skype.com onto the computer you plan to use for interviews. Click on "Get Skype for Windows" (or "Get Skype for Mac"). Skype will ask you to create a user name and password. It's best to create a professional sounding name (for example, Baldwin Gilman's Skype name is baldwingilman).
- Use a secure, solid broadband internet connection. And unless you have a highly reliable wireless connection, use an ethernet cable to access the web.
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