Some Do’s and Don’t’s for your Skype interview

One of the defining features of the ESL sector is its global scope; jobs and job-seekers are to be found in almost every corner of the world. It can be impractical then, to interview candidates face-to-face for a potential job several hundreds of miles away. In the past, the telephone would be the method of choice, but in recent years, the webcam video-conferencing service Skype has become a more and more commonplace means to conduct remote interviews.

Skype has one significant advantage over the telephone, and that is its video function. Employers like to get a full picture of who they’re hiring, and getting a look at someone can be provide valuable impressions about the candidate’s demeanour, attitude and outlook that an audio only interview simply would have missed. Below are some simple Dos and Don’ts to bear in mind for a Skype interview.

1. DO – be early. If you’ve been provided with a contact for your interviewer, add them well before your scheduled interview time, and be online, ready to go a good ten or fifteen minutes prior to the start.

2. DON’T – sit in front of anything too distracting. Try to sit in a fairly non-descript space, after all, you want to be the focus, not the enormous and entirely inappropriate poster of Darth Vader battling Harry Potter (copyright issues notwithstanding, it gives an unprofessional impression.

3. DO – dress smartly, it’s a job interview after all.There are some benefits to using Skype, you are safe enough leaving off your smart shoes, but for goodness’ sake make sure that those parts of you visible on camera look professional and tidy.

4. DON’T – start the interview with a laptop battery on the verge of collapse.Dropping the call for 5 frantic minutes while you hunt down your charger don’t convey the best impression.

5. DO – remember about eye contact. Most webcams are positioned just above the screen, and it’s easy to try and hold the gaze of your interviewer while forgetting that to their eyes, you’re looking down rather shiftily. Practise beforehand to break the habit.

6. DON’T – forget the microphone is on. Sound advice for all politicians and media personalities.The microphone is likely just adjacent to the keyboard, and that means it will pick up any taps on the table, any drummed fingers of boredom, and transform them into a grating, feedback-heavy herd of elephants for your interviewer.

Follow these tips, and your next Skype interview should go as smoothly as your internet connection allows!