Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ace your Skype interview: how to make a great impression from a distance?

A new year has started and here I am again, headset on, ready for another series of interviews via Skype. In today’s digital age, Skype has become a common way of interviewing, at least as a first step in the selection process.

So how do you make a great impression from a distance?

·       Don’t make excuses
Let’s face, it is easier to make a great impression when I can see you instead of just hearing you over the phone. So try to make it work. You wouldn’t be the first person to download Skype and create an account. And as a little remark, a professionally looking user name always helps.

·       Technology is a bitch
And it always fails when you least expect it but you can handle it with grace. So do a little test run, check how to put on your sound and video prior to the actual interview.
But keep in mind that things can go wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask to hang up the call and try again if your Skype is freezing. If anything, it will show me that you can troubleshoot and that you can handle unexpected hurdles.

·       Check your surroundings
As you are most likely to have a Skype interview in the privacy of your own house, I get a unique insight in your home environment. So check your background, you don’t have to share with me the fact that you are in the middle of a house move. 
It can happen that your child unexpectedly walks in with a very urgent question (trust me, I know how it feels) but the way you handle the hick-up will show me how you deal with unexpected circumstances. So briefly excuse yourself, put the ‘mute’ button on and fix it. No harm will be done.

·       Dress for success
It’s not because you are at a distance and I can only see the upper half of your body that you can neglect the way you look. There is no need to put a suit on but give me a professional impression. A hoodie is never a good idea and the cliché of sweatpants…well, what can I say…if you need to handle the above kids issue with your sweatpants on…I promise I will never forget that I talked to you.
All jokes aside, dressing up for the interview will also help you to create the mindset that you are conducting an interview rather than having a casual conversation.

·       Business as usual
To a large extend, it remains business as usual… after all, an interview is a discussion between two people as to whether there could be a potential job match. So it is important to build a connection with me. Through video, less body language information is transmitted so focus on matching the tone and pace of your voice to the message that you are trying to convey. If you say that you are excited about a project, sound excited.
You can use non-verbal communication. Make eye contact by looking into the camera, it gives me the impression that you are talking to me, instead of to your screen. Smile and sit up straight.

Skype will never be able to replace a face2face meeting to assess chemistry, feel body language and to genuinely ‘meet’ a person. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, during the Skype interview, you need to convince me that you are the right person for the job and that I can confidently present you to my client.  I hope that these tips will help you in making a great first digital impression.

I look forward to talking to you…in real life or via Skype.

Through a personalized and tailor-made approach, Ingenium Executive Search aspires to assist you in attracting the right talent that matches the DNA of your company

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