Want that job in New York but don’t have the money to get there? Worried about being too impersonal via phone? Although many people may think of Skype, a free way to call and web cam (with other Skype users), as a way to communicate with friends and family, it can also come in handy for those interviewing for jobs and internships.
A recent article by Time noted “How Skype is Changing the Job Interview.” And this fact is very true. Although some companies will pay for the transportation and accommodations of its job candidates, in this economy it’s not always a guarantee. Also, as a college student I don’t have the cash or free time to fly to Boston, and I feel that phone interviews are not the greatest way to showcase my personality or enthusiasm.
Personally, I love Skype. But, there are some things that we must keep in mind when preparing for a job interview and being interviewed via Skype:
Dress for success:
Just because you’re interviewing in your bedroom doesn’t mean that you should sport your pajamas–dress appropriate. That means avoiding clunky jewelry that will make excessive noise and also appearing fresh but not ready for a night on the town by being appropriate when applying makeup. For men: although you may loathe putting on a suit or donning a tie, at least you can take it off immediately afterwards. Also, with careful and strategic camera angling, you can avoid slacks and dress shoes altogether (just don’t stand up and be wearing boxers–please). Don’t forget to smile and actually look at the camera when responding (this is your “eye contact”).
You don’t want your “SexyBack” ringtone, courtesy of JT ruining the moment. And you also don’t want your barking dog (or a neighbor’s Labrador) stealing the spotlight. So plan accordingly. If you have roommates, ask for silence. Noisy neighbors? Try to have the interview take place when the apartment next to you isn’t sounding like there’s a party, or when the lady who lives above you is done blending her week’s worth of breakfast.
Keep it clean:
Having an interview via Skype puts not only you on the spot, but the area that you’re interviewing in as well. So clean up your room or choose a clean, private and quiet space. Not only is a messy background distracting, it also shows a future employer a lack of organization. So keep it clean, keep it classy, and keep the eyes on you, not that “Baywatch” poster in the back. A strong Internet connection is also key.
Skype may seem like an informal way to be interviewed, but it’s not–you still need to be prepared. So practice with a friend (especially if you’re new to Skype) and make sure you speak loud and clear. Have proper lighting and set the scene for success. Now is not only a time to impress potential employers with your well-crafted answers, but to woo them with your camera skills as well. Last reminder: beware of time zones!
Now for some questions: Do you think Skype will become the long-distance interviewing norm? Have you ever had a job/internship interview via Skype? These notions both scare and excite me. Although I’m eager to become more technologically advanced, I can’t help but worry that I’ll break Skype etiquette. Do you have similar concerns, or any tips?
Image courtesy of: http://www.360jobinterview.com/.Job_Category/Engineering