Face to face job interviews are already hard enough, but when applying for a job abroad you are most likely not going abroad for the interviews (at least not the first one). Therefore a lot of companies use Skype for the interviews, and this goes a bit different compared to the interviews you are known with. The HR person you speak to has already checked your CV, so you already made it through the first round. Of course, you now want to make a great first impression to the company but are scared that they want to speak to you via Skype. Second chances barely exist in applying for a job, so make sure you put your best foot forward and make every second count!
Check out these essential steps and you will make a killer impression at your Skype interview!
Here are some tips and tricks (that everyone knows but few actually applies) on how to prepare for a job interview:
1. Do research (Google is your best friend)
Before going on an interview, you should have good knowledge of the position you applied for and the company itself.
Read the job description very carefully, look-up terms you are not familiar with and make sure you write down all the questions you might have. Besides this, try to have a good idea about what kind of person they are looking for. Ask yourself the question in which way you can be that person and try to highlight your aspects and the points on your CV that is underlying this.
Aside from the job description, doing some thorough research about the company itself is very important as well. Look up the company’s history, mission, vision, CEO’s name, products, clients, etc. Another thing to do is to research the recent press of the company. Use this knowledge to make a killer impression during the interview itself
2. Practice makes (almost) perfect
In order to feel confident and comfortable about yourself, practice the job interview with a friend or family member. Review the most asked questions on a job interview – the internet is your best friend – and practice how you would answer them.
If you do not have anyone around you, try to interview yourself. At first, it might seem stupid, but when you speak out loud to yourself it most often provoke ideas of what you should answer.
3. Dress appropriately
If you want to make a killer impression, clothing is another important point to talk about. Dress appropriately!
But what does dressing appropriate exactly mean?
Of course, for every person dressing appropriately has a different meaning. Try to figure out what kind of people work at your (possible) future company and what kind of atmosphere and environment they work in. If the company breathes professionalism, dress up a little bit more than usual. The person you speak to will only see the top part of your outfit, but you might want to dress professionally in total, in case you need to stand up to grab something.
A safe choice for dressing is a blue shirt and dark jeans, even at a company more casual, this can fit it. Try not to overdue make-up or colours, stay rather neutral, it is the first impression and they would like to get to know you, see your face and listen, not to be distracted by long nails, a fancy hairdo or bright cloth colours.
4. Prepare your location
When doing an interview via Skype, make sure the background is clean and fresh. A white wall will work best, but in case that is not possible then go for a calm, clean background. Make sure there are no people walking behind you since this can disturb the view. A large gallery of private pictures is also good to avoid.
The same goes for sounds, take the interview in a quiet place. It might be smart to sit in a separate room without children or animals. In case this is not possible, most libraries have places with free wifi where you are allowed to speak on a decent level. It is smart to wear a headset, so the people speaking to you will not hear themselves echoing. When you have the perfect spot, check if your webcam and microphone are working properly, you might need to change some settings before this is right. Make sure your webcam is placed on a high enough place that your head and shoulders are in the shot, so try it out before the call. It is always smart to do a test call, whatever platform being Skype, Google hangout or any of the many meeting programs out there, there can always be issues. So test it out with a friend before the call, to ensure that you are not delayed in your end due to technical issues.
5. Be online early
It is of utmost importance to be on time! Think about what kind of impression you would make when arriving late. If you are late for your interview, at what time would you then arrive at work? Being late makes such a bad impression so try to avoid this at all costs. Especially with interviews via Skype, it is important to check if everything is working properly before you get the call.
It is best to be ready 10 to 15 minutes before your interview. In this case, you will be ready when you get the call.
If it does happen that you will arrive late for any kind of reason, send the recruiter an email to explain why you are late and make a new appointment. This will showcase responsibility and that you are aware of the other persons valuable time.
6. Show respect to the recruiter
Besides being on time, another thing you should take into account is the recruiter’s name. Make sure you get his/her name right from the first time. If he/she has an unusual name, be mindful enough to do research about how to pronounce it correctly – of course, if you already know his/her name before going on an interview.
Another way of showing your respect for the recruiter is to thank him/her for giving you a chance for the position. This may not sound important, but if you think about it: the recruiter is making time for you to interview you and to take your application into consideration. You should be thankful to him/her for doing so.
7. Be confident and motivated
When you have gone through the previous checklist points and you arrived (on time) for the job interview, you should try to make a confident impression. Take note of your body language, posture and every single action you undertake during the interview. Try to be as confident as possible, without going overboard with it. Of course, applying these 10 tips can also help you with feeling more confident about yourself.
Would you consider a negative-minded candidate lacking the motivation to work for your company? The answer is NO! So, please be and act as enthusiastic and motivated as possible. If you find that hard to do, do yourself (and the HR/recruiter) the favour and consider if this is really the job for you.
8. Always be positive – avoid all negativity
In line with the previous advice, another thing you need to avoid during your job interview is any kind of negativity. People do not like it and will associate you with it. Always try to express yourself in a positive way and never talk bad about yourself or anybody else (like for example your previous employer). Keep up the positive vibes!
9. Ask questions yourself
In order to show your general interest in the company, it is very much appreciated to show some curiosity. Prepare a couple of questions to ask the recruiter yourself. Be very general. A possible question can be: “Where does the company want to be in five years and which actions will it undertake to get there?”.
A more simple question can be directed to the HR/recruiter: “What do you like most about this company?” this is a gentle way of breaking the ice of your potential new colleague, and at the same time get some personal insides.
10. Ask for feedback
Last but not least, it is very important to follow-up after your interview. Let the recruiter know you are thankful that he/she takes your application into consideration and explain one more time why you would be the perfect candidate for the job opportunity. You either do this by phone or email. In this way, you will show that you are really motivated to join their team.
Besides these 10 useful tips for nailing a job interview, always keep in mind to be yourself. Never try to be anybody else because, in the end, you want to fit in the company where you will be working for the whole week.
All the best of luck!