Although many of us are now regular Skypers with friends and family, or we Face Time on our I-phones, a video interview can still cause problems for many people. If you are one of these people, and are looking for work, you really are going to have to get to grips with Skype to give yourself the best chance. To get the best opportunities in a geographically mobile industry like hospitality it is really important to nail your Skype interview technique.
At CaterPeople around 30% of the employer interviews we arrange for food & beverage and front of house positions are Skypes. Skype gets used for junior and management positions. And we regularly have candidates offered and accepting jobs purely off the back of a Skype, never having visited the property.
There are clearly benefits all round. It is convenient for both the employer and for you. No need to take a full day or more out for travelling. It saves on costs as well as time. It opens up more opportunities for you. It really is worth getting to grips with.
So here are our top tips for nailing your Skype interview:
- Make sure you know the Skype handle (user name) of the person you are being interviewed by.
- Make sure you have an appropriate Skype user name. Probably not good having MediocreMike – and we have seen a lot worse!
- Check you have a decent wifi connection – if you have any doubt about your connection go somewhere where you can rely on it.
- Check you have sound. Your practice sessions will iron all these bits out. Don’t wait until the actual interview to do your first Skype. Do a ‘technical rehearsal’ with a friend.
- Make sure you have a room where you will not be disturbed and your family, housemates know what you are doing. Watch this video - Preparation is key - this is what you are trying to avoid, as hilarious as it is.
- Check your camera angle if you are able to change it, and make sure it is not too close. No one wants to spend 20 minutes looking up your left nostril. And if the camera is too close, we don’t get to see any body language. Body language is a part of your personality and we want to see this.
- Check your surroundings – clean, tidy and distraction free is good. If, like one of our candidates, you do an hour long interview sat at a kitchen table covered in dirty pans and dishes you’ve probably blown it at the outset. It’s a good idea to take a quick photo of what it looks behind you, we often see things on a photo that we don’t notice in real life.
- Dress for an interview – even your bottom half! You may have to stand up…
- Work to establish a rapport – on Skype, do it with smiles and eye contact. Remember to look into the camera for the eye contact, and not at the screen.
We hope this helps. Video interviews are here to stay – so prepare, practice and go get that job!