Submitted by Lyn Smith, CCC Staff

If you haven’t job searched in quite a while, you will learn that a growing number of companies use a video conferencing software, such as SKYPE to conduct initial job interviews. Your SKYPE chat (using a video cam) is an interview screening process and a way to identify the applicants that are best fitted for the position. If you pass this stage, the next step is usually a face-to-face interview.

When preparing for a SKYPE interview, here are some tips to consider:

Preparation is key! If you don’t have a SKYPE account, you will need to open one and load the software.When selecting a SKYPE username, create a professional SKYPE account, as this will be seen by the interviewer. Familiarize yourself with the software by doing a practice run with someone you know. Ask for their feedback. Prepare exactly as if this was a face-to-face interview. Be sure all other windows on your computer are closed. If during the SKYPE, you are having trouble hearing, don’t pretend that nothing is wrong. Bring it up immediately.

Be aware of the background … you want to be in a quiet place … free from noises, other people and pets. Tell others you will be in an interview and cannot be disturbed. Look at your background. Is it clean … are the colors neutral … is the lighting good? You want to be the focal point, not the background. Be prepared with notes … you may want to put them on a wall behind your computer or above the line of the camera, so you are looking at them straight on and not down at the table/desk top.

Dress professionally from head to toe, as if you were at a face-to-face interview. You never know if you will need to stand up! Sit up tall and relax your shoulders as this projects confidence. Of course, be sure to smile too! Engage with the interviewers by looking into the webcam, and not the screen. Eye contact by SKYPE is just as important as a face-to-face interview.

Finally, at the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and ask about the next steps. Then, follow up with a Thank You letter by email.

Hopefully, by following some of these tips, you will have a positive SKYPE interview experience and move on to the face-to-face interview. Good Luck with your job search!

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