Recently, more and more companies are conducting interviews remotely using Skype, etc. Because of the advantage of being able to conduct a Skype interview right away without any special equipment in situations where there is no room for schedule, not only foreign companies, but also domestic large companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often conducted in place of the face-to-face first interview.
How is a video interview different from a regular face-to-face interview, and what to pay special attention to, let’s prepare with Robert Walters, a global talent recruitment expert.
What is the ‘Skype’ system used for internet interviews?
Skype is Internet software that allows you to make video calls using your computer or smartphone camera. You can use it with your smartphone and, as long as you have the internet, you can make free video calls with people around the world from anywhere.
Some companies use Skype for online English conversation lessons, and because of the advantage of being able to make video calls for free, it has also started to be used in interviews. In addition to Skype, there are companies that use systems such as ZOOM, KakaoTalk, and FaceTalk. The basic preparation method is the same, so do not panic, prepare as follows and prepare for the interview.
Before the Skype interview
Create a Skype account or ID. It is best to use your own name as your Skype account ID for the interview. Avoid using unprofessional words and numbers. It is recommended that you quickly sign up for Skype on the same day and practice once or twice in advance to become familiar with the function operation so that you do not go to an interview without knowing how to use it.
As soon as Skype is turned on, the program is updated, and there are many cases where it is not possible to log in at the interview time. To prevent this from happening, check Skype once before the interview time.
Using a computer for a Skype interview
If possible, use a computer for Skype interviews. Check-in advance that your computer is equipped with a camera, that it is working properly, and that nothing dirty or inappropriate is exposed in the background. If you have to use a smartphone because your computer does not have a camera function, prepare something such as a smartphone holder to hold it with one hand so that you do not have an uneasy interview. Whatever device you opt to use, it is crucial that you have a fast and stable internet connection to avoid any awkward disconnections or technical issues. Check your internet speed beforehand with a tool like the Spectrum speed test to ensure your internet is up to scratch.
Skype (Skype) interview
Log in to Skype 10 minutes in advance
There are times when you log in just in time for the interview and the company representative is already logged in.
In order not to give the impression that you are late even if you are on time, we recommend that you log in at least 10 minutes before the interview time or at least 5 minutes before the interview time.
The difference between a Skype interview and a regular face-to-face interview
The biggest difference between a Skype interview and a regular face-to-face interview is that you can check the other person’s reaction or voice through the camera, but it is difficult to convey 100%.
In a typical interview, the interviewer’s on-site response was good, but in a Skype interview, facial expressions and gestures are not dynamically delivered, so there may be cases in which the interviewer’s reaction is not good or not. In a video interview, it is difficult to concentrate on the movements, so I am conscious to express myself as much as possible and speak clearly.
1. Dress code professionally even for internet interviews
Just like a normal face-to-face interview, choose a professional suit that suits the interview. For men, a white dress shirt and tie are properly fitted to the top and bottom suits, and for women, wear a jacket.
Wearing the right top and bottom attire will allow the interviewer to participate in the interview with a sense of tension on his/her own and will not be embarrassed when suddenly having to stand up or move in front of the camera. Dark clothing is best, and avoid clothing with the same color as the background or too bright and flashy colors and patterns.
2. Focus on the other person
Internet interviews are usually conducted in the same sequence as face-to-face interviews. After the first greeting with the interviewer, first check each other’s microphones or cameras. If you are new to Skype, familiarize yourself with Skype’s camera and microphone positions and how to adjust the volume.
If you look directly into the camera lens rather than your reflection on the screen, you can give the interviewer the impression that you are concentrating on the interview. If you sit facing the camera with an upright posture and lean slightly forward, the number of contact times increases, allowing the interviewer to see the applicant’s expression more clearly.
Conversely, be careful with actions such as avoiding your gaze and staring into the air, as they appear not to be concentrating on listening to the story. If you do something like this without your knowledge, try to keep a negative impression on the other person by responding continuously, such as nodding your head.
3. Prepare the surrounding environment (interview location)
A suitable place for a video interview is a place where there are no unnecessary objects and a space with a static background is good. Make sure that the background exposed by the camera does not expose anything inappropriate or distracting the interviewer. Before the interview, adjust the angle of the lighting to avoid shadows on the person’s face, and conduct the interview in a place where noise such as car sounds, phone ringtones, and people’s voices can be reduced to a minimum. If there are people around unavoidably, let them know that you are going for an interview and arrange the environment so that the interview is not interrupted.
4. Don’t rely on memos, keep your resume close at hand
The good thing about a video interview is that you can prepare what you want to say and refer to it. It would be very convenient to prepare a memo, but if you read the memo or read the prepared content and recite it, the natural flow of conversation will be interrupted and the interviewer will show that he or she has not properly prepared for the interview. Also, if there are too many notes, you will hear the sound of paper being touched or flipped, and such noise can make the other person uncomfortable. Therefore, it is recommended to use memos at a minimum, that is, to prepare what you really want to say in advance, and to use it only to check if there is anything you haven’t said before.
Keep your printed resume and other necessary documents nearby to avoid unnecessary work. In case you need to share the data with the interviewer, it is also a good idea to prepare an Internet environment in advance so that you can share the data by e-mail if necessary.
In rare cases, if you have something to share on the website of the company you are applying for, on social media, or describing the interviewer’s career, you may use Skype’s chat function, so make sure you know how to use it.
5. Be prepared for technical issues
Ensuring a stable internet connection is vital for a successful Skype interview. Factors beyond the realm of personal control, such as weather conditions, can inadvertently impact internet connectivity, particularly for satellite-based internet services. “Does weather affect satellite internet?” Weather indeed plays a significant role in the reliability of satellite internet connections. Satellite internet relies on signals transmitted between ground stations and orbiting satellites, and adverse weather conditions like heavy rain, thunderstorms, or even excessive cloud cover can interfere with these signals, causing potential disruptions. Consequently, it’s advisable to consider the potential influence of weather on your satellite internet when preparing for a Skype interview.
To avoid the risk of interruption during the interview, it is recommended to use a reliable wired or cellular connection instead of satellite internet, especially if inclement weather is expected. By taking these precautions and acknowledging potential weather-related challenges, you can help ensure a smooth and uninterrupted virtual interview experience without the uncertainty of weather-related connectivity issues. Remember, in case of any technical problems arising due to weather or other factors, it’s always a good practice to politely communicate the situation to the interviewer and kindly request them to repeat the question if necessary. This approach showcases your professionalism and adaptability in the face of unforeseen challenges.
6. At the end of the interview
It is the same as a face-to-face interview. Finally, summarize the points you want to emphasize and say thank you to the interviewer. Take the time to check out the next admissions step and ask questions.
The interview isn’t over until the interviewer disconnects, so don’t slow down until the very end.
Notes on Skype Interviews in English or Foreign Languages
Delays (voice and facial expressions of the other party appear a few seconds late or the screen speed is slow) are common in video interviews. Sometimes the sound cuts out in the middle. When interviewing in English or other foreign languages, pay more attention to this part and speak in a loud and clear voice. It is important not to panic and maintain a relaxed pace.
Other manners required for a Skype interview
Account ID and profile picture
ID and profile picture are very important factors in determining the first impression. Use IDs and photos that give the impression that you are a professional person.
It is best to avoid using IDs such as character and actor names and inappropriate words and to use English names that can intuitively introduce the applicant. It is also recommended to use a self-portrait for your profile picture or not to show off, such as a nice natural scenery.
Adjust the web camera to angle it so that the interviewer can see the applicant from head to shoulder. As much as possible, it is necessary to create a situation that looks like a face-to-face interview.
headphones or earphones
Earphones or headphones capture your voice more clearly and clearly than ordinary external speakers. If earphones or headphones are used, avoid overly flashy or large items so that the interviewer does not disturb them.