As if being interviewed in person isn’t pressure enough, job candidates these days often find themselves in the hot seat doing video interviews on Skype.
It’s a simple and relatively cost-effective way for employers to weed out applicants. Why fly someone from one coast to the other only to find the candidate is the wrong fit?
Do Your Research
These days potential employers will often conduct a virtual interview. Occasionally you’ll be asked to submit your own video in response to a job opening. There is so much publicly available about companies, there’s no excuse for not doing your homework and nailing the interview.
Research the company so you understand their products and services. Find out what’s being written about them in the news. Become familiar with their website and read the research studies, press releases and blogs they publish.
Consider networking through LinkedIn to locate someone in the company who can give you the inside scoop about the culture and possibly the position. Be careful, though, that he doesn’t turn out to be the person you’ll be working for.
Respond to the Job Description
Once you’ve done your research, carefully review the job description. Develop your responses to the qualifications and job specifications. Prepare anecdotes and examples of how your experience has prepared you to hit the ground running once you’re on board.
It’s important to cover everything they’ve asked for. It’s all about what you can do for them.
You want to come across as a real person and not like a robot that is reading from a script. To show your passion for the position, you might say, “I know the competition is stiff, but let me tell you why I’m the person for you. These are the requirements that stood out in your job description and here’s how I can meet them.”
Recognize the company’s accomplishments in its field. You could mention something you read about the company recently to show you’re au courant.
The HR department may have scheduled back-to-back interviews with candidates for different positions. The interviewers may have forgotten to read the job description or left your resume on their desks. Don’t laugh. It happens.
It’s up to you to fill in the blanks. Mention the name of the job at the beginning of the interview: “I’m Jane Smith. Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you. I’m so excited about the possibility of joining you as your Creative Director.”
Prepare and Practice
A Skype interview is your chance to stand out from the competition. You want to be at your very best. You may be doing the interview from your home, but that doesn’t mean you dress down or stay in your PJ’s.
Remove all the clutter from around your computer and behind you. You can use the camera that is built into your computer or mount a webcam on your monitor to give you higher resolution.
Prepare as if you were being interviewed in person:
- Dress professionally.
- Be clean shaven (unless you ordinarily have a beard or mustache).
- Wear reflection-free glasses, if you have a pair.
- Women should wear their everyday makeup. It is a good idea for both men and women to dust your face lightly with powder to reduce the shine.
- Get a good night’s sleep so you look fresh and rested.
- Be enthusiastic and show your passion for the job and company.
- Smile and use the interviewer’s name once or twice during the interview.
Check that you have developed your responses to each requirement outlined in the job description. Then role-play with a friend on a Skype call. Ask for honest feedback.
But don’t find fault with everything you do. Most of us are too hard on ourselves. Be yourself. They want to see the authentic you. No one is perfect. It’s more important to touch their emotions than to get every word right.
Go For It
At the close of the interview, ask if there is anything further they need from you. Learn the next steps and their time frame.
Don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback, “How do you see me as a candidate for this position? Did I answer all your questions? What else can I tell you about my qualifications?”
You may be happily surprised at their responses, or simply asking the question may remind them of something else they want to know. You will demonstrate a professionalism lacking in other candidates.
Have a strong ending. No tentative words.
A good close would be something like, “There’s nothing more I want than to work as part of your creative team at XYZ agency. Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting you in person.”