Technology certainly brings with it many business advantages and efficiencies. But with all the benefits come some challenges – especially when these new systems have to still be processed by human sensitivities. A Skype interview is one example. Many more companies, particularly international firms, are using Skype as a way to reduce the costs of flying candidates in for interviews. For the candidate, it’s easier to manage the details of preparation if they don’t include travel. What’s not as easy to manage is how you engage interviewers, which tend in this format to take place in the form of panels. In person, you get to shake hands, offer eye contact and develop a real rapport. On Skype you become an image on the screen. How do you make your best showing? These tips will get you camera ready. — Sonia Alleyne (Images: Thinkstock)
Really consider what looks good on you. What colors help your complexion pop? What clothes fit you well? Make sure hair is properly groomed and for women, even if you tend not to wear makeup, get recommendations from a department store makeup counter on colors that will read well on camera. For men wearing suits, make sure the collars don’t gap. Pay particular attention to ties and pocket squares as they can enhance or mute your look.
Make sure your interview is conducted in an environment free from distractions, including children, pets and room clutter. If possible rent an office for your interview. Position yourself squarely in front of the camera not expanding beyond a waist-to-head shot. You want the interviewers to focus on you and not what’s in the room.
For a panel interview write down the name and title of each person on a Post It or small index card and arrange them in front of you out of the focus of your camera. When addressing the panel or asking a question make sure to call each individual by name to better engage them.