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Job interviews can be daunting and how you perform on the day is frequently as important as your track record. These articles will provide some insight into how to prepare, practise and get yourself into the right emotional zone for the big day. Accomplished people often over-rate their ability to shine in an interview, so we've prepared a self-test. See how you compare to the very best.

Monday
Aug212017

25. Skype job interviews: Twelve ways to avoid the pitfalls that could cost you your job

by Rachel Green, Director, Job interviews Australia. She is a top level job interviews coach with over 15 years' experience successfully helping people win their jobs.

These days interviews come in many different forms. They may be face-to-face, they may be over the telephone, or they may be via video or Skype, for example.

If you are doing a Skype interview, there are several different factors to consider and these include the following:

  1. Shut yourself in your room so that your pets, your parents, your partner, your children or anybody else cannot disturb you. Do not have things going on in the background that may distract you during the interview or that may distract the people interviewing you. I run regular coaching sessions via Skype and I have seen many things happening in the background that shouldn't have been happening.
  2. What is behind you? Have a professional uncluttered background. Remember the interviewers can see your whole room and may look past you. Do not leave anything lying around that may be offensive, irrelevant or amusing. Do not have a cluttered, disorganised or dirty background. Make sure the background is neat and tidy; this is a professional interview. If necessary place a screen behind you – but ensure it can't collapse or fall-down half-way through the interview!
  3. Switch off your mobile phone and take your landline phone off the hook, so that there is no phone ringing during the interview.
  4. Make sure that you have a good internet connection. If your home or office does not have a good one, go somewhere else to conduct your Skype interview. Do not let the technology fail you.
  5. Dress as if you are going face-to-face and look professional. Just because it is a Skype interview does not mean that you wear your gardening jacket or your pyjamas or a T-shirt. Dress up.
  6. Make sure you have arranged the lighting in your room really well. You may need to bring in extra lights. It is important that your face is lit clearly and you look excellent. When I am running my Skype coaching sessions, for example, I have a lamp that faces upwards towards the ceiling, another one that shines onto my face and an overhead light. Also, I shut my curtains so that there is no variation of light from an outside window. The sun can come out unexpectedly or the sun can go in unexpectedly and this might suddenly change all the light qualities in the room. In addition, have window blinds closed so there are no criss-cross lines running across you. In other words, arrange excellent lighting that lights up your face without making you look ghostly or stark and which remains consistent throughout. Do not sit in dim lighting – you will look dim. Make sure the lighting puts you in the best light!
  7. Ensure you have excellent sound quality. Your voice needs to be clearly and easily heard. It is also important there are no background noises which may interfere with the quality of the sound or distract you or the job interviewers. If background noises could be an issue, e.g. traffic, sirens, children, phones, planes, dogs, your pet parrot, doorbells, neighbours, colleagues, or anything else, then use a good quality headset with a built in microphone. Make sure the microphone is switched on before you start and not on mute.
  8. Check you know where to look - it can be quite hard to work it out on your own. Have a test Skype run with somebody else first. The tendency can be to look down at the face of the other person but if you are looking down, that may appear as if you are sneering at the interviewers or disconnected from them. Don't look up as people will not want to see up your nostrils. The best position might be to look towards the camera which may be at the top of your screen. However, check first. In a Skype interview you need to look as though you have eye contact with the people interviewing you. That is what you are aiming for. Your non-verbals, including eye contact in a Skype interview are very important.
  9. Consider your voice. Make sure it is easy to hear and pleasant to listen to. Do not speak in a monotone and still have animation in it. It is too easy in a Skype session to just lower your voice and mumble along. But really, you're still wanting to convey passion and strength and confidence to the interviewers.
  10. Doing a Skype interview, in many ways, is the same as having a face-to-face interview. You still need to relate to everybody on the interview panel. If there is more than one person interviewing you, make sure that you acknowledge each person and don't just focus on one to the exclusion of the others.
  11. Be articulate. Make sure, as for all job interviews, that you can explain your strengths, that you can explain your benefit to the organisation and that you can clearly demonstrate that you understand and care for that organisation. There are lots of tips on how to do this on the Job Interviews Australia website. After all, there is no point in looking superb and having a lovely voice if you have nothing of value to contribute, or you can't answer their questions convincingly, or you fail to sell yourself.
  12. Test everything, e.g. the sound levels, the lighting and the background before you start. Have everything perfect from the start, do not be adjusting your set-up during the interview. 

I am here to help you win that job!

If you want more tips on job interviews, Job Interviews Australia has a self-coaching job interviews guide. I absolutely recommend it to you. It has gained people jobs that they otherwise would not have won.

If you want job interview coaching, this is offered via Skype around Australia. It is also available with me, face-to-face in Western Australia

Let me help you win that job!