Skype Interviews

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With the development of modern technology Skype/Online interviews have become common place. Which poses the question, with the job interview already being seen as an ordeal that most people have to face at one stage or another in their career, is it easier or more difficult now that video starts to take the place of the face-to-face interview to land a board seat?

Online or video interviews are becoming more and more popular as organisations branch out overseas. Not only do companies hold live Skype interviews, there are also some companies that have started to send applicants a questionnaire that they have to reply to via video. This allows companies and boards to view the video interviews in their own time.

With the introduction of online interviews it’s not only important to portray what you know; you also need to make sure that you come across well on camera. Where many rely on aspects like correct body language to help win a board role, the playing field changes slightly when the impression has to be made on screen instead of face-to-face.

Many things can go wrong and make an online interview more difficult than a face-to-face interview. I read about a case where a marketing professional from England had his first video interview with a company based in Berlin. He was used to using Skype on a regular basis and apart from the usual pre-interview nerves he didn’t think that it would be too difficult. But he found it to be quite disconcerting when his interviewer never turned his camera on. Although the interviewer could see him the whole time, he was staring at a blank screen for the duration of the interview. And he didn’t want to turn his own camera off and on again, so he just continued with the interview in spite of the difficulties.

One of the most common pitfalls of video interviews is not looking in the right place. Watching yourself in that small box on the screen can make you look uninterested and distracted – you can actually become distracted if you suddenly notice a strand of hair out of place or a pimple you hadn’t noticed earlier! The interviewer can actually see that you are not looking at them and this can make you come across as shy and insincere.

To avoid becoming distracted and make the best eye contact you should look straight into the camera. You can look at the speaker on the screen but especially when you respond to a question, you should always look into the camera.

As hiring becomes more global, online- and video interviews can be much more cost-effective. Not only can it save time but expensive travel expenses can be completely cut from the budget. For this reason more companies and boards have started utilizing online interviews rather than having to reimburse candidates for travel expenses.

How to Prepare for Skype Interviews

First impressions are still crucial. When you have to sit for a video- or online interview, you need to remember that your CV (with Cover Letter) and a recording of your replies to their questions may be the only impression you ever get to make on the person who has to decide whether you will be getting the appointment or not.

Board Direction’s Interview Preparation not only helps you in a face-to-face interview. By giving you the guidelines you need to nail both a face-to-face and an online interview, you are sure to give the best impression possible. This means doing everything you can to make sure that you ‘dare them not to appoint you’.