The Rise Of Job Promiscuity
These days, when you apply for a job, you can start with a Skype interview. Sounds easy? Well, there’s a fine art to getting it right.
To go or not to go?
So your dream employer has offered you a Skype interview. (Hooray!) But before you celebrate the prospect of being able to wear no pants in this job interview — err, they’re hidden, right? — there are a few things to consider so that you can put your most professional foot forward, and score the gig.
1 DRESS THE PART
Dressing well is as much about your headspace as it is about making a good impression, says Karen Winfield of corporate training centre PD Training ( pdtraining.com.au). You want to present yourself the same way as you would for an in-person interview. “Dress [to suit] the culture of the company you’re interviewing for,” affirms career coach Kate Southam.
2 STYLE THE SPACE
Think about where you want to position yourself. For starters, a messy room just doesn’t scream ‘professional’. “Choose a neutral background (ideally a clean wall), so there are no distractions for the interviewer,” Karen says. And if you have a framed uni degree, hang it behind you. “A little ‘stage craft’ is a great idea,” Kate says. Also, if your chair swivels, swap it for a still option.
3 GET THE LIGHT RIGHT
You want the light in the room to shine on your face, but not so bright it makes you squint. “Lit from behind, and you’ll look like someone who doesn’t want to be identified,” says Kate. “Lit from above, it can look a bit Halloween. Natural light from the front onto your face is best.”
SWITCH OFF YOUR 4 NOTIFICATIONS
Turn off calendar alerts, newsfeeds and software updates; they could all cause a distraction or make you pull a face if they pop up on-screen mid-interview. “Keep your focus on the interview by turning off pop-ups, and set your Skype status to busy,” Karen says. And put that mobile away, too!
5 TIME IT RIGHT
If you live in a busy household, schedule a time when you have the place to yourself. Impossible? Then brief everyone to keep a lid on it. “Make sure [they know] that you’re absolutely not to be disturbed unless the house is on fire,” Kate says. “You also want to avoid the hours when any nearby construction is in action or when school is out.”
6 TESTING, 1-2-3
Make like a big-time muso and do a soundcheck. Small sounds can be amplified on video calls, so don’t click pens, wear bangles that jingle or sit on a chair that squeaks. “Do a technical check the day before to make sure everything is in working order, including the mic if you’re using one, the Internet speed and connection, as well as your computer,” Kate suggests.
REHEARSE 7 YOUR SPIEL
Kate suggests doing a mock interview (using a mirror or a friend to spot) to help you pick up any gestures that could send the wrong signal, such as scratching your nose or even brushing your hair out of your face. “You want to know if you make a smirk or look away when answering a question or if your hand gestures are huge and appear to be robotic,” she explains.
8 STUDY UP
Just because you’ve got access to Wikipedia doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be well prepped for a few challenging interview questions. “Don’t think that because there’s a screen between the two of you, you