In today’s job search environment, it is likely that you will be asked to conduct an interview from a distance. These interviews will likely take the form of either a traditional phone interview or a more modern web-based interview using a platform such as Skype. Phone and Skype interviews have increased in popularity for a number of reasons:
- They save both the candidate and employer a lot of time and money.
- They allow employers to consider candidates from a wider geographic region.
- They allow employers to better screen potential applicants.
It is extremely important to prepare for distance interviews the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview. You will need to research the organization, have answers prepared for the common questions, and have questions that you hope to ask them. For more information about preparation, please see the Interviewing Handout.
Skype Interview Tips
- Be sure your Skype account name is professional. If you do not have a Skype account, go to www.skype.com to set up a free account.
- Make sure your laptop is fully charged or plugged in and that you are in a place where you have a strong internet connection.
- If Skype is new to you, be sure to practice with a friend to familiarize yourself with its functions, volume, and lag time.
- Look into the webcam and not at the screen otherwise you will appear to be looking away from the interviewer. Check your appearance at the beginning then avoid looking at the video of yourself during the interview.
- Turn off cell phones, e-mail alerts and any other programs that make sound. You do not want interruptions during your interview.
- Avoid putting your face too close to the camera.
- Choose your background wisely. You will want to avoid anything too distracting or too boring such as a flat white wall.
- Take a moment to figure out how lighting is affecting your image on the screen. Natural lighting tends to be best.
- Consider recording the Skype call. By recording the interview you can review your answers and work to improve.
Download the printable Interviewing From A Distance handout