Skype and video call interviews in aerospace recruitment are becoming commonplace, as they are in other industries. What we’re finding is that many people have never had a Skype job interview before and are stressing almost more about this style of interview than a face-to-face interview.
If you have a Skype job interview looming, irrespective of whether it’s for a part time job with an airline or a full time, major aviation promotion, your chances could lie in the lap of Skype. In this post we’ll share with you a list of things worth thinking about before and during your call.
Things to check well ahead of the call:
Well ahead of your Skype interview there are several things you can do to create a stress-free and positive environment for your interview. You should be asking yourself:
Am I prepared? Don’t be tempted to skimp on your preparation just because your interview isn’t face-to-face. Even for a Skype interview you should be as prepared as you possibly can be. You can read our post about interview preparation here.
Am I organised? Deciding where to take the call and taking into account your surroundings will have a significant impact on the impression you give at the other end. Making sure that your desk is tidy and that the background behind you is appealing is an absolute minimum. You may decide to stage a background that sends the right message about you eg. you might decide to sit in front of a wall that has your certificates or in front of a shelf of books, or you may just decide on a clean and simple background? The choice is yours and as long as it looks tidy and organised you’ll be fine.
How’s my lighting? Making sure you have sufficient and complimentary lighting is really important for Skype interviews. Skype themselves recommend multiple lights to get the look right. Here is what they say on their website: “You need at least four lights to look glam in a video call.” They suggest adjusting one light so that it’s not quite entirely on your face and raising it so that it highlights your facial features in a flattering way. Adjust a second, weaker light on the opposing side to fill shadows. The third, they say, should be positioned above your head to highlight your hair and the fourth should light the background space. They also suggest placing a white sheet of paper on the surface in front of you to reflect light, because “the last thing you want is that ghoulish blue fish face we get from screen glow.” While some of this might be over the top, it’s well worth thinking carefully about your lighting and testing it to see how you look.
Things to check just before the call:
Are you connected? It sounds really obvious, but making sure you have the best possible connection before your call is essential. After all, you don’t want to do all the prep you’ve done beforehand on your background only to find yourself wandering about your home or office looking for a stronger signal during the call.
Are you bathed in silence? Making sure there are no background noises will help you concentrate and will give a more respectful impression to your interviewers.
Do you look your best? Making sure you look your best for your interview is as important on Skype as it is face-to-face. You might decide to only “dress up and make up” your top half, but it’s still worth the effort.
Things to bear in mind during the call:
Speak clearly and make eye contact. In the same way that you would in a face-to-face interview, make sure you speak clearly and make appropriate eye contact throughout the discussion.
Check what messages your body is sending out. Set up your camera or computer to show as much or as little of you as you wish, but make sure that if you do show your entire upper body that you’re aware of your body language. In the same way that you wouldn’t sit throughout a face-to-face interview with your arms folded or your shoulder turned to face the interviewers, you should make sure you don’t do this in a Skype interview either.
Make sure you get all your points across. One of the great things about a Skype interview that isn’t normally possible face-to-face is the opportunity to have access to prompts to remind of what you want to say. Prepare your prompts beforehand and fix them above or to the side of your screen so that before you close you can make sure you’ve covered everything you want to cover. When you prepare your prompts, try to make them single words or very short bullet points so you’re never tempted to read them out aloud.
…And last but by no means least, close confidently; don’t forget to thank the interviewer/s for inviting you to speak to them and try to enjoy, as well as learn from the experience.
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