A recent conversation with a colleague inspired me to write this piece. It was about a scheduled Skype interview with someone who decided it was appropriate to conduct it at a bustling café. The proverbial nail in the coffin was when they lit up a cigarette!
In my previous blog, I noted that first impressions are formed within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting someone. So what is the common etiquette for Skype/video interviews? In New Zealand, video interviews are becoming more common, so here are some tips on how to successfully conduct an online meeting.
Before the interview:
- No distractions: hang that ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door! Ensure that you are in a quiet place where no one can barge in on your interview. Just as you do in a face-to-face meeting, put your phone on flight mode.
- Charged up: if you’re using a tablet or phone, check that it’s fully charged.
- Have a trial run: the night before, or the hours leading up to the interview, have a practice video chat with someone to triple-check that your video and microphone are working.
During the interview:
- Appearance: even though you’re not meeting in person, it’s just as important to present yourself professionally; steer clear of loud accessories (such as ties, jewellery, and makeup) and brush your hair. For the men, keep your facial hair tidy and groomed.
- Smile: turn that frown upside-down. You will immediately appear more engaged with the interviewer by giving yourself a free face lift!
- Posture: from a young age, my mum used to say, “Sit up straight!”, “Stop slouching!” When I check my posture, I feel happier and more productive.
After the interview:
- Show a small token of appreciation: follow-up by sending the interviewer a quick email to thank them for their time.
I am chuffed to say that I have yet to come across any awkward online interview situations, but I’m also a firm believer that one can always learn from their mistakes; like trial and error. If you treat a Skype/video interview as you would with any face-to-face meeting, it could make or break the paving stones to your next job!