Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ace Your Skype Job Interview: 14 Smart Tips

By Amy Levin-Epstein

Practice makes perfect. This dictum applies to learning to do anything well — whether it’s riding a bike, speaking a foreign language, or doing a Skype interview with confidence. Consultant Kerrie Hopkins, who works with clients on 5 continents, advises not only practicing but also recording your efforts to review. “People have no idea how they are being received on another’s computer screen,” says Hopkins.

That’s not a great thing, since in a still shaky economy when companies that are able to hire are increasingly turning to online interviews to save time and money, being able to interview comfortably on Skype is an essential skill to have.

So in addition to practicing, how else can job seekers prepare for an online interview? I asked dozens of executives, career consultants, and tech experts nationwide this question. Here are their best 14 tips. Got more? Please share them in the comments section below.

1. Look Into The Camera
“During Skype interviews, some people fixate on themselves on the computer screen. This gives the impression that the candidate is not making eye contact with the interviewer on the other end. When an interview starts, take a moment to make sure you look fine on the screen, then focus on looking into the camera.”–Davin Malasarn, Science Writer for the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles

2. Get Rid of Distractions
“Make sure that [you're] the only living object in view. Maybe you’re 27 and living with your parents, but the person interviewing you doesn’t need to know that. Let the people in your life know what’s happening, and insist they stay at the opposite side of the house/apartment. If you have kids, it would be helpful to have a babysitter come to make sure there is no crying during the Skype session. And pets should also be out of view.“–Rich DeMatteo, Co-Founder of Bad Rhino, a social media marketing firm, and Founder of Corn on the Job, a job search blog, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3. Put Your Hands Where They Can See Them
“Make sure that the camera on your computer gives a good shot of your head and shoulders, as well as of your hands. Remember that a good portion of understanding comes from body language and other non-verbal cues, so you want to make sure that the upper half of your body is showing.”–John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC, “Heckers Development Group, LTD, 
Cherry Creek, Colorado

4. Plug In Securely
“Plug your computer into an ethernet port, and plug your headphones into the computer’s jack. You want direct ethernet access because it’s far more stable than wireless, and you want to have headphones in to avoid playback from the speakers.”–Fan Bi, Founder + Chief Shirt, Blank Label, Boston, Massachussetts

Read Tips 5 - 14 and more: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/career-advice/blog/on-job/ace-your-skype-job-interview-14-smart-tips/1444/#ixzz1Vs8HHthR

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