15 Tips to Get You Ready for a Skype Interview
Some of you may have been Skyping friends and family for years, especially if you have been living overseas for a while. Other will barely know how to log on! The main thing is to get up-to-speed with the whole process BEFORE you’re under pressure to interview as well. Embrace this technology because it will make communicating overseas a whole lot easier. Practice makes perfect!
BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW
- Write down everything you want to say. Skype and phone interviews afford you a great opportunity to have a few “cheat notes.” This includes highlights of your career, teaching philosophy, the difference that you have made to kids’ lives, etc. Then try to weave this into the conversation. As you do this, make sure you tick it off your list. Also, have some information about the school and have some questions to ask. Whether they be about the country or about the time-tabling of your subject or whatever else are big picture items.
- Be yourself. Recruiters want a sincere person who will get on well with others and get on with the job with a minimum of fuss. They love people with a “can do” attitude.
- Try to relax! Call a friend or family member before your interview and just chat. It will help you appear less nervous during your interview. This also gives you a chance to check your Skype connection, microphone volume and lighting in your room. If you do experience technical difficulties, ask if the recruiter would like you to turn your camera off for a few minutes. (Don’t forget to include your Skype address on your correspondence).
- Dress up. Like with any interview you may have, your interviewer will expect you to look professional. Something conservative and simple works well. Also, make sure you don’t just dress from the waist up. You never know if you might have to stand up or walk across the room to get something!
- Set the mood. Turn off your cell phone and lock your door so no one can come in and distract you. If you wear glasses, you may want to turn down the brightness of your monitor to avoid unwanted reflections. Make sure that you are the only living object in view. Let people in your home know what’s happening and ask them to stay away! Also think about the lighting in the room at the time of day you will be interviewing. Try setting up two lights either side of your computer for the most evenly lit and flattering effect.
- Look straight into your computer camera when speaking. Some people have the habit of looking at their own picture when they are talking instead of into the camera. This gives the impression that the candidate is not making eye contact with the interviewer. Looking straight into the camera makes you appear more confident. When the interview starts, take a moment to check you look OK, then focus on looking at the camera.
- Body Language. Make sure that the camera shows your upper body, including your hands. A lot of communication and understanding comes from non- verbal cues. Remember to use good posture.
- Sound strong and slow down. A USB connected headset can improve voice quality. Also allow for any delay. Wait for the interviewer to stop speaking before you answer.
- Know your interviewer’s name and use it. This gives that personal touch.
- Make sure you answer the question that is being asked. If you don’t understand the question, ask your interviewer to repeat it. Answering interview questions with clarity is imperative to landing your dream job!
- Ask questions that are school specific. This lets the interviewer know that you have done your homework and researched their school. A school wants to hire teachers that want to be at THEIR school, not people who want a job wherever they can get one.
- Give your interviewer a chance to brag. Ask your interviewer what they like best about their school and the region or area of the school. This gives them a chance to talk about positive things…that leaves a lasting impression and a really good feeling when they think back on the interview.
- As the interview is finishing up – ask the question, “Is there anything that I have mentioned today that you would like me to clarify?” It gives recruiters a chance to revisit topics with you.
- Make sure your Skype call is disconnected at the end of the interview. Summarising the interview to a friend when your Skype is still connected could be quite embarrassing!
- Send a follow-up email the day after your interview. Include a ‘thank you’ as well as confirmation that you are the perfect candidate for the job.
Good luck and remember that should everything go pear-shaped, it was good practice for the next interview.
Please email us if a school has contacted you and requested an interview. We are here to help!