As I progress on with my Journo Journey I find myself recently gaining more job offers and interviews which is a great 🙂
However some of those interviews have been on the day or the day after I receive the email and because I don’t drive yet and I live in a rural area, it is not always suitable for me to just hop on a train to get to the interview location. Most of the interviews are down south and to hop on a train in such sort notice is very costly for me.
In these cases I always try to explain my situation, saying that I am really grateful that I have the interview and I am happy that they have sent me an email etc but due to circumstances I am unable to travel. And I offer the option of Skype/Face Time or Phone Call, I have found that offering Skype first is better as it means you still have that face to face connection rather than a voice.
So what happens when they say yes ?
So I have offered Skype and they have said yes, so what do you do now?
First thing first you need to thank them for being flexible as your interviewer could have said no- so thank them for liaising with you. Because of this I would ask when they are available and offer to work around them. When they give you a date/dates check your calendar and make sure you are free.
Now you have the date of the interview confirmed and you know that is going to be via Skype. You need to start doing some prep.
First thing first, check that you have a suitable Skype name– I heart disney 123 for example is not professional. So perhaps create an account or change your account with a suitable name. Perhaps something like your name with a few numbers on?
Have a look at your mood message and your about me section of your profile, do you have anything embarrassing/ inappropriate on there? If so check it out and change it to something more professional. I have a little paragraph on mine that says I am Culture Blogger and a Journalism Graduate- I also have a link to my blog and portfolio on there too.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Obviously this all depends on the time and how long you have to practice, maybe ask your friends or family who have Skype and ask if you can practice Skyping them. This way, you will be able to see what your connection is like and the sound quality etc. Do you need headphones on and a microphone ? All of these things you need to know before your interview.
Image is everything
Though I hate to say it, image is key when it comes to a Skype interview. You have to think about your background– I don’t mean your lifestyle, I mean your image behind you. Do you have any boy band posters or a pale wallpaper that won’t look good on camera? Play around with your backgrounds and lighting whilst you practice and see what works best for you.
Now that you worked out the angles and lighting etc you need to think about what to wear. For me, I like to dress as if I am going to the interview (I do this with Telephone Interviews too) so I dress smart/comfortable. Perhaps black trousers/ jeans, a smart blouse or top and of course I always like to wear a smart yet colourful blazer. It’s all about what works with your backdrop etc. To be honest, it is only the top half that your interviewer will see, so if you want to be smart up top and then casual in the bottom that’s fine.
And it is about being comfortable. Because my laptop camera is not very good, I use Skype via my Smart Phone. So I sit in my room with my lavender wallpaper as my backdrop, I sit on a computer chair and I have to hold my phone- now you’d think that would be uncomfortable but I have had practice in holding my phone so I am used to it and my arm rarely feels sore. I also now have a phone holder which is easier for me to use- I can put that on my table and be hands free.
I of course also have to be weary of how I hold my phone, but again that comes with practice. I hold it at shoulder height, so that all that my shoulders up is only in view.
And with that all you have to do is act like you do in all your normal interviews, just calm down, speak slowly and calmly and listen to what is being asked of you.