If you plan to get a new job in the new year, keep these tips in mind when you’re on Skype with your potential employer.
1. PREP THE BACKGROUND
Choose a room or area in your home that is quiet. Close the windows to keep out traffic or construction noise. Remove anything that might distract the interviewer, for example, brightly patterned curtains or wall posters.
2. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
Disable desktop notifications and close web pages that are not relevant to your interview – that includes Facebook and your e-mail – as well as any programmes that take up a lot of bandwidth and may interfere with your Internet connection. Turn off your mobile phone.
3. DRESS PROFESSIONALLY
Wear what you would wear to a face-to-face interview, right down to your shoes. Dressing the part will make you feel more professional. Avoid wearing white – it can look very bright on camera and make your complexion look washed-out. Steer clear of bright, flashy jewellery that could distract your interviewer.
4. GET THE RIGHT ANGLE
Position the camera straight ahead and at eye level. Too low and it will show up your double chin; too high and your face will look awkwardly small. Don’t be tempted to look at yourself in that little screen. But if you can’t help it, drag the screen as close to the camera as possible, so at least your gaze is focused in that general area.
5. ENSURE GOOD LIGHTING
Natural light is best, but if your room is not well lit, you should position a lamp behind the camera or computer so that the lightis aimed directly at you.
6. ADJUST YOUR VOICE
As there might be a slight lag in transmission, speak audibly and clearly. This means pronouncing your words carefully and not speaking too fast. Another tip is to listen to the rhythm and tone of the interviewer’s voice and try to match it to your own.
7. ARRANGE YOUR NOTES
If you need to refer to notes or other materials, place them by the side of the screen in an orderly pile so you won’t have to fumble through them. Try to memorise the most important points to avoid having to shift your gaze from the interviewer to your notes.
EXPERT SOURCE: Brenda Bence, senior executive leadership coach and author of Master the Brand Called You; Tracy Chong, principal career coach, Passions Work
Sasha Gonzales, Her World, September 2015