Remember when that guy doing the BBC interview was interrupted by his kids who just strolled in like they owned the place? Although hilarious, if you’ve ever had a fuck up during a video interview you’ll know his pain. From shitty internet connections and frozen screens to having your family burst in asking what’s going on- there’s plenty of things that can (and probably will) go wrong during the dreaded Skype interview. But don’t worry, here’s a couple of things that’ll make sure your next video chat is smooth sailing.
1. Wear pants
It’s super tempting to chuck your comfy old trackies on with a nice top when you’ve got a video interview coming up. You’re going to be sitting down and no one will see your legs, right? (Plus, who wears real pants at home anyway?) But beware- what if you need to stand up to grab something? What if you need to readjust where you’re sitting? Whoever is interviewing you doesn’t want to see you in your underwear. Put some pants on. You can ditch them once the interview is over.
Shut your windows and your door and make sure no one in your family decides to suddenly use the blender in the middle of your interview. Get any little siblings that are prone to crying away from where you’re setting up for the interview and avoid areas of the house that people are going to be walking through or using a lot (like the kitchen or lounge room). Also be aware of how close you are to bathrooms or driveways where you might be able to hear flushing toilets or cars driving in.
3. Check your equipment
Make sure there’s no prearranged power interruptions for your street, your battery is fully charged/connected to a power point and that your laptop isn’t going to suddenly restart in the middle of the interview due to scheduled updates. On top of this, if you start having technical problems in the middle of the interview deal with them straight away instead of trying to bluff your way through it. If you don’t hear a question, a simple ‘excuse me’ is better than trying to answer based off a few garbled words. And, if the call keeps getting glitchy, don’t be afraid to ask to stop and redial- fixing the issue is a million times better than trying (and failing) to fake your way through it.
4. Let the people you live with know what’s going on
Whether it’s your family or your roommates- let the people you live with know that you have an interview lined up. Avoid awkward situations where your mum bursts in your room yelling at you to clean up while you’re chatting to a potential employer.
5. Get rid of distractions
Turn off notifications on your phone and laptop so nothing can pop up and distract you. You wouldn’t be constantly checking fb if you were at a face to face interview so don’t do it during a Skype one either.
6. Clean up your background
Is your desk opposite a photo wall where there’s dozens of snaps of you and your friends get drunk on the weekend? Or is the chair where you dump all your clothes when you can’t be bothered putting them away in the corner of the screen? Consider adjusting your position. Make sure you have good lighting and a minimal background; try hiding your messy room as much as possible.
7. Be prepared
One of the perks of doing a video interview is you don’t have to remember everything off the top of your head. Plus, if you get a bit nervous it’s always good to have a copy of your resume and questions you might want to ask written down (out of camera sight) so if you start to get a mind blank you can quickly glance at your notes and get back on track.