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Preparing for a Skype interview

Called for an interview? Increasingly, it won’t be face-to-face so here are some tips to a successful Skype interview.

Although in my experience most interviews for in-house lawyers that take place across the regions are nearly always face to face the same can not be said about interviews that happen via our London in-house legal recruitment team. Rachael North joined BCL Legal in 2014 and with a background of working with large multi-nationals in London, the South and Europe it has been interesting to see the different approach to recruitment campaigns and interviews.

First of all why are more interviews held over Skype in Southern based business than they are in other major regions of the UK? It seems to me that there are often many more stakeholders involved with recruitment and having them all in one office, let alone country is often impossible. Another reason especially when it comes to assisting IT related businesses is that the use of Skype and other technology is an every day occurrence and therefore when it comes to interviewing it is second nature to use this as a tool.

So on to the video interview. Gone is the initial greeting, the meeting of the eyes, and the settling into your chair while talking about the journey to the interview. Whilst you might not need to worry about your handshake video interviews suddenly open up a whole new list of things to watch out for.

With a video interview there is no ritual of leaving home/ the office and travelling to the interview when time can be focussed on the meeting in hand. As you park up, enter the building and you are in the companies ‘space’ where it is likely that nerves and adrenaline kicks in helping you to ‘get in the zone’. Recreating this at home is difficult. Of course you can get your work clothes on and look the part, but moving from the kitchen with your coffee to sit in front of the computer doesn’t replicate the non-virtual environment.

Where you sit, the background, the lighting and the clutter that surround you all have an effect on what the interviewer will think about you. They will likely be sitting in a professional office environment and it is imperative to try and replicate this in your home.

Other basic errors that do not raise a good impression include: having the camera at the wrong level (missing off the top of your head), not having the camera still in one place or even worse is seeing people looking down from a laptop wobbling on knees.

So what should you do: Invest in a good camera and home computer – laptops emit light which can show perspiration more easily; ideally interview from a home office or non-cluttered environment like the dining room table, dress smartly, keep a good posture, look directly into the web-cam. Next you need to think about your eye contact and facial expressions more than say your hands as only your eyes and face are likely to be seen! Try it out with a family member before your first on-line interview.

Whether face-to-face or online all interviews are likely to have a structure. Finding this out is always great preparation and can help get you ‘in the zone’.

For more information please contact Mark Levine or visit our website BCL Legal.

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