Tag Archives: interview techniques

I Have A Job Interview—But It’s On Skype! Now What Do I Do???

As technology continues to move forward at a dizzying pace and as companies search for more effective ways to reduce or eliminate soaring travel costs, new strategies are being used for the time-honored task of interviewing potential job candidates.

In the past, the expense of bringing out-of-town candidates in to be interviewed could prove quite costly to companies. One web tool that is gaining acceptance to help in this process is Skype. Skype software, which has a free version, allows human resource personnel and other hiring managers to interview potential job candidates without the candidates having to leave the comfort of their homes—literally!

In her article “6 Steps To Prepare For A Skype Interview,” Debra Wheatman provides readers with several key technical steps to keep in mind when preparing for virtual interviews.

In addition to researching the prospective company and preparing impressive responses that emphasize how great an employee you would be, follow these technical steps to get the most out of Skype software. You should go over these steps at least one full day before your scheduled interview to make sure everything is working properly. You should probably do a final spot test an hour or two before on the day of the actual interview.

1.  Make sure your system is equipped with a web cam and a microphone. Download and configure the free version of Skype software to your computer if it isn’t already loaded on your system. You can visit Skype’s web site at http://www.skype.com.

2.  Test the sound and video on your system to be sure your head and upper body are visible and that the volume is satisfactory. Enlist the help of a good friend or family member to help with this process.

3.  Make sure the viewing area is neat, clean, and professional looking. The last thing you want to have the interviewers see is an area that looks cluttered and sloppy. Remember the walls and area behind you as well!

4.  Position the lighting to make sure that it is complimentary to you. Be on the lookout for unflattering shadows or glares that make it difficult to see you. Again, the help of a friend or family member can help you here.

5.  Wear clothing that is flattering. According to Ms. Wheatman, you should stay away from clothing that has patterns or that is light in color (or white). Instead, wear darker colors that convey a more professional look. Dress as if you were actually going to a face-to-face interview (at least from the waist up)!

6.  Develop good eye contact with the camera. Ms. Wheatman offers readers the suggestion that you should not focus your glance at the image of the person on the screen. Doing so will make it appear as though you are looking down. One trick that she offers is to tape a photo of somebody next to the web-cam lens.

7.  Finally, on the day of the interview (and well ahead of time) she advises the candidate to take precautions to eliminate all potential noise.

Following these technical tips can help you interview successfully in the virtual world of job hunting! For more details, visit her blog at http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/6-steps-prepare-skype-interview/.

For more information on BOSS software offerings, the BOSS degree and certificates, and how the BOSS program can help you with your career, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

How Do Your Interview Skills Stack Up?

If you are looking for a job (or seeking a promotion with your present company), the current competitive job market demands that you answer an interviewer’s questions about your qualifications with engaging, impressive details.

In today’s world, employers are not willing to accept empty assurances; rather, they want proof of tangible outcomes! Below are some tips and suggestions that can help you as you plan your responses to interviewers about your qualifications.

Remember, planning your responses carefully, evaluating your qualifications honestly, and providing key details about tasks and accomplishments are crucial to successful job interviews!

Qualification Areas Evaluating and Analyzing Your Qualifications
Technology Provide details of how you have used specific software packages in previous jobs or if you have taken a recent class. Having a respected certification award such as the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS or MCAS) in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access is also a big plus. If you have Web experience or have used social media as part of a previous job, provide the interviewer with examples of how these items were used.
Interpersonal/Human Relations Are you a team player? Have you worked with others to develop and complete projects? Employers value people who have well-developed collaboration skills. They want people who can work well with others (in person or virtually) and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Think about those extracurricular activities, clubs, class projects, volunteer activities, or previous jobs when developing your responses to this area.
Self-Starter Provide the interviewer with concrete examples of how you have taken the initiative in the past to develop successful tasks or projects. If you can provide examples that can show actual dollar amounts that were saved (or that led to positive growth), include this information as well. What evidence can you offer? What leadership roles have held?
Creativity Give the interviewer solid examples of how your creativity or quick learning has helped previous employers—explain these savings in terms of time or money or both. Put this creativity into the context of the target employer and show how these unique skills or qualifications can help this potential employer–that means you have to do your homework and research the employer thoroughly.
Communications Companies know all too well that the high costs of poor communication skills displayed by their workers can impact their bottom lines. In today’s competitive global economy, companies can ill afford employees whose poor communication skills result in lost business and costly mistakes! Set yourself apart and provide examples of how your excellent writing, listening, and speaking skills have benefitted previous employers. You should be prepared to verify these skills and to provide samples of your written work.
Foreign Language Do you write, speak, or understand another language? Remember, we live in a global economy. Provide verifiable details of your foreign language proficiency.

Source: Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy, Business Communication: Process & Product 7th edition, Mason, OH:  South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2011.

For more information, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.