How to deliver a great Skype interview:
New Zealand companies have been recruiting great overseas SAP professionals through Morgan Campbell for many years. They are normally happy to interview SAP professionals from across the globe using Skype.
This means that you do not need to be in the country to secure a job in New Zealand, but you and the employer still have the chance to engage face to face.
We recommend that you read our other article “How to prepare for an interview the Morgan Campbell way”. However, preparing for a SAP Skype interview is very different to preparing for normal face to face interview. It is important to take specific steps to adequately prepare for a Skype interview, and we have provided an easy checklist below to guide you.
- Firstly, check your Morgan Campbell Interview Confirmation email. Morgan Campbell will formally confirm your interview specifying the date and time for the interview in your local time zone. They will also give you vital information that will be essential reading as part of your preparation for your Skype interview.
- Keep your Skype profile and picture professional. Morgan Campbell will confirm your Skype ID to an employer in advance of your actual interview and their first impression of you will be your Skype name and photo. Please double check that they are both professional and interview appropriate (or create a free fresh Skype account for the interview).
- Prepare your surroundings first and eliminate any distractions. Pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen. A simple backdrop will look best on the other end of the Skype call, so remove anything distracting behind you and keep it neutral. Use a HD webcam if possible and make sure to get the lighting right. Follow classic film-makers advice: it is best to have natural light or a lamp aimed straight at your face, rather than having light coming from behind you or from directly above. Clear away any clutter. Lastly, make sure that you will have zero distractions for at least one hour during the interview. Close windows if it is noisy outside, and remove children, pets and partners from the room that you will be in.
- Sound & Vision: Switch on Skype and check the audio and video settings before the interview begins. Make sure you check the visuals: check that you can see yourself (and the background), and check the sound, making sure your microphone and speakers are tweaked perfectly before the interview begins. Your goal is to make sure you can both hear and be heard without difficulty.
- Dress code: When it comes to what you wear, treat your Skype interview like a normal face to face interview and dress professionally from head to toe (or at least from head to waist!). A professional dress code with video interviews is expected, and it is important to set the right tone for the interview.
- Practice! Doing a practice interview (perhaps with a friend, or your Morgan Campbell consultant) beforehand is helpful because your first few Skype calls are likely to feel awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen. Get familiar with Skype and play around with everything beforehand so that when it’s interview time, you can shine without distractions.
- Close other programs on your computer: Getting Facebook or new email notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).
- Keep your charged phone with you but on “silent” mode. Morgan Campbell will have given the interviewer your contact number just in case Skype fails, so make sure your phone is 100% charged and sitting next to you for the interview. Your phone will be necessary if Skype fails. However, keep your phone on silent mode, so you do not get any random calls or texts during your actual interview.
- Look at the camera and not yourself on the screen. While it may be tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during a Skype session, you must look directly at the video camera to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
- Use prompt notes – but with caution! Don’t be afraid to help yourself with a few post-it notes when you interview. A benefit of having a Skype interview is that you can have a few notes in front of you to use as prompts – even to remind yourself to look at the camera. However, never refer to your resume, or read your notes during an interview, as this will only annoy an employer. Never read your answers (like a script). However, you should keep a note pad and pen to make notes during the interview if necessary.
- Watch your body language and speak slowly and clearly. You will have to work a little harder to read your interviewers body language during an interview, and vice-versa. Therefore, make sure your body language and speech are easy to read by maintaining good physical posture and relax your shoulders to avoid stiffness. Make sure you speak clearly and do not talk too fast.
- Technology can fail. Skype can sometimes be temperamental which will have a direct detrimental effect on the flow of the interview and your overall success. Your Morgan Campbell consultant will have already given you the interviewer’s contact number and given the interviewer your contact number. Therefore, if your Skype call fails twice in a short space of time, ask the interviewer if they would be happy to complete the rest of the interview by phone instead. Offer to call the interviewer back or ask them if they would like to call you. If Skype disconnects suddenly and you cannot reconnect, wait for 60 seconds in case they call you by phone, then immediately call the interviewer back using their phone number that we provided.
- Be Enthusiastic, and make sure the interviewer is engaged. Stop every once in a while and make sure your interviewer is receptive to what you are saying. Be cautious of not doing all of the talking. Monitor the interest level of your interviewer. As with all interviews, it is essential to speak clearly and convey enthusiasm. Being in the comfort of your own home is not an excuse to get overly comfortable or lapse into a monotone “telephone” voice. Smile and keep energy in your voice.
- Never contact or follow up with the interviewer on Skype once the interview has finished. Employers are busy and like to direct their feedback, questions or requests through Morgan Campbell, so please do not contact the interviewer again unless previously arranged through Morgan Campbell.