If you’re a freelance worker, you’ve probably had to use Skype to speak with clients at some point. Now more than ever, employers are using Skype as a means of assessing potential employees, discussing terms, and making hires.
Working as a freelancer over the Internet is convenient, but you can be up against a lot of competition. It’s critical that you present yourself well and come across as a competent, professional individual.
You can follow a few simple tips to help you improve your interview skills over Skype.
1. Dress for the Occasion
Start off by putting yourself in the right mindset for the call.
This doesn’t necessarily mean putting on your best suit, but you should absolutely wear clothes that make you feel professional and good about yourself. The clothes we wear not only tell others about us, but they can affect the way we compose ourselves.
It can be comforting to wear what makes you feel most relaxed during a stressful situation, but being too comfortable can mean that you won’t focus as hard.
You wouldn’t go to an interview in person wearing a wrinkled shirt and jeans with holes in them, and you should hold yourself to the same standard on Skype.
Starting your interview in this mindset will make you feel more confident and help your brain to focus on staying alert and engaged during your conversation.
2. Conduct a Trial Run
As advanced as technology is, there are still some components that can be problematic, and dealing with these problems can be a hassle even when you’re not feeling particularly stressed. Take care of as many as you can before they become a problem.
Before you even make the Skype call in to your interviewer, set up a time when you can call a friend and check to make sure everything is working correctly. Use this opportunity to make sure your microphone is in good, working order, and that you can hear the other person well.
Even if you’re already familiar with Skype, it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to check on your vocal clarity and overall microphone setup. You want a good balance of sound without much background static or interference.
If this is your first time using Skype, take the time to become familiar with it now. Learn how to control the volume, exchange files, and so on.
3. Speak Clearly and Project Confidence
Your voice is your tool in these call-in interviews. It’s the first way any potential employer will evaluate you, and they’ll be asking themselves if you sound like you’re stumbling over your words or having trouble speaking clearly.
Take a few minutes before your Skype call and do a few vocal warm-up exercises. This can be anything from just reciting a passage from a book, or practicing saying any words you may have difficulty with.
It would be a good idea to drink plenty of water or warm tea with honey to help make sure your voice is free of any roughness.
Pay attention to the words that you’re saying. Enunciate, speak up, and give each of your words proper weight to keep your sentences from running together.
4. Have Notes on Hand
As with so many things, preparation is the key to a good interview.
Since you’ll be having a conversation over Skype, you have a chance to do something you can’t in a typical interview: have notes. Write out any difficult questions they might pose and take some time to figure out what your answer will be.
This gives you a great chance to present yourself as someone who knows exactly what you want and how to communicate that. Confidence and clarity are huge selling points in these conversations.
Read over your notes a few times and keep them at hand if you need to take a look, but don’t read directly off of the page, as most people can tell when someone is reading a prepared speech. Having notes is just to make you feel comfortable as to act as a tool for reference.
Lastly, make note of any questions that you want to ask during the call so you remember them.
Practice is the most reliable way to ensure success.
You can’t know every question that a potential employer will throw at you, but you can probably guess at a fair few of them and get comfortable going over general points of discussion: how much work you’ll do, what your hours will be, and how much you want to be paid.
Get comfortable talking about yourself, highlighting your good points, and so on.
You can either rehearse with a friend reading you test interview questions, or you can easily do it by yourself. It might be a good idea to record yourself during these test sessions so that you can listen to them later and see how you’re coming across.
Practice any difficult points until you get it right in your head and by the time you have your interview, you won’t have to worry about stumbling on your answers.