Skype interviews: 10 steps to being tech-ready

Be prepared for your international school video interview

An increasing number of international schools are conducting skype interviews. Here are 10 steps to make sure that you are prepared and ready to impress:

1. Make sure you are registered as a Skype user. It is free and easy and doesn’t take long to set yourself up. You need to make sure you do this several days before your interview to make sure you have time to practice and be certain that everything is working well. Your Skype profile photograph should be professional and portray you in a positive manner.

2. Let the interviewer, and anyone else who is supporting you during your recruitment process, know your Skype contact details well before the interview and if you know the name and Skype address of your interviewer, add it as a contact prior to the interview.

3. Confirm the time and date of your interview. Make absolutely sure you know the time differences if you are Skyping with someone in another time zone.

4. If you are new to Skype or have never had a Skype interview before, have a practice run with a friend or with your recruitment specialist prior to the day of your interview.

5. Look the part - a good first impression is important. Treat the interview as if it were an actual meeting. Dress appropriately in smart and tidy clothing.

6. Make sure the room you choose for your Skype is appropriate, quiet and that you're away from distractions such as pets, children or music. Check that mobile and house phones are turned off. It's also important that other people in the household know not to disturb you - let them know about your interview in advance.  Bear in mind what the interviewer will be able to see around you. Try to pick a well-lit room with a background that isn't too distracting.

7. Test your equipment. Technology can be unreliable at times – always be prepared for this! Before your interview, conduct a test call with a friend or colleague. Test both the sound and camera.

8. Make sure your Skype identifies you as ‘online’ so that you are accessible and send a Skype message to your interviewer just prior to your interview to let them know you are available to Skype when they are ready.

9. Try to be ready ten minutes before your interview time. Sometimes the school recruiter will try and call earlier than planned. You want to be able to answer the call in a calm manner rather than a flustered one.

10. A Skype interview can feel very unnatural at times. It can be tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during the call. Instead, try to look into the camera on your computer. This will make it seem as though you are maintaining eye contact with your interviewer and, as a result, create a strong impression.

And don’t forget, speak clearly, look positive, smile when you can, and remain patient and calm if there are connection problems

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