Get ready for your Skype interview
How can you prepare to interview from the other side of the world?
Many international schools now use Skype as a way to interview candidates for international teaching jobs. It is hugely costly and time consuming to expect teachers to travel to schools in different countries for interviews and Skype is an efficient alternative for face-to-face contact.
It is important to be well prepared for a Skype interview, and there’s lots to think about that is different to a traditional interview. Here are some tips:
Make sure you are registered as a Skype user. It is free and easy and doesn’t take long to set yourself up – but 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.
Let the interviewer, and anyone else who is supporting you during your recruitment process, know your Skype contact details well before the interview.
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.
Your Skype profile photograph should be professional and portray you in a positive manner.
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.
The day of your Skype interview
If you know the name and Skype details of your interviewer, add them as a contact prior to the interview. This should help the process run smoothly.
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.
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. 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.
You may want to have some work samples ready to show during your interview, or a picture of your current classroom showing your learning-focused displays.
Make sure your Skype identifies you ‘online’ so that you are accessible.
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.
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.
Send a Skype message to your interviewer just prior to your interview time to let them know you are available to Skype when they are ready.
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.
Your online interview
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.
Speak clearly, look positive, smile when you can, and remain patient and calm if there are connection problems.
Think about the questions you may be asked, and the answers you may wish to give. Take a look at the recent TIC blog: The Questions to Expect at Your Interview to get yourself ready for this.
Although you may be feeling nervous, try to relax and stay calm during the interview. Breathing deeply just prior to your interview will help.
Listen to the interview questions carefully and don't feel pressured to answer immediately. It's better to give a considered response than to rush into a reply which you might later regret.
After your interview
Always follow-up your interview with an email thanking your interviewer and confirming your interest in the position.
You can read more TIC blogs about job hunting and preparing for interviews here.
We have lots of positions available right now in fantastic international schools across the world. Just take a look at our Vacancies section and find your next overseas teaching position. You can also download the TIC App to stay up to date on all the latest TIC vacancies.
You may also be interested in these informative blogs:
Questions to expect at your interview
Preparing for your interview
10 things international schools look for when hiring new teachers