A Skype interview is the norm in the TEFL industry nowadays, especially in the first stages of the application process. The same, if not more, preparation goes into these kinds of interviews compared to a face-to-face interview. Here are my six tips for a successful Skype interview.
Skype interview tips
Check your tech
Check for any possible issues with your webcam or microphone. Using a headset will reduce echo and unwanted background noise. Update to the latest version of Skype. Also, checking your connection to allow for a good quality call is a must.
Location, location, location
Think about where you are sitting. Do you have a quiet place to sit? If you are at home, try and get the house to yourself to reduce the chance of interruption. If you are at work or in a public area, find somewhere quiet – the less people around you the better. They need to see you, so make sure there is adequate lighting in the room. Do a quick clean up around you too, you don’t want to look like a slob.
Dress the part
Dress like you would for any other interview. They might ask you to give a quick lesson demo, so don’t forget about your bottom half. Don’t just wear a smart shirt and tie or blouse. If you look the part, you feel the part!
Be prepared for the unexpected (& have a back up plan!)
You might be asked to do an impromptu mock lesson during your Skype interview so you need to be quick on your feet. Take into account delays in the call so speak clearly and slowly, and pause. Try not to speak over each other. If you have technical difficulties on the day, make sure you have a way of contacting them – get a copy of their contact telephone number or an email address.
Be clear on the time that the interview is
Is it 2pm Greenwich Meantime GMT or 2pm China Standard Time CST? I recommend you use timeandday.com or Google Calendar to arrange any appointments and interviews across different time zones.
Practice makes perfect
Look straight into the camera – you want to make ‘eye contact’ with the interviewer look directly into the webcam lens, and not at the screen.
Record yourself. This gives you a chance to review your talking pace, eye contact, and even room lighting. Make adjustments where needed and hit record again.
Practice with a friend, or someone you know who interviews regularly. They might ask some questions you might not have thought of.
All the best with your Skype interview, remember these tips and you’ll do great!