Receptionist Jobs: How to Ace an Interview on Skype

By Robert Half on October 20, 2014 at 7:00am

Lights, camera, action! It’s time to interview for a job and you’re not headed to an office anywhere; you’re interviewing from the comfort of your home. Many companies are turning to video interviews as a quick, cost-effective way to screen candidates. Are you ready for that Skype interview? To help you in your receptionist job search, we offer tips for how to prepare for a video interview.

When most people think of job interviews, they envision meeting face-to-face at a company with a hiring manager. Technology today, though, has changed the way we communicate and it’s not uncommon to be invited for a Skype interview.

While much is the same – for instance, you should try to anticipate potential questions and practice your responses – there are crucial differences.

Here are six video interview tips to keep in mind:

1. Sit against a clear background 

Think carefully about where you’ll sit and inspect the background. What will the interviewer see? You don’t want the person to be distracted by that basket of laundry or your child’s soccer gear behind you. The ideal setting is one with good lighting and a wall as the background. Be sure, too, that the area is quiet and free from potential interruptions.

2. Be sure your camera is stable

If you’re using a tablet or cell phone to do the interview, use a stand or other tool to stabilize it. Holding your mobile device can cause an unpleasant, jittery image that can be hard to watch on the receiving end.

3. Dress as if it were an in-person receptionist job interview

You may only be seen from the waist up on camera, but it’s best to dress like you’re headed for an on-site interview. You never know when you might need to stand up or move, and you’ll definitely raise eyebrows if you have pajama bottoms and slippers paired with that suit jacket. Try on your outfit before the call to see how it looks on the screen.

4. Look at the camera 

Resist the temptation to glace at the image of yourself on the screen and instead give your entire attention to the hiring manager. Look straight at the camera so it feels more like you’re having a face-to-face discussion.

5. Test out the technology

Familiarize yourself in advance with all of the features you may need during a Skype interview so you’re ready. Also check your positioning in front of the camera to get it just right. If the computer or device you'll be using can be moody, try to have a backup option nearby with the necessary app already installed, so you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario.

6. Remember good posture

Sit up straight, smile and speak up so you’re coming across well to the interviewer.

Have you ever done this kind of interview? What video interview tips would you give others?

Related Articles:

Five Interview Tips That Can Help You Stand Out
What to Wear to an Interview: Do’s and Don’ts
Job Interview Questions to Ask – And Not Ask – Employers

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