I recently had two back-to-back Skype interviews with candidates.
Although I determined both candidates were qualified for the position I was recruiting for, one Skype session was much more successful than the other. It got me thinking about what contributed to the better interview since the candidates were similar.
Like real estate, a Skype interview is all about location, location, location. When I Skype, I try to make sure that the background is clear of clutter or private items no matter where you are. A brightly lit and sparsely furnished office is ideal, but if you are Skyping from home, try to pick a neutral backdrop and keep the family photographs to a minimum. Stay clear of Starbucks and other noisy public places that are susceptible to interruptions and distractions.
One of the candidates had an unusual amount of activity going on in his home that day, as well as a couple of noisy dogs. While we were able to joke about the disruptions and he was ultimately a very good candidate, it was a good reminder that it is important to pay attention to your surroundings.
As for dress, the rules from our past post on dressing for success still apply. Just because this is not in-person does not mean you can go with “business on the top, pajama party on the bottom.”
Of course, none of this will matter if your internet connection isn’t up to snuff. You should test whether yours is good enough for streaming. If not, plan ahead and scout for an alternate location to ensure that the interview goes seamlessly.
It is not unusual for a client to request a Skype interview these days. Make sure you are prepared to present your virtual self in the most flattering and professional way possible.
Amy Segelin is the President and co-owner of Chaloner, a national executive search firm focused on communications, public relations, and marketing recruitment.
This story originally appeared on Chaloner’s The Interview Room blog.