How to Ace that Skype Interview: 8 tips

Congratulations on your interview invitation to teach English in China with Pioneer and Beyond!

This interview is not your regular walk-in interview, it is a virtual interview. Pioneer and Beyond have adopted virtual interviews because we hire remotely. Our interviews are conducted via Skype and WeChat.

Here are some tips on how to nail your Skype interview:


1.Get ready

If you do not have the Skype application on your desktop or laptop, download it and set it up. Update your username to a professional one. Also, if you choose to add a picture to your account, use a decent photo of yourself or other meaningful pictures.

Inform your family and other relations about the date and time of your interview. This helps to eliminate possible disruptions on the day of the interview.


2.Practice, practice and more practice

When your account is up and ready, practice with a friend or relative. Try playing out the interview scenario. This will help you to know whether your camera and audio are functioning. If they are dysfunctional, you will be in a position to fix the errors before the day of the interview.

Practice helps you gain the needed confidence for the interview. It also helps to avoid the avoidable technical hitches.


3.Choose a convenient location

Prepare the space where you will have your skype call. This makes you look professional and prepared. Ensure that the place is clean and organised.

Choose a space with sufficient lighting so that the interviewer can see you well. Pick a room that has a lockable door to avoid distraction from outside. Look behind you; that is what your interviewer will see. Observe top-notch neatness.

Remember to turn off all notifications on your computer and phone. Make the room as quiet as possible during your interview.

If you are going to have your interview in a public place, it would be advisable to use headphones to avoid picking external sounds. Inform your interviewer that you will be conducting the interview in a public place.


4.Dress the part

Wear what you would wear to your regular walk-in interview. Do not show up for your interview in your pyjamas! Take a shower and groom like you would when leaving the house for an interview.

Wear royal and dark colours because they look good on camera. Avoid striped clothes since they give a zigzag look when you make movement on camera. Bright coloured clothes tend to ‘   scream’ and would not be appropriate for a Skype interview. Dress from head to toe, not from head to waist.

Avoid too much jewellery and make up for the interview. Just wear enough, do not outdo yourself.


5.Research and prepare questions

Take your time and research about the organisation that invited you for the interview. Visit their website as well as social media pages. Gather as much information as you can in relation to the organisation and the position for which you are being interviewed.

Also, prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer if they give you the chance. Asking the appropriate and relevant question is an indicator that you have some knowledge about the organisation. That is a plus.


6.Use appropriate body language

This being a virtual interview, it heavily relies on non-verbal cues for communication. Master the virtual handshake. Lean in forward towards the camera as a form of greeting. It is wrong to stretch out your hand towards the camera as a sign of greeting! Maintain an upright posture and be engaging.

Do not fidget as you will look nervous and distracted. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer by looking into the webcam. Sounds awkward but that is how your interviewers know we are looking at them. Avoid looking at the screen to see the video images if your interviewer or yourself on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Talk audibly and avoid having the interviewer ask you to repeat your answers.

Lastly, maintain a smile and keep nodding throughout the interview. It depicts you as a warm and approachable person.


7.Handle technical glitches with grace

Video interviews are purely dependent on technology. Sometimes, we will experience technological hitches such as, weak connections, dodgy signals and interferences to mention a few.

When you notice a technological failure, excuse yourself. If the problem persists, request your interviewer that you end the call, sort the problem and redial them in a few minutes. Alternatively, you can end the call and leave a polite message.


8.Have your resume and cover letter close by

Print hard copies of the resume and cover letter that you used to apply for the job. Sometimes, interviewers will ask questions in reference to your resume and cover letter. It is safer to have them to back you up in case the question catches you unaware. Additionally, have a notepad and a pen to point down important things mentioned by the interviewer.