Skype Interviews


7 Things To Consider Before Your Skype Interview

For the majority of teachers applying to international schools, they may well be faced with the prospect of being interviewed by Skype. Given the differing of locations and time zones between teachers and international schools, combined with tight recruitment time-frames, this is often the only feasible solution for hiring schools. For those applying to an international school for the first time, the thought of sitting in their dining room, in front of their laptop can be an unnerving prospect. Below we look at some important points to consider before going ahead and switching on your webcam to your potential employers.

Skype name

The first and most obvious step is to set up a Skype name. This is very easy to do and literally takes a couple of minutes. Before you establish an account, think carefully about the name you use. Keep it simple, ideally including your own name within and nothing comical. Remember you are looking to impress, so be professional.

Sound & Visual Check

Laptops these days are fitted with high-resolution cameras and state of the art built inmicrophones. It is natural to assume that it all works ok given that it cost a month’s salary. Check. Then check it again. Skype a friend and do a test run. How do you sound? Is it clear enough? How do you appear on the screen? Is the room too dark or even too light? Which leads us onto the second point.

Choice of room

To put simply, choose a room that is clean, tidy with a plain backdrop such as a white or light coloured wall with enough light. Although you may prefer to use your computer in your bedroom, showing off your Manchester United and Coldplay wall posters in the background isn’t going to score you any points.

Dress code

Keep it smart and professional just as though you are going for a face-to-face interview. Suits, ties, shirts, you know the score. Remember your high resolution camera, it probably picks up much more than you realise, so those that need a shave, make sure that you do. I once heard a story of a teacher looking to teach abroad for the first time. During his Skype interview, a young male teacher sat at his kitchen table dressed smartly in a shirt, tie and jacket. Part way through he was interrupted by a knock at the door. He excused himself with the interview panel and without thinking stood up from the kitchen chair only to reveal he was not wearing any trousers. Need not explain any further.

Look into the camera NOT the screen

You’re a confident, professional person and when spoken to and speaking to others, you look them in the eye. So if you spend the whole time looking at your fancy 22-inch high-resolution screen and not the camera, to the interviewers on the other side it will appear you are looking elsewhere. Most webcams are located above the screen, the best tip is to attach a small post-it note with an arrow pointing at the webcam as a constant reminder. The temptation is to look down to see what is happening on their side, the occasional glance at the screen cannot hurt but remember to keep eye contact for most of the time.

Additional notes

We have all had the experience of leaving an interview wishing we had said something extra. Have some bullet points (no more detail than that) for some of the key areas you want to discuss or as well include questions to ask of the school. These can be placed on the table out of view of the camera but within your range of sight.

Finishing the interview

Once the interview has drawn to a close, before you sit back and loosen your tie, breathe a sigh of relief or even mutter a few obscenities, make sure the call has finished, the camera is off and the microphone is shut down!

Should you have an interview and want some further advice, tips and encouragement, do not hesitate to contact us at Compass. We have been in your position in the past and we are more than happy to share our experiences with you.

Posted on 5th August 2016

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