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Phone, Skype and Video: 4 Tips for Improving Tech Interview Skills

Interviews are nerve-wracking as it is, but they can be even more so when technology is brought into the equation. Chances are you’re probably not as used to interviews on video chat or Skype as you are with those done over the phone or in person. Here’s how to improve your skills so you’re a tech interview pro.

Practice makes perfect

You may think that since a tech interview is done remotely, it’ll be less serious and you won’t have to worry as much. However, phone interviews are usually used as a way to determine which candidates companies believe are worth bringing in for an in-person interview.

For Skype and video chat interviews, that could actually be your only shot. If it’s a place you’ll be working for remotely or somewhere you’d have to relocate to, they may schedule a video interview instead of meeting with you in person.

These interviews are just as important as in-person ones, so it’s best to be prepared. Research common interview questions for these mediums. Have a friend call or video chat you so you can practice and record yourself while doing it. That way, you can see how you sound and look and know what you need to work on for the actual interview.

Troubleshoot your tech

You don’t want to start the interview and have internet issues or your phone call drop. Make sure you check everything in advance to ensure it is working well before the interview happens. If you don’t have a set time for a phone interview but you know a general timeframe, try to make sure you’re never in a cell service dead zone or where you know it’s going to be patchy.

If you have the option, use a wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi. This will be a lot more reliable, especially if you’re working with video. Businesses have some pretty intense video conferencing technology and you may have multiple people joining in the interview. To be safe, you want to make sure your internet connection can handle anything they throw at you. Having it cutting out at a crucial point would not make a good impression.

Consider your setup

For a video interview, you’re going to want to make sure anything within view of the camera in your home is professional and not distracting. This goes for your clothes as well. A camera can make things look different from how they appear in real life. Try to wear contrasting clothing so the camera can pick up the colour difference instead of having you blend into the background.

Wearing all light colours or all dark colours can also impact the camera’s automatic brightness feature. All light can make the camera adjust darker, casting shadows on your face. All dark colours mean your face could end up overly bright and shiny.

For the background, keep it simple. You don’t want anything flashy to take attention away from what you’re saying. Clean up any clutter so things don’t look messy around you. Try to light yourself from the front and make sure your computer is on a solid surface. Do some test runs to make sure everything looks and sounds okay. Also, give a heads up to the rest of your household so they can be quiet when the time comes.

Prepare to be out of your element

There’s a possibility that the company may request you go to a videoconferencing facility for your interview. This means you’ll be somewhere new, doing something you may have never experienced before while interviewing.

Try to prepare yourself ahead of time for this situation. Make sure your professional clothes are something you feel comfortable and relaxed in. You want to be as calm and ready as possible. For this, you may want to do even more practice runs than normal so you can have your responses locked down.

Tech interviews can be intimidating, but you can ace them! Make sure you’re ready for anything, and you’ll be itching to show off your skills when the time comes.

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About the Author Nathan Sykes

Nathan Sykes writes about business and technology online. To read more from Nathan, check out his blog Finding an Outlet.