Recently we output an article on How to set up Skype on your home computer or laptop and recently we had a request for a further information on how to present yourself professionally on Skype, so realizing just how important this information is, today we bring you a handy guide which shows you just how you need to behave, look and act on the information superhighway’s leading communication software!
First, we can’t stress enough just how important it is to know just how to use Skype, our previous guide explains some of the key features of this program, but for further features, here’s a brilliant video elaborating further:
Next point, your Environment! This means the room you’re in, your background should be plain white if possible or, at the least, a very pale colour, this will help to direct the attention on to you and to take the employer’s gaze away from the background. After all, you want to be the most important thing to stick out during the interview. Also important to note is noise and background activity. Noise can disrupt the interview and make you hard to hear or impossible to understand. Without knowing what you’re saying, how can the employer possibly recognize what an amazing teacher you are?
In regards to background activity, this means keep all pets, children and significant others outside the room, otherwise you may find they may draw the employer’s eye away from you if they pass behind (or in front, yikes!) of you on the camera. Also, avoid open windows, doors and definitely avoid being near fans or air conditioning, the noise may not be very audible to you, but, and trust me when I say this, the person on the other end can hear it and it’s far more annoying than you think.
Next, let’s talk about Technology! Your platform for using Skype should be a PC, Laptop or a Tablet with a sturdy stabilizer, it won’t look good if you are trying to get yourself interviewed using a pixelated phone or a tablet that won’t stay upright. Make sure you’re using a decent-quality camera too, you don’t need the £5000 branded super HD super-slim camera 2000b, just a standard webcam (which many laptops have mounted into them) will suffice. Here at SeekTeachers, we recommend the Logitech C270 HD Webcam, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 and the Logitech C920 HD Webcam. These scale in price from £16.99 to £44.99 and are ideal for interviews as well as Skype calling in general.
To help keep the video and audio quality high, try to avoid using other programs (especially Internet Browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome) unless the situation demands it, as these will use up valuable resources on your computer and will slow your connection speed, which in turn forces Skype to drop the quality of the video and/or audio to be able to keep the call going.
Now we’ll have a look at Body Language! This is something to know for interviews in general, it’s a life skill and we can’t stress enough just how important it is to know. It may seem subtle, but as is often the case, the smallest things go the longest distance. Think about your posture, are you closing yourself off from your potential employer via crossing your arms? Are you hunching over and looking needy, or slouching and looking lazy? Is your tone aggressive and scaring the person on the other side of the line or is it quiet and making the person on the other side not take you seriously? There’s a fine balance between all these points: Sit up straight, shoulders back, confident (but not excessive) tone of voice, speak as if you’re talking to someone a metre away from you. It’s all stuff you were taught in school we’re sure. Most importantly of all, avoid looking up to the left or the right, it makes you look unsure and incapable: for true confidence, make eye contact with the camera and show them you mean business. And smile, after all, who doesn’t like a nice healthy smile?
Avoid Bad Habits! This means don’t play with your hair, face or hands. Avoid eating and/or drinking on camera, a glass of water is usually okay but try and limit the noise you’re making and avoid any spillage. Don’t bite your nails, click your fingers, cross your eyes, pull out your hair and DEFINITELY avoid the schoolyard-error of nose-picking. You want to impress your employer, not disgust them!
Finally, you need to have some Questions ready at the end, but there’s a fine balance here too! Too many and you’ll seem invasive and possibly aggressive, none at all and you’ll seem uninterested and small-minded. Try and find a balance of between 2-5 questions that you’d like to ask about, good ones should be things that affect you, yet professional. Great examples include: What is the school calendar year? How many classes a week/hours a week will I be teaching? Will the school help me with accommodation? Does the school provide professional development? As always, a small bit of curiosity drives the individual and helps to foster good relationships between the employer and the employee.
We should also stress how important it is to have all your Documents, CRB Check and Qualifications in order before proceeding. Our consultants are dedicated to helping you find a role suited perfectly to your capabilities and ambition, for more information, Upload Your CV today and have a gander at our Jobs Page!