Originally posted at Be The Best Nanny Newsletter Blog here.
Have You Ever Used Skype for a Job Interview?
Nannies, au pairs, and parents don’t have to leave their own homes to have real-time, face-to-face interviews anymore. With modern technology not only are nannies finding more jobs online then ever before, they are also using the Internet to have job interviews with potential employers.
Skype is a free software program that can be used to have interviews via video by using a webcam (a video camera that feeds an image in real time to a computer). Unlike email interviews or telephone interviews, parents and nannies can actually see what the other person looks like and see their facial expressions as they interview using Skype.
Since potential employers can see the caregivers they are interviewing, job candidates should make a good first impressions during Skype interviews just like they would during an in-person interview. Here are some tips for using Skype I found on the Internet.
Before the Skype Interview
1. Download the Skype Software for Free:
Well in advance of the interview download the software to make sure it runs properly on your computer.
2. Create a Professional Username:
I kid you not a friend of mine had a Skype username with the word “hussy” in it because she used Skype to keep in touch with her long distance boyfriend, (and then she wondered why she wasn’t getting nanny jobs).
3. Clean Up Around Your Computer:
Remove all distractions in view of the webcam. Move pets into another room, clean up clutter, and turn off televisions and telephones. Close all the windows, so outside noise won’t interrupt the interview.
4. Adjust the Web Camera:
Adjust the web camera so you are in the middle of the screen. Do not zoom in so the employer can only see your face or zoom out, so they can see everything in the room.
5. Practice by Looking Into the Camera Not the Screen:
According to jobsearch.about.com job candidates should look into the camera, rather than on the screen. You have to look into the camera to look like you are talking to the potential employers.
Check to be sure you have enough lighting that doesn’t create shadows or throw too harsh a look into your screen.
7. Choose What Colors You Wear:
Certain colors like many shades of blue — royal, navy, sky blue — look great on video while others like reds and hot colors like magenta can be too bright. Patterns like small dots or stripes can be less attractive than solids so think about a color to wear that is easy on the eye and a pattern that won’t be distracting to your viewer.
8. Dress Conservatively:
Parents want to hire conservative caregivers so cover tattoos, excessive piercings, and dress conservatively like you would in an in-person job interview.
9. Hair and Make-Up:
High quality video shows details on screen. See webcam interview make-up tips onjobsearch.about.com.
10. Practice Makes Perfect:
Have practice interviews with your friends and family to become more comfortable using Skype. Accept their constructive criticism.
During the Interview
11. Close Other Software Programs:
Close all programs on your computer, such as chat programs and email, so the alerts do not distract the employer or you during the interview.
12. Smile and Focus:
According to jobserach.about.com one of the easiest rules to remember when interacting with anyone is simply to smile. There is nothing more engaging than smiling throughout your call with a friendly expression. It is also important is to make direct eye contact. If you scan the room or look away from the camera, you might appear untrustworthy or indifferent. So, look into the camera even though you won’t see the interviewer in the camera.