Securing an International Teaching job from the comfort of your own home has never been easier, with most International Schools now interviewing teachers online through Skype. Here we offer our top tips on nailing your Skype interview.
1. Make sure you have a strong Internet connection: There is nothing worse than a poor connection when trying to conduct a serious interview. Make sure you turn off all other devices that use the internet to ensure your network does not become oversubscribed.
2. Dress to impress: People often assume that because they are not interviewing face-to-face what they wear is not important. They could not be more wrong. First impressions are everything, even online. Women should avoid low cut tops, or anything revealing. Men should wear a shirt and tie (yes, a tie is an absolute must!) What you wear on the bottom is up to you but we advise dressing the part in full. When you are fully dressed to impress you feel more confident and powerful. We cannot think of anything worse than standing up suddenly during an interview and revealing an embarrassing attire below! Also you may want to consider how much of the background your camera can see i.e. make sure to tidy any visible mess and ensure that the walls don’t clash with your outfit.
3. Have a backup plan: Internet connections can be unreliable, and even with the best forward planning they can still let you down, so it is advisable to have a plan B. In the event of a bad connection most schools will revert to calling your phone instead. It is important to make sure you have updated your CV with your current number before the interview. Be sure to have your phone fully charged and check in advance that it is capable of accepting international calls.
4. Look at the camera not yourself: Many people forget that when doing a Skype interview the camera is where you should look. If you look at yourself or the person speaking then your eyes will be facing down for the whole interview. While it is ok to look at the person when they are talking, try to keep focused on the camera when you are answering questions.
5. Avoid any unwanted guests: Prepare and plan ahead for your interview. No one should enter the room you are interviewing in or appear in the background of your shot as this can give a sense of unprofessionalism. Also ensure that you are not interrupted during the interview - inform family and friends not to drop by unexpectedly.
6. Limit the noise: Unfortunately when interviewing online there can be many external sources of noise and while you may not be able to control these, you can certainly limit your exposure to them. We suggest closing all windows and doors to start and if your neighbours or street are particularly noisy, you may consider using another venue or suggest a time to interview where noise levels are lowest.
7. Be confident: During the interview you should be confident and self assured. The interviewer already likes you on paper so you are halfway there! Use this opportunity to give them a chance to get to know your personality and build a rapport. Remember interviews are where people get a sense of you - learnt off or polished answers are not the way forward. People often forget a lot of what is said in an interview but remember the feeling they are left with, so make sure you focus on showing your personality!
8. Follow up: It can be a good idea to follow up an interview the next day with an email. You can use this opportunity to send written references if you have some and also to thank the interviewer for his or her time. It certainly can’t hurt!