How to Master the Dreaded Skype Interview

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Due to the advances in technological communication, many interviews now take place online – either through Skype interviews or other online platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet (but let’s just call them Skype interviews, shall we?). This process of interview is advantageous in many ways. Who’d want to travel six thousand miles only to receive a rejection for a job? But there are difficulties with interviewing this way. Here are some tips on how you can master the Skype interview with ease and finesse.

Interview Tips for the ESL Teacher

Tips to ace a Skype interview

Don’t forget it’s an interview

First of all, remember that whilst you might be sat in your kitchen, it is still an interview and you need to take a formal approach. This doesn’t mean that you have don a full three piece suit, but a smart shirt or blouse and running a comb through your hair never hurt anybody. This is still the first impression that your prospective employer will have of you, so make an effort and look the part!

Find a quiet spot

This should go without saying, but make sure that you are in a calm, quiet place that has a stable internet connection. Don’t try and interview in a café or public area, as the background noise can be very distracting when using Skype. Though you can’t guarantee a stable connection, try do everything you can to avoid interruptions during the call.

If you have a time delay or a bad connection, give plenty of time to make sure that the interviewer has finished speaking before you begin your answer. Rather have a few delays than have awkward interruptions all the time! This probably isn’t going to be the ultimate decider about if you’re successful, but it does make for a much smoother and cleaner conversation – which can do a lot for your nerves.

tefl interview questions 2

Consider the space

In a usual interview, there is nothing you can do about the interview setting. But in an online interview, you can make sure you have the optimal background. Try to position yourself in front of a blank background, be it a wall or a “bland” background. This is so that there aren’t any unecessary *cough cough*  distractions behind you.

Virtual backgrounds are not recommended, as they can make you appear a bit, well, odd.

Be aware of your lighting, so that your interviewer can see you clearly. When in doubt, natural light is best.

Test test test

Before your interview, test your computer. This includes your sound and camera, as well as your placement on screen. Make sure you are comfortable, both with your physical circumstances and with the technology. You may be understandably nervous during the interview, but – as in any interview – try not to let that show.

Another handy tip is to close all the other programs on your computer to ensure that the connection is as strong as possible. And don’t forgt to turn your phone on silent!

Don’t forget that it’s an interview

It’s important that you treat a Skype interview the same way you would if you were conducting the process in person.

Arrive early. Yes this might sound a bit odd, but even online you can enter a virtual room before the appointed time. This is to ensure you are not late for your interview, and that your interviewer is not waiting for you.

Some people try to have notes which the interviewer can’t see. Avoid this. Sticking to a script is never a good idea in an interview, because it can make you seem nervous.

tefl interview questions scaled

Don’t forget your soft skills

Eye contact is especially important here, because it’s one of the few ways you can really connect over a webcam. Don’t throw away that opportunity – use this chance to show them you are engaged, friendly and communicative.If you are not used to speaking to someone online with your camera on, practise a few times first. Make sure you are looking at the webcam and not at yourself!

Be mindful of your body language. Don’t shift in your seat or move unnecessarily. Engage with your interviewer as you would in a face-to-face situation. Above all, try and look as comfortable as possible.

Do your homework

The most important thing is to do your homework: make sure you are well prepared. Do your research on the company and consider a few questions which might be asked during the interview. Consider your answers to these questions and how you would relay this to your interviewers. Even if you have never taught before, rely on your TEFL training as much as possible to answer any questions relating to teaching. The best thing you can do is to be prepared.

Read more: Common TEFL Interview Questions

And that’s it. We don’t think there’s anything more we can tell you! Be yourself, be prepared, and you’ll  no doubt wow them in your Skype interview. Good luck!

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