Skype is a great tool which enables us to connect with top notch candidates from all over the globe during the admissions interview. However, using Skype means we, and our applicants, face some unique communication challenges. As an applicant, there are a few additional things you can do to ensure the best possible atmosphere for your Frankfurt School Admission Interview.
The most important thing to remember about a Skype interview is that it is a real interview and you need to be just as prepared and professional as you would in person.
Preparing for the call
Before the interview get a friend or colleague to help you make a test call. Although Skype has the options to check your sound and video quality there are various issues which can arise during Skype calls detectable only by another person. For example, use the test call to proof the lighting of your space. It is more difficult to concentrate in an interview when the applicant is completely in the dark and all we see is your outline. Make sure you set up in front of a neutral background. You may, understandably, be a fan of Beyoncé but the giant poster you have hanging in your room should not be visible behind you during your interview. Also check on the effects of any background noise. Close your windows and ensure anything that may be happening around you cannot be heard during the call. The best way to do this is to use a headset and make sure there are no interruptions during your interview. If your roommate is cooking dinner during your interview let them know in advance to not barge in and ask what kind of noodles you want.
It pays to be punctual
Be online at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the interview. Just like in –person interviews, if you are not at least 5 minutes early, you are late. Being late is disrespectful and makes for a bad first impression. And also just like in-person interviews, you need to dress the part. You would never show up to an in-person interview wearing an old hoodie and a Skype interview is no different. If the interviewer can tell you are basically wearing your pyjamas it does not make a favourable impact.
Differences to an in-person interview
Take into consideration the limitations of technology. At times there can be a lag in transmission. For you this means you need to ensure the interviewer is done speaking before you begin answering questions. This also means that natural interruptions are a bit trickier than in face to face conversation. You will need to pay extra attention to non-verbal cues to avoid talking over each other. We all know body language is crucial in communication but during a Skype interview it takes on a different role. Although you may get very animated and excited, keep in mind that vigorous movement comes off differently over video than it does in real life. Wiggling around in your seat or swivelling on your desk chair is very distracting.
Finally, if something goes wrong don’t let it affect your interview performance. Technical difficulties happen. Interviewers understand this. Don’t get overly distracted or nervous. Likewise, be understanding if the interviewer has technical difficulties.
If you follow these few tips you will have a positive foundation for your Admissions Interview.