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6 steps to prepare for a Skype job interview

March 28, 2016 (Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

There’s a fair chance that on your next job interview, you won’t even be sitting in the same room with your future boss.

Some 71 percent of employers now use real-time video interviewing when seeking new employees, according to Futurestep, a Korn Ferry company.

More likely you’ll big sitting at your desk at home, shifting your gaze between camera and screen, trying to act natural as some remote talking head asks about your leadership experience.

OK, life isn’t perfect. Here are six steps to gear up for the Skype ordeal.

1. Get set up. Surf to the Skype page and create an account. You’ll enter some basics, such as name and email address, as well as personal information including birthday and city.

You’ll create a password along with a Skype name.

Don’t get clever.

PartyBoy92 will not impress a future employer.

2. Test your systems. A slow Internet connection is going to scuttle this interview, as will an unexpected software breakdown.

Set up your Skype account early and connect with friends or family — put the system through its paces in advance to ensure things run smoothly.

3. Prep your notes. Just as you might walk into a “real” interview with a pen and notepad, it’s OK to bring questions, anecdotes and reminders into a Skype screening.

You can refer to these throughout the conversation, and it’s fine to take notes — it shows you are taking an active interest.

4. Set the scene. Make a private, quite space for the interview: Don’t put the laptop on the kitchen table where the kids are running around and the dog is barking.

Arrange the lighting so that you can be seen, without creating deep shadows all over the place.

Skype a friend to confirm things look clean and professional on the receiving end.

5. Suit up. Don’t let being at home lull you into a false sense of informality. This is a real job interview, and you’ll need to dress up for it, just as you would for an in-person screening.

Don’t simply put on a tie or do up your hair, while keeping your pajama bottoms on, figuring no one will see under the table. Go pro from head to toe: You’ll feel more on your game, more like the professional that you are.

6. Quiet your computer. All those email alerts, Facebook notifications and sundry pop-up distractions: Shut them down. They’ll draw your attention away from the interviewer, who in turn will wonder why you keep glancing away.

Eyes forward, please. Obviously, turn off Pandora. You can crank the tunes once it’s over.

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