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What do I need for a Skype interview?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by masty88, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. masty88

    masty88 New commenter

    Hi all

    Completely new to Skype & I'm looking to get set up in anticipation of an interview.

    For interviews, do you guys use Skype on your mobile phone or do you have equipment such as a webcam?

    Do I need a microphone too? A headset? I don't have any potential equipment at all other than a monitor & speakers plugged into my desktop pc...


    Thanks for any help provided.
  2. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    I'd use either an iPad (or other tablet) or a laptop. Both should have a microphone and speakers built in. Think that would be better than a phone. Give it a test before the start, Skype a friend or family member to check it all works
  3. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    If you haven't either of these you will need a webcam, if there isn't one already installed in your monitor.

    There must be someone who can lend you either a laptop or tablet?
  4. masty88

    masty88 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply. Hadn't considered an iPad. I have an iPad & laptop (both school property). I don't think Sype is installed though & both are 'locked' :(. Will investigate further. So stand the tablet up on a table/desk & I'm ready to go? Thanks again
  5. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Yes, speak to your IT technician I'm sure he will install it, that's what I would do.
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Buy an ipad mini. They are brilliant for reading, browsing, games and just about anything, and the video and sound quality will show you in the best light. Install Skype, set up a free account with a sensible name and photo then have a few test runs skyping friends and family. You also need a good Internet connection when you Skype. Do you have it at home? If not, where will you do the interview? Don't do the interview until you've done a few calls!
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Don’t use your phone. Too wobbly.
    Practice several times to get your picture and posture right.
    Mind the background. Bookshelves work well.
    Mind that children and pets are on the other side of a closed door and will respect that boundary.
  8. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Phone is not ideal, but it will work if needed - our laptop refused to connect to Skype (stupid Egyptian internet) but the phone was fine, so better than nothing! @gulfgolf makes a good point about kids (remember the guy on the BBC interview?)

    Test it first - there is an echo and sound test, which is a pretty good estimate of what the call will be like. Our first interview was from our house in Scotland, which is literally at the end of the line from the exchange so the internet was slow, but the call quality was OK. Have a standby alternative ready, like Facebook Messenger video, FaceTime, WhatsApp or WeChat (for China) if Skype doesn't work.
  9. isotonic

    isotonic Occasional commenter

    Have a nice background - I used to sit in my sitting room with a nice plant behind etc..gives a good impression - in all my online interviews I never wore smart trousers or shoes - in fact just a shirt and tie with my pyjamas as the camera was always on my top half!
  10. masty88

    masty88 New commenter

    Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

  12. funkymonkey

    funkymonkey New commenter

    Due to poor internet connection I have used my phone, I have had two interviews using my phone, both outside, again due to poor connection. I was offered a job for September so I presume it was t a hinderence.
  13. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    Risky strategy not to have 'dress' trousers and shoes on - a colleague was asked to 'stand up' during one online interview she had to show her 'professional image' - i.e. how she would dress at work!
  14. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I would agree. On another forum someone shared their tale of woe when they were only dressed on the top for their Skype interview and inadvertently stood up in view of the camera. They were promptly nicknamed Captain Underpants by some heartless wag of a poster :)cool:).

    On the upside they were offered the job so either the interviewer had a sense of humor or liked what they saw.

    On a more relevant note, I've also used computer, iPad and iPhone successfully for interviews. Loved the one with a committee of 5 where they would turn the camera on their end when different people asked me a question.
  15. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    As referenced above:

    Would second the advice about the background - books are good, shelves of booze could go either way, blank wall is safe but perhaps a bit sinister, muted TV distracting...

    Also, try to balance the light in the room so you are not only illuminated by the laptop/tablet screen.
  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  17. masty88

    masty88 New commenter

    Thanks again everyone :)
  18. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Occasional commenter

    I was once Skype interviewed in my pyjamas. A school in KL messaged to say could they interview NOW, or in 5 mins or something. I was in Chile at the time so wrong time zone altogether, it was 9 or 10 in the evening. I explained that I was showered and ready for bed and they said they didn't mind but they were keen to do it NOW.

    I didn't get an offer, but I got the feeling that was more because I had another interview lined up in London for a permament position elsewhere (this one was 'supply' at very short notice) which I still wanted to attend. Maybe I'm wrong. Can't remember what the pyjamas were like but if any of that interview panel frequent these boards and remember that occasion, maybe they will remind me.
  19. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I'm not sure I'd appreciate being told to stand up during a Skype interview to see how "professionally dressed" I am. What exactly does the fact that I wear a shirt and tie on my top half, but pyjamas on my bottom half, tell anyone about my ability or my dress in the classroom? I might well be wearing a suit for my interview, but does that mean I won't turn up at school in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flipflops?

    What that would tell me, though, is this could well be a school which cares more about image than actual teaching. That for me is a bigger issue.
  20. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    One tip I found useful. Write any questions, comments, ideas, past successes you want to comment on, on post-its and stick to the sides and top of your laptop screen.

    When people are thinking they will often look up or to the side. It doesn't look too obvious if you do this to read a post-it.

    They are then ready to use if and when you need/want.

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