Online interviews are quickly becoming the norm when hunting for a job. This is indeed the case when applying for positions with Teacher Horizons. To maximise your chances of landing that dream job abroad read below our hints and tips on how to nail your Zoom or Skype interview. 

Here are our compiled online interview tips:

1/ Be the professional yourself

Drop that evilteacher33 Skype ID and create yourself a professionally sounding name. Plain and simple is good. Ensure that your profile photograph is a good one for the corporate world too. Nobody wants to see you in your swimwear with a cocktail on the beach in Thailand…. Here first impressions count same as they would in a face to face interview. And while we’re at it – don’t forget to polish up your overall online presence. Yes, that’s your Facebook and Gmail profiles and any other traces of your persona on the internet. Your employer is guaranteed to look you up!

2/ Testing, Testing – one, two, one, two…...

Have you checked that your timezones are in sync? Watch out for daylight savings time change! Did you test your video and sound and do they work? “Skype test call” is your friend. Ensure you pick a place with reliable internet connection.

3/ Dress to impress

While pyjamas would probably be the most comfortable interview attire in the whole world, it’s not going to do you any favours while on Skype talk with your future boss. Dress for the occasion, even if just your top half…. Pick plain, simple outfits, no wild patterns to set the eyes of the viewer spinning.

4/ Unclutter

What’s behind and around you? Have you tidied up your background? Setting up your station (even if temporarily) with an interesting but not overpowering background is a good idea. Think bookshelves, house plants, cosy sitting well lit areas.  

5/ Quiet environment

Furniture and fabrics absorb sound and your interview will sound much better from a furnished room than from a sterile environment of an empty echoing space. Eliminate any disturbances and noises – coffee machines, drills, grinders, music; lock away your needy attention seeking cat! Turn off your mobile phone.

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Alexis Toye, the Co-Founder of Teacher Horizons Image: Anna Bella Betts

6/ Face the light

Where is the source of light and can your counterpart see your face? If your interview is taking place during daylight hours, position yourself directly facing a window, if at night, make sure your light source is placed directly in front of you making your face visible. Side, from the top and from below lighting will not do your facial features any favours.

7/ Your device – what are you looking at!?

You will achieve better results with a laptop than with a hand held mobile device. It’s important that you maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer – drag the screen with their face next to your laptop camera, this way you can look in the lens of the camera and maintain a natural eye contact. Place a few books under your laptop to bring it closer to your eye level and place your device at an arm’s length to achieve optimal distance.

8/ Planning, it’s all about planning

Don’t turn up unprepared! Decorate your laptop with post-it notes to jog your memory if necessary. Have your questions ready, anticipate the direction the conversation is likely to take and prepare answers.

9/ Share your work

If the nature of your work is such that it can be shown on screen learn how to share your screen and have relevant examples ready.

10/ Be comfortable and natural

Speak clearly and at such level that your interviewer can clearly hear you. Have a glass of water at hand – this way you don’t have to leave your station and show off your pyjama bottoms! Be yourself, be confident.

And finally, if you are looking for more online interview tips, we like this comprehensive video which you might find helpful too:

Good luck!

To set up an interview and see where your next move will take you, join Teacher Horizons and our friendly recruitment agents will take your through all the steps. After all, your dream teaching job abroad is only a Zoom interview away!


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Written by Anna Bella Betts
Teacher Horizons blog manager by night and photographer by day.
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