Freelancers often use Skype’s video conferencing capabilities as a cheap and convenient method of communicating with customers face to face, while cutting out the time and expense of travelling to and from meetings.
Skype is a particularly useful tool for translators, who often work with clients in multiple countries.
Many translators find that potential clients would like to speak with them before committing to using their services. For some, a telephone call will suffice, but others prefer the more personal impact of a Skype video call, so here we look at five ways in which professional translators can be sure to excel in a Skype interview.
#1 Looks are everything
Start by ensuring that you look your best. You may just be sitting in front of your laptop at home but first impressions count for a lot, so dress for a Skype interview just as you would if you were actually meeting the person.
Remember – if the client has a choice of two translators with similar skills and price ranges, he/she is likely to select the one who was wearing a suit and tie rather than the one in their pyjamas!
#2 Think about your surroundings
In the same way that you need to think about your own presentation, ensure that the environment that the client can see on their screen is professional and tidy. Overflowing ashtrays, piles of dirty coffee mugs and messy stacks of paper do not inspire confidence!
#3 Plan ahead
Be sure to let anyone else present in the house at the time of your interview know that you will be holding a video call and that it is an interview.
Children running past in the background or your spouse bringing you a cup of tea midway through an interview do not create the most professional of impressions, so plan ahead and ensure that the call is uninterrupted by domestic diversions.
#4 The importance of body language
Body language is extremely important during a Skype interview, as we discussed in our recent post on that subject. Sit up straight, engage in an appropriate level of eye contact and avoid actions such as yawning or gazing off into the distance.
Be aware of what your body language is communicating at all times, so that you can be sure to present a professional and attentive image at all times.
#5 Stay connected
One of the quickest ways to annoy a potential client during a Skype interview is to have problems with the connection. Test everything beforehand, so that you can be sure that your microphone and speakers are functioning correctly.
Next, think about bandwidth. If your children are downstairs playing X-Box online and stealing the majority of your bandwidth, put a stop to it before the call. Similarly, be sure to close anything that is open on your PC and using up unnecessary bandwidth. While crackly and stilted calls can’t always be avoided, be sure you have done everything you can to try and ensure that the interview flows as smoothly as possible.
What are your tips for exceling during a Skype interview? Share your thoughts via the comment box.