So you've successfully completed the mountains of paperwork required, navigated the minefield of foreign bureaucracy, planned your student budget and mastered the language of your chosen country. Now, just one thing stands in the way of your perfect foreign study program: The dreaded admissions interview.
For most of us, heading to your chosen location simply to attend an interview may be out of the question. However, thanks to the wonder of modern technology, now the interview can come to you.
Skype interviews are becoming increasingly prevalent and presenting yourself in the correct manner is just as important in the virtual world as it is in "real life”. We take a look at five important things to remember when Skyping your way to graduate success.
Check your connection
There's nothing worse than waiting for that all-important call only to find you've been offline for the past hour. Home connections are usually best but if you must use an internet café or something similar, ensure you email your interviewer to let them know your connection might be unreliable.
Beautiful backdrops and serene settings
Whilst that giant, half-naked poster of your favorite pin up boy/girl may have seemed like a good idea when you were younger, it's certainly not going to create the right impression during an interview. Think about what your camera sees and try to keep your surroundings simple and clutter free.
Dress for success
Here the same rules apply as to a normal interview and you should be dressing to impress rather than dressing like you just crawled out of bed. Take a look at these tips for impressive interview attire and stock your wardrobe with anything you may be missing.
Practice makes perfect
Practice your technique with a friend. They don't even have to be in the same room as you and you'll get a real feel for the limitations of both your technology and your interview technique. This way you'll be fully prepared for any glitches, both virtual and verbal, during the real thing.
Notes are acceptable in this exam
As long as you're not covering your laptop's camera with post-its, and you can maintain a decent amount of eye contact with your interviewer, then it pays to make use of notes to help you along the way. Make simple bullet points that aren't too distracting and ensure you're not rifling through your papers during the interview.
Other things to remember are pretty much in line with standard interview technique and there are plenty of sites that will help you along the way. One final tip – make sure all your other computer software is turned off before you begin. That way you'll avoid any pop ups interfering with your interview.