Another day, another Skype interview

My time in the Czech Republic is drawing to a close.  One month from today I will be landing in Minneapolis to go onto a trail of weddings and on to further adventures.  Because I am finished with my contract at the end of the month, I am actively job hunting.  This is the part where I thank God for technology.  I can just as easily job hunt and interview from here as from the States.

I have been regularly checking for openings at St. Cloud's EdPost for art jobs in the Twin Cities.  I sent off my first application back in March, and in the past few weeks, I have been participating in interviews over *Skype.  I have applied to 18 positions so far and have interviewed with 4 schools and turned down an interview for one other.  

A few months back, while my brother-in-law was interviewing for jobs across the USA, he called me via Skype to check his lighting, sound, and screen angle.  Little did I know that I would soon be needing the same advice (I typically test my lighting, etc., through PhotoBooth).  My first Skype interview was for a teaching position that I didn't exactly want, yet I accepted the interview.  I had short notice of it, and it was scheduled for the day before I would pick up my sisters from the airport.  Moreover, the interview was scheduled for 10:30 PM my time, and I would be staying at a friend's apartment.  This is the part where you expect me to say that despite all odds, I was alert, articulate, charming, and intelligent.  Our rapport was like a Hallmark commercial, and I pressed the red hang-up button with confidence that an offer was coming my way. 

Not on your life.

I was distracted, tired, and awkward.  Familiar art terms hid themselves from me and tangible examples danced away from my reach.  Moreover, occasionally, my three interviewees had to be content with a video of my Buddha-esque face while sound was lost.  I was more interested in my sisters' imminent arrival than answering questions.  All-in-all, I probably sounded more like one of their students than a potential colleague.  After the interview, I was not offered the position, but I was more equipped for future interviews. 

A month has passed since that rejection.  I have become more comfortable with Skype interviews.  I have figured out the most strategic books to place under my laptop to give it appropriate height, and where to sit in my living room to take advantage of both artificial and natural lighting.  In fact, I've come to enjoy the Skype interview and it's many advantages.  No driving, no gas money, no traffic jams, parking difficulties, or navigational errors.  There is no confusion regarding which door to enter and no awkward waiting under the inspection of the principal's administrative assistant.  Moreover, there are no early mornings when you're 7 hours ahead.  Instead, I can wait in my living room in my skinny jeans with a business casual dress thrown over it.  I can sip on homemade tea or coffee and run to the bathroom just before the interview.

And, if the interview turns out to be audio only, I can lounge in the most comfortable chair, not having to be strategic with lighting or background.  Since I'm not using a phone, my neck doesn't get sore, and I don't have to over-analyze my hand gestures or my posture.  I don't know how many more interviews are before me, but I'm very thankful that Skype has helped enable an international job search.

*Perhaps of my American readers are many who haven't yet explored the goodness of Skype.  Screen-sharing, video feed, free calls--what more could you ask for?  Internationally, you might want a phone number that people in your home country could call for free.  Well, for a small monthly fee, that can be got as well, so non-Skype users can contact you as well (highly recommended for relocated persons with not-so-technology-savvy friends and relatives.) 


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