The Sky(pe)’s the Limit

By Bock Szymkowicz, Career Development Specialist

Behrooz (11) Skype

Abdullah Alnassar, Byte Back job developer, calls in from Saudi Arabia through Skype to meet with A+ certification student Behrooz Bakhtiary at Byte Back IT Academy in Washington, DC.

Another student heads out the door of the Byte Back IT Academy, having met with our job developer, Abdullah Alnassar. In one-hour sessions Abdullah assists with resume tailoring, interview preparation, and career guidance for Byte Back certification students. There’s just one catch – Abdullah is 6,700 miles away.

Even after moving to Saudi Arabia this summer, Byte Back’s long-time job developer has continued to meet with students, with the help of Skype. Thanks to the seven-hour time difference, Abdullah is able to meet one-on-one with students after finishing his day job at home, in Saudi Arabia. On average, he meets with 10 students per week.

Fatoumata Abdullah Skype

Byte Back graduate Fatoumata Niang Skypes with Abdullah over the summer.

Why Skype?

Though far away, Abdullah maintains strong relationships with the students and with Byte Back’s network of employer partners. He also equips the students with an added skill –  video conferencing, which is a rising commodity in the professional world.

Skype allows people to meet conveniently from any location, saving time and money. Many companies, particularly those in global and technology fields, are increasingly using Skype for recruitment, inviting candidates to Skype interviews. In fact, a 2012 study revealed that over 60% of HR managers said their companies used Skype for job interviews.

Skype Practice Pays Off, Literally

With use, students get more comfortable having a virtual face-to-face webcam conversation. When recent A+ Certification Program graduate Olivia Byrd was invited to an interview with Randstand Technologies over Skype, she felt prepared, having used Skype before to get coaching from Abdullah. Olivia was hired!

Meeting with Abdullah “got me familiar with the software and how it actually is to communicate with someone over Skype,” Olivia said.

Integrating technology into Byte Back’s programs is essential – not only are we teaching tech to students but also using it creatively to keep our students armed with skills.

Tips for Your Next Skype Interview

Many different factors come into the interview process when doing a video conference that one may not normally think of. In a Skype interview, it is essential to:

  • have an appropriate background with good lighting
  • be prepared for a small transmission delay
  • look into the webcam, because this will translate to looking into the interviewer’s eyes

If you have a Skype interview coming up yourself, here are some helpful sites:

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