While Skype has essentially become a mainstream tool for connecting face-to-face over long distances, many candidates don’t consider certain factors when interviewing for a job opening via Skype. Read these tips to make the best of a Skype interview you may have coming up.
Dress the Part – Literally and figuratively. Treat this interview like you would treat an in-person interview. Just because your interviewer would never be able to know if you were wearing pajama pants beneath your blazer doesn’t mean you should. Dressing fully business professional will put you in the mode you need to be in.And even though this interview may feel more laid-back than an in-person interview, it’s still imperative that you treat it for what it is. Still make a point to familiarize yourself with the company, practice answers to popular interview questions, and prepare questions to ask your interviewer.
Check your Background – Make sure your background is as professional as you are trying to appear. Wherever you are, make sure whatever can be seen behind you is tidy. There should be nothing offensive in your background as well. I was once on a conference call with university students and one of them had a controversial flag on their dorm room wall. Perhaps not the best choice for an interview background. Plus, if you have the choice between a chair and a couch/futon/bed, pick the chair. It will help you sit up straight and remain attentive. Also, do your best to make sure there won’t be any surprise walk-throughs like your roommate dropping in or a crowd coming by (if you’re Skyping in a public place like a library). My college roommate had a Skype interview and asked if I would just stay out of the room for the duration of it, which I was happy to do. Don’t be afraid to ask, and if they can’t comply, try a different location other than your room.
Get Technical – Technology is frustrating at the most inopportune moments. Do your best to ensure that your microphone and webcam are working properly, that your computer is fully charged, and that you are in a location where the best quality of Internet connection is likely. Also, get as familiar with Skype as you can if you don’t regularly utilize it. Consider practicing with a friend before the interview to be sure you aren’t too loud and that you can be clearly seen.
Look at the Camera – While it might feel unnatural, it is best to look at the camera while you are speaking, because your interviewer will see you looking directly at them. It’s fine to face them on your screen when they’re asking questions, but do your best to direct your attention to your webcam.