Mastering The Skype Interview

Posted on Aug 23 2013 - 6:12pm by Christopher Henderson


Skype interviews have become a common part of the hiring process. A job interview via video chat saves businesses both time and money. Even though you can land a job without a firm handshake or tour of the headquarters, you still need to arrive at your computer prepared.

A first impression is as important via Skype as it is in-person. Follow these tips and you’ll be that much more prepared to impress over video.

Prepare beforehand

Prepare for a Skype interview like you would an in-person interview. Research the company, know the ins and outs of the job description and be ready to ask questions. You’ll be prepared to answer any questions thrown your way. Plus, you’ll impress them by being able to ask them questions, too.

Dress professionally from head to toe

Even though only your chest to your forehead will be shown by the camera, you should still be fully clothed. Dress like you would for an in-person interview– so leave the fuzzy slippers behind and put some pants on. If you are dressed professionally, you will be more confident throughout the interview.

Choose an environment where you can focus

Imagine – you’re halfway through explainingwhy you’re the right person for the job. And then, your roommate yells at you to clean up your mess, your dog won’t stop barking or your phone rings. Any distraction could throw off a response, your interviewer and your entire interview. Take care of anything that could disrupt your interview beforehand.

Make a test call before the interview

You’d hate to sign onto Skype a few minutes before the scheduled interview and experience troubleshooting errors. Do these five things to have a stress-free interview:

  • Make sure your Skype account works and that you can sign in.
  • Check the sound and volume so that everything can be heard both ways.
  • Be sure the lighting in your room is enough so that you are clearly visible.
  • Position the camera so that you are in the center of the screen and that more than your face is seen.
  • Make sure the image behind you is appropriate – you don’t want your unmade bed covered in dirty laundry or a Scarface movie poster to be a distraction in the background.

Have your resume available

Although you do want to look directly at the camera instead of your own image on-screen, it’s okay to look away and take a peek at your resume. Print out a copy and lay it beside your computer. Then, if you get to a question that has stumped you, take a split-second glance at your resume. A quick reminder of what you have accomplished might help you quickly come up with a response.

Have good posture

Just like in a real interview, your body language tells a lot about you. Sit up straight and you’ll appear confident, even if you are a bit nervous. If you appear confident, the interviewer will have more confidence that you are the right person to join the company. Also, try not to fidget – you don’t want to distract your interviewer by moving a lot on camera.

Have a reliable Internet connection

Skype interviews are becoming more and more common these days thanks to today’s technology. Make sure you’re fully prepared with high-speed Internet with minimal risk of buffering, which can throw a major wrench into the flow of a job interview and negatively affect rapport with your interviewer. The whole point of Skype and web chatting is to make ‘face-to-face’ meetings possible no matter the distance or circumstances, so even if you live in the sticks or don’t have a phone line, you may still have options like Satellite Internet.

Follow up

Whether it’s an in-person or Skype interview, sending an e-mail or a handwritten thank you note is one of the most important steps. Send it as soon as you can to show your responsibility and timeliness. Try to mention something specific to your interview instead of a generic message that simply thanks the interviewer for their time.

Photo Credit: Flickr/PhotoAtelier

About the Author

Christopher Henderson is a freelance writer and public relations specialist for a variety of tech sites who currently resides in NYC. You can contact Chris directly via email.