Skype Interview Advice

Skype interviews are becoming increasingly popular for employers due to convenience, ease and cost. If you are unfamiliar with Skype, it is amazingly easy to use once you familiarize yourself with the software. Plus it is free if you have a webcam and a computer.

Treat a Skype interview just like you would an in-person interview! You must be mindful of how you look, how you sound and the quality of your image.

Look professional. Generally, you’ll be seen from the waist up. Put on a dark jacket, comb your hair, and if you are a woman, keep your makeup natural looking. Wear simple understated jewelry that doesn’t clink and clatter as you talk and move.

Make sure your equipment is in good shape. Think how it would be if the sound or picture went out in the middle of your interview. Also, do an audio test beforehand by using Skype with a friend or family member. A dry run and a critique by someone who will tell you the truth will help you tweak everything before you go “live.”

Don’t put yourself in front of a plain white wall. The contrast can make you look like a ghostly shadow. Warm up the background with something like a bookshelf with books and/or a carefully placed plant.

Add some lighting that brings out your face but doesn’t make you “glow.” Perhaps a floor lamp tilted down from the left side of the webcam or a tall desk lamp that provides extra lighting for your face.

Try positioning yourself by sitting at an angle and then turning your head to the camera. You will look more attentive and help you sit up straight and it should help with the lighting.

Make sure the interviewer can see your hands. Use your hands to gesture as you would in a face-to-face interview, but try to keep them away from your face.

Scan in examples of your work before hand and send a copy through Skype, if you are going to include samples.

Keep eye contact with the camera, not the screen. Remember, the camera is the eye of the viewer and you want to maintain eye contact.

Limit distractions. Put the dog and cat in another room, get a sitter for the kids, turn off your mobile devices and tell your spouse to leave you alone during the interview. There should be no noises that can cause distractions.

Enjoy yourself, Skype interviews can really be fun!