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Lights, Camera, Action: Skype Interview

Many interviews today are conducted via Skype. The Skype interview is a happy medium between a phone interview and an in-person interview. Here are several tips to help you excel during a Skype interview:

  • Ensure that your Skype name and profile picture are professional.
  • Dress professionally, even though the interviewer will only see your upper half.
  • Dressing professionally will put you in the right interviewing mindset.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors and sparkly jewelry because they will distract the interviewer.
  • Also, make sure that your skin isn’t oily – you will appear shiny on camera. Women should wear a little bit more makeup than usual because it doesn’t show up very well on camera.
  • Find a quiet location with a clean, neutral background. The best place to have a Skype interview here on campus is in the Career Center’s interview rooms. Contact us to book an interview room for your Skype interview today.
  • Bring your resume, research notes, and questions for the interviewer. You can easily spread them out on the table and refer to them. This is something you can’t do as easily during an in-person interview.
  • Make sure that your laptop is charged and that you have a good, strong Wi-Fi connection. If you’re having connection issues, it’s okay to redial to try and improve the connection.
  • Look at the camera when you’re talking. Don’t look at the person on the screen because, to him, you are looking away. To make this easier, print out a picture of the hiring manager, cut a small hole and put it over the camera. This will help you remember to look at the camera, not the person on the screen.
  • Practice beforehand. Use a video recording app on your computer to become comfortable with speaking in front of a camera. Also, consider doing a practice Skype interview with a friend or family member.
  • Smile and be attentive. Nod and insert listening sounds such as “hmm” or “yes” to show the interviewer that you’re listening to what they’re saying. And don’t forget to smile!
  • Be aware of body language and movements. If you move too fast, you’ll appear blurry to the interviewer. If you don’t move at all, you’ll appear stiff and uninterested. Make your movements slow enough that they are clearly seen by the hiring manager.
  • Avoid typing on your computer since the interviewer will hear these noises. Use pen and paper to take notes. Eliminate all distractions and close all windows on your laptop. Make sure that your cell phone is silenced.
  • Skype interviews are a great way to prepare for in-person interviews.

The Career Center has a free handout with even more tips about preparing for your next Skype interview. Come on in and pick one up!