Tips for Skype Interviews

By Jiaqi Wang

Photo by Alex Knight

Thanks to the Internet and relevant technology, people nowadays can conduct a multitude of tasks from afar, job interviews included. Skype, among many others, is a common Internet service that employers use to interview prospective employees. Since this mode of online interviews is getting increasingly popular, we wrote a blog drawing your attention to several tips that we have found useful.

How to Succeed in a Skype Interview

Remember: a Skype interview is an interview

You may conduct a Skype interview at home with nobody around. You may not have to commute, maneuver your way around the city, or smile and make small talk with other job applicants. This does not, however, render a Skype interview less of an interview. You still have to prepare both physically and emotionally. The 10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview still apply.

Look the part and prepare your surroundings

You might have done some on-site interviews before, so you know how to look the part. Comparatively, getting dressed up for a Skype interview may not seem as important. You might be tempted to wear your most comfortable pants since you’ll only be seen from the waist up. However, some professionals argue that dressing up from head to toe, though not visible to your interviewer, can get yourself into a better, more professional mindset for the interview.

Dressing up your surroundings is of equal importance. Remember to tidy up the area that your camera can see. You do not want your prospective boss to think that you are not an organized person. Also, try to make your background simple. A colorful or heavily decorated background can be  distracting to your interviewer.

Body language matters

When it comes to job interviews, our minds immediately fixate on making sure we look professional and are prepared for potential questions. Few people will stop to think about their usual body language. However, this aspect of your performance plays a key role in how you are perceived by your interviewer. Especially in a Skype interview, be sure to maintain eye contact by looking into your computer’s camera rather than at the screen. This will help project confidence.

Keep your profile professional

Do you know that the first thing your interviewer sees is your Skype profile? Take a look at your profile, update relevant information, and make sure you have a professional profile photo (such as the one you use on LinkedIn).

Show your enthusiasm

Getting familiarized with the company’s culture and business practices is a good start. Your relevant knowledge will naturally flow into the conversation with your interviewers, which will be picked up on as tokens of your enthusiasm for the job. And don’t forget to smile.

For a more comprehensive guide on how to conduct yourself on Skype, see Barbara Pachter’s latest book The Essentials of Business Etiquette.