Skype job interview

The invention of Skype has transformed the world of communication.  Making it easier to talk long distances for free has helped friends and familes stay in touch.  However, Skype is now becoming more and more common in the work place.  More companies are conducting job interviews via Skype, especially if the employer and the interviewee are located in two different places.  Skype is a more cost efficient way of conducting interviews and it is also more time efficient.  However, because it is over the computer and on camera, Skype interviews may be slightly uncomfortable the first few times.  As with all interviews, make sure to relax and take a deep breath before you start.

Here are a few other tips to help the interview go more smoothly:

  • Profile name

Gowing up as a kid, fun messaging names such as Surfergurl23 or PrettyPrincess81 were popular.  Popular and fun yes, professional, no. Make sure that your Skype name is an appropriate representation of yourself.  Often times using your name is the best route to choose because it is simple, describes you and is appropriate.

  • Simple background

You want to make sure that you are the primary focus. With a busy background, it is hard for the employer to concentrate on you and what you are saying.  Using a bookshelf or painting behind you will create depth and character without clutter.  Avoid using a plain white wall because it is also distracting in the way that it is boring and lacks the least bit of character. It is important to remember that you are not speaking in person and that the computer distorts images.  Therefore what you see behind you looks a little different on the other end.

  • Proper lighting

Natural light is best when conducting a Skype interview.  The other types of indoor lighting can wash out the color in your face or even make it darker. Natural light, near a window should be facing you so that it illuminates your face.  If using a nearby window is not possible, you can use a desk light, just make sure that it is pointing toward you and not behind you.

Just because you are not meeting in person, does not mean you should dress differently than a regular interview.  Appropriate attire is important even in a Skype interview because they still see you and how you are representing yourself.  Before the interview it is a good idea to check to see how you look in the camera.  That way if your makeup is to dark you have time to fix it, or if your outfit is not flattering you can change it.

  • Where to look

It is your natural reaction to look at the computer screen at the other person.  However, try to look at the computer camera while you speak. Pretend that the camera and the eyes of the person are the same.  You want to try to make the interview seem as personal as possible, and not take notice of the technology. Looking into the camera also can help you to relax.  Since you are not looking at the employer directly you can focus on what you are saying without being nervous.

  • Open only Skype

Only have Skype open on your computer and make sure that you close other programs during your interview.  You do not want any interuptions or distractions during your interview.  Also, if a program or message pops up on your computer and makes a noise, it is not only distracting to you but to the person interviewing you.  The person interviewing you could also interpret that as a sign of disinterest and it could worsen your chances of getting the job.

  • Practice

As with all interviews, practicing what to say is important.  It helps you to be more fluid in your answers and more comfortable during the interview.  If you have a general idea as to what kind of questions the employer may ask, you can have a basic outline and be prepared to answer even the most difficult questions.  More specifically, practicing for a Skype interview can help you determine what setting works best and how to adjust the sound to an appropriate level.  It also helps to practice for Skype interviews so that if a technological problem occurs, you know how to fix it so the actual interview runs smoothly.


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