Skype Interview Tips

With video interviews becoming more common during hiring, not being prepared can easily keep you out of the running. While meeting via video is time saver, getting past the technological barriers of not speaking face-to-face can be difficult.

Be sure you’re prepared and use Skype to your advantage.

  • Look at the camera, not the screen
    It can be confusing, but when you’re looking at your monitor it actually makes the interviewer feel as if you’re looking away. Instead, look directly at the video camera you’re using for your interview. And although you’re not making eye contact in the traditional sense, this is the way that the interviewer perceives that you’re looking straight ahead.
  • Be aware of interruptions
    Since you’re used to living in the house, it can be easy to forget to turn off a phone or not warn family members to give you some privacy. Have a plan for whatever distractions you have in your house, including children and dogs.
  • Practice in front of a mirror
    During the interview, you can see yourself in the video camera, which can be startling if you’ve never seen yourself speak. It’s important to get familiar with your own facial expressions when you talk.It also gets rid of some of the camera shyness.
  • Mind the background
    Your surroundings can say a lot about how you’ve prepared for the interview, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Shoot your video against a blank wall or a warm one-color background. Clear off your desk, or have only awards and certificates in the background.
  • Conduct a mock interview
    Being comfortable with the technology prevents the added stress from a tech malfunction. Find a person you trust and use Skype or other video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. You’re bound to make mistakes, so it’s best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.
  • Test audio and video
    Just because your laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone doesn’t mean the quality is up to par. Instead, test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to buy a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera. Before the interview, some companies may send their own video devices to applicants.
  • Avoid patterned clothing
    Wear a shirt that’s business casual and complimentary to your skin tone. Avoid patterns that come across as too loud on screen, such as anything floral or bright stripes. Clothing can distract the interviewer from the information conveyed during the conversation, so it’s important to plan your outfit carefully.
  • Add extra enthusiasm
    Any news announcer will tell that your reactions translate differently when on-screen, so it’s important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers. Additionally, speak succinctly and remember that speed is important. Practice speaking more quickly than you normally do.

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