The Dos and Don’ts of Skype Interviews

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Posted by Kate Lorenz on January 9, 2013

Whether or not you’re applying for a remote position, more and more companies are interviewing candidates online. Not quite phone interviews, but not in-person interviews either, digital interviews require following a few unique steps in order to ensure success:

Dress like you would for a normal interview

Would you show up to an actual interview in sweatpants? Of course not! It may be tempting to assume that you can dress extra casually because your interviewer can only see you from the shoulders up, but it’s important to make sure your clothes are interview-appropriate. Not only will you get into the interview mindset, but you’ll also be prepared if you need to get up and walk across the room during the call.  

Create a professional atmosphere…

Your interviewer does not want to see your unmade bed or messy bookshelf in the background. Even if you don’t have an office at home, it’s important to create an atmosphere that is quiet, professional, and won’t distract from your interview. Test several spots using the camera on your computer until you find a blank wall or neutral background.

…and don’t forget to adjust the lighting

Make sure that your light source in front of you, not behind you—otherwise, your interviewer will only be able to see your silhouette.  

Do a test run

Don’t make the mistake of learning that your computer’s microphone is broken two minutes before your interview – always test your camera, microphone, and Internet connection well before your scheduled call. Add your interviewer to your contact list before the interview, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

Look into the camera

On Skype, it’s very common to look at the person you’re talking to on the computer screen, rather than directly into the camera—in fact, it’s very unnatural to look into the camera when someone on screen is speaking to you. Do your best to avoid the temptation. Although you know you are listening to and looking at your interviewer, it may seem to him as though you are gazing distractedly at something else.

Eliminate online distractions

It can sometimes be very tempting to multitask online, but your interview should not be one of those times. Close any window that isn’t related to your interview so you aren’t distracted. It may also be a good idea to set your Skype account to invisible once the interview starts, so you don’t receive other messages.

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