The Skype Interview: 6 Essential Tips to Prepare

Not sure how to prepare for a Skype interview? We got you covered with these 6 important tips!

8703907613_294194a645_nNot every company can limit themselves to job candidates in their zip code, but they also can’t afford to shell out for plane tickets every time they want to talk to someone who seems remotely promising. And now, thanks to the wonders of technology, they don’t have to. Today, in an era when just about every laptop comes with a built-in webcam, company’s can just conduct interviews over Skype.

Different places will use the Skype interview in different ways. For some, it’s the first of many. If you do well enough in your Skype interview, then maybe they’ll fly you out for the next round. Elsewhere, the Skype interview might be the only interview. It really varies.

But your approach shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re just touching base with a recruiter to learn more about the company or talking to the CEO about how to best take advantage of global markets. You need to be ready. You need to prepare. You need to do the following:

1. Test, Test, TEST! And I don’t mean using the test call thing that comes built in on Skype. You should Skype with a friend the day before your interview, preferably around the time of your interview. Make sure the picture is clear and the sound is okay. Even if you use Skype regularly and never have any issues, you still need to TEST!

2. Set up somewhere nice. The interviewer knows you’re at home, but that doesn’t mean he or she wants to see your dirty laundry. So, find a space to sit that’s clean, pleasant, and well-lit. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Light from the front, not the back. You want the interviewer to be able to see your face, not just a silhouette enshrouded by light. That means, set up facing a window, not with a window behind you.

4. Boost your computer. Yes, you might be using a laptop, but you should keep it out of your lap during the Skype interview. Pull up a desk or table to put your laptop on. You might even want to put it on some (sturdy) books or a box so that the screen is at eye-level. Otherwise you could spend the whole interview with your face cast down.

5. Lock up the cats… and roommates. Pets are so cute and silly. They don’t care about Skype interviews. They’ll just wander in get in the way right when you’re in the middle of an important question. Do yourself a favor; lock them in another room. Same goes for roommates and parents. Remind them that you have a Skype interview as often as possible the week before, and then when it actually rolls around, lock your door and put up a sign.

6. Dress the part, the whole part. You could wear jeans and sandals to a Skype interview and no one would know. Except you. And therein lies the problem. Putting on slacks, dress socks, and those shoes you wore to that wedding doesn’t just make you look professional; it makes you feel professional, and if you feel professional, you’ll act professional.

Those are our tips. Got any of your own you’d like to share? Post em in the comments!

(photo by Flickr user T NASA Webb Telescope used under a Creative Commons License.)

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