Five Interesting Ways to Ace a Skype Interview

A Skype job interview poses an interesting dynamic. While it offers an opportunity to see your prospective employer face to face and look them in the eye (something you should practice doing on camera), you’re not able to shake their hand. Achieving a personal connection and making a good impression is key to acing your interview though, and it can be done even during a remote interview. The secret, as with any interview, is preparation.

1. Dress the Part — That Includes Your Surroundings

Before you sit down in your chair to do a Skype interview, research the company. Look at Facebook photos and the company website to see how the employees dress, and a typical rule of thumb is to dress one level more professional. However, don’t dress in a suit if everyone appears to be wearing jeans. And of course, never ever wear your pajamas on screen as that will most definitely give the wrong impression.

While what you wear is important, so too is what the interviewee can see of your home. The background shouldn’t be distracting or disorganized because your prospective employer may take that as a sign that your work, too, will be sloppy. Also, be sure you have appropriate lighting so he or she can clearly see your face. Lastly, if anyone else is home be sure that they know you shouldn’t be disturbed.

2. Use a Strong, Clear Voice

When you get on the Skype call, you want to make sure they can hear you loud and clear. Use a USB headset and be sure the connection is working properly before you log on. Since connections can be delayed on Skype as well, slow down your speech and make sure the interviewee is done speaking before you provide an answer.

3. Sit in a Good Position

Ideally, your interviewee will see the upper half of your body, and that includes your hands. Advice from a rehab facility suggests that this is important, because body language can say a lot about your personality. At the same time, don’t sit too far back, as this would make it difficult for your prospective employer to read your facial expressions and make eye contact with you.

Again, it’s all about presentation, as it is with any interview. Look directly into the camera so it appears that you’re looking into the interviewer’s eyes. Be sure to smile and be enthusiastic, especially since video and literal distance from the interviewee can dampen natural personality. Since it can be difficult to smile when you’re, technically, alone in a room, tape a funny picture behind your computer that only you can see. It will lighten the mood before you even dial in!

4. Practice, Practice, Practice!

A Skype interview is a whole different ballgame. Do a practice interview with a friend and record it, then go back and review the video. Can you see your facial expressions? Is your body positioned well? How do your surroundings look? Adjust what you need to and practice again.

 

5. Don’t Ignore Technical Issues

Since you’re using Skype and the Internet, technical issues can occur. Tips for minimizing these include not using a wireless connection; hook your computer up to an Ethernet port. Headphones, too, should be used and connected to minimize distracting noises and to keep your voice as clear as possible.

Even with these precautions, issues may arise. If they do, rather than constantly asking the interviewee to repeat a question, be honest and upfront. Tell them there’s a bad connection, and perhaps even suggest hanging up and redialing to see if a better connection can be established.

Bonus Tip: Use note cards! While you don’t want to necessarily be seen shuffling papers, the benefit to a Skype interview is that you can use notes to remind you of points you want to hit on during their interview. Do you have a skill you want to highlight? Do you know the company’s products and services? Write these things down prior to Skyping, and they’ll serve as good reminders during your interview.

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