Tips for conducting a Skype interview
Download the software
Do this at least a few days in advance of the interview. While there are Skype platforms that cost money, it is generally free to video chat with other Skype users.
Ensure you have a professional username and photo.
The first thing people will see of you is your Skype profile. With Skype, people can search for you by your first and last name. Make sure you don’t use any unprofessional nicknames in your Skype name. Anything that is difficult to read (like C4XY6) or appear immature (like Bunny16), might be worth avoiding.
Know who is contacting whom.
Make sure that, before the interview, you know whether you are supposed to reach out or vice versa. If you are supposed to reach out, ask for their Skype name ahead of time. Before the interview, find the person on Skype, and add him or her to your list of contacts. This will make it easier to contact them if you are asked to.
Adjust the lighting.
Be sure you have enough lighting to avoid any heavy shadows. However, make sure the lighting is not too bright either, because that can wash you out or even blind the interviewer. You can figure out lighting issues during your practice interview.
Check the background.
While you are the focus of the Skype video, remember they can also see whatever is behind you. Before the interview, select your backdrop. Pick a bare wall to ensure there are no distractions or colour clashes with your attire. If you need to be in a public space, find the quietest area and be sure to wear a headset to help block out background noises.
Look at the camera not at the screen and smile
It can be hard to avoid looking at yourself on the screen, of course you want to know how you look! However, it will make a better impression if you look at the camera which equals to make an eye contact. In addition, remember to Smile! This is something that comes naturally when you meet someone in person. But even behind a screen, it helps in creating a friendly atmosphere and in making a great first impression!
Do a test call or two with your friends or family.
Make sure you can easily make and answer a call. Check to see that your microphone and camera work and that you have a good internet connection. Practice getting comfortable looking at the camera for long periods of time.
Wear Professional Clothes
Just because it is a Skype interview and you probably do it from home, it doesn’t mean that you can do that in your pyjamas! View the Skype interview as a real professional interview and prepare like you would for a face to face meeting. Do your best to look smart, professional and well groomed!
Test everything again
An hour or two before the interview, make sure the microphone and camera work to ensure everything is in order.
If your video or audio stops working
Before the interview, ask for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. If something happens, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot.
If noise interrupts the conversation
If noises (sirens, construction, etc.) interrupt your video interview, apologize for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided. You may want to mute the microphone if the noise is severe.
If someone enters the room unexpectedly
If anyone enters the room while you’re interviewing, apologize to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone and turn off your camera, and then step away to deal with the interruption. Make sure that the room is secure before beginning the interview again.