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Presenting a Clear Picture in Your Skype Interview

Preparing for any interview involves careful forethought. A video interview may have unique aspects you haven’t encountered through in-person or phone interviews. Here are four tips to make sure the medium doesn’t interfere with the message.

  1. Prepare Your Environment. Think carefully about where you will conduct the video interview. A public place is not the right choice: there is too much noise and too many variables outside your control. Ensure the area is free of distractions: your dog should be put away, your phone silenced, and your housemates aware you’ll be conducting an interview. Choose an area with a neutral background and appropriate lighting. Position your computer at a natural height so you won’t be hunched over or leaning in.

  2. Troubleshoot Your Technology. It is important that you practice a video call before your interview to fine-tune any details. Enlist a friend to be on the other end. Is your camera working? Can they hear you clearly? You should be proficient in placing and ending the calls so you’re not fumbling around. Remember the details: is your username professional? Are they dialing you or are you calling them? Do you have a phone number in case you encounter difficulty? It’s best to anticipate that you likely will have some technical glitches and take them in-stride. Don’t be rattled, rather allow them to show how you respond to surprises and inconveniences.

  3. Engage Your Non-verbals. Let’s be honest: Skype interviews can be slightly awkward. It’s important that you are not hindered by the technology, but are able to establish a genuine connection. Keep your posture relaxed, neither tense nor slouching. Maintain eye contact, looking at the camera on your computer, not the picture of yourself or your interviewer. The give-and-take of conversation may have a different pace. Don’t be afraid of slight pauses that make it clear your interviewer is done talking. Allow your gestures to be natural and relaxed.

  4. Maintain Your Focus. Ultimately the key to a successful interview—video or otherwise—is to connect with your interviewer and accurately represent yourself and your strengths. Don’t be distracted by the trappings of a Skype interview. Rather, stay keyed-in to the interaction, remembering the points you want to highlight.