Ace Your First Skype Interview

As opportunities to work in a virtual environment grows, more companies are relying on tools such as Skype to conduct job interviews to find the best candidate for their positions.  Participating in a Skype interview for the first time can be intimidating, but in reality, other than a few technical pieces they are not much different than in person interviews. 

Here are a few tips to get you started in helping you ace your interview:

Prepare and Practice

Just as you would with any phone or in person interview you need to prepare and practice. 

  • Research the company and position.
  • Practice speaking in front of a mirror.
  • Recruit friends and family conduct a mock interview.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer.
  • Verify your interview date and time taking special note about the time zone.

Keep it professional

Although you won’t be meeting in a physical location, maintaining a professional appearance is important in making a good first impression.

  • Create a professional Skype username.
  • Dress just as you would have in person, from head to toe. Not only will it make a better impression, a professional appearance can help you feel more confident, especially if the interviewer is dressed up as well.
  • Prepare your environment. Set your computer up in a quiet location with a tidy background. Choose a room in your house you feel comfortable inviting guests into.
  • Make sure your environment is free of distractions such as pets, children, tv’s, music and activity outside windows.
  • Setup your laptop in a flattering position. Sit at an arm’s distance away with the screen up at eye level. Sitting in front of a window or with a light pointed towards you can help brighten you up, but not too close that it looks like a spotlight.
  • Avoid windows in your background as they can cause you to become a silhouette.

Last Minute Preparations

In addition to preparing for the actual interview make sure your technology is in working order.

  • If it’s your first time using Skype familiarize yourself with the tool before the interview. Ideally connect with friends and family beforehand to test your connection, background, lighting, camera and microphone.
  • Share your professional Skype name with the interviewer and add them to your Skype contact list so that their call will come through.
  • Log in to Skype and be ready with enough time to overcome minor computer glitches.
  • Close any other computer programs and browsers you have open to avoid distractions and unwanted popups.
  • Have your notes, resume and questions ready.  Putting sticky notes on your computer away from the camera can help you avoid looking down at the table.

Your Time to Shine

Now that your technology and environment is in order, this is where you take over.

  • Greet your interviewer with a confident appearance, posture and smile.
  • Maintain a friendly demeanor and remember to sit up straight.
  • Position your webcam near your computer screen so that you are looking into the camera to maintain eye contact.
  • At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time and ask what the next steps are.
  • Last, be sure your connection has ended before doing or saying anything you don’t want on camera.

Congratulations on completing your Skype interview. The best part is there is no drive home!  Let us know any tips, tricks, or comments you have below to help others nervous for their first Skype interview

After 15 years in Human Resources and years of 45 minute one way commutes I'm trying out a stint as a Stay at Home mom to three small boys. In my "spare" time I created Symmetry at Work to stay connected to the working world and help others find jobs that allow them freedom to work from the comforts of their home, coffee shop, or wherever they want to be today.

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