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Tips For a Successful Skype Interview

Check behind you

Everything behind you will form your background so make sure it sends the right message. Mostly, a plain neutral wall will be perfectly acceptable but some companies may want to see more personality so research the company’s culture first. If in doubt, show less and avoid anything political.

Test your equipment

You have three issues to consider here: picture, sound and connection. You should have a test conversation with a friend or family member and check that all of these are high quality. If your picture looks bad, a decent webcam is very affordable and will make a huge difference. While all webcams have microphones built in, the quality may not always be very good so a dedicated microphone may be another affordable fix. Speakers are also important as you will need to be able to hear the interviewer clearly. Finally, check your internet connection. Have a long test conversation (at least an hour) to see if it cuts out or if your bandwidth is too low. If you need to, ask to use a friend’s house.

Record yourself

More important than your sound quality, however, is how you present yourself. Record yourself having a conversation or answering practice questions and then play it back. Check for any odd movements, shuffling, posture etc. and practice until you’ve got it right. 

Check the lighting

Don’t have a window directly behind you as you will be too dark but try to let as much natural light into the room as possible.

Camera contact, not eye contact

Remember that if you look your interviewer in the eye on screen, to them you’re looking down slightly. It’s difficult, but to give that good impression you need to look into the camera (although you can glance down to gauge their reactions).

You can cheat (but not too much)

One of the useful things about video interviews is that you can hide notes out of shot for reference. Don’t rely on this though as you still need to give the firm impression that you are prepared. So…

Be prepared

Video interviews are no less serious than traditional ones and should be treated as such. Have questions to ask. Know the company. Take it seriously.

Be presentable

Just because you’re in a casual setting doesn’t mean you can wear casual clothes. Treat it as a traditional interview and dress appropriately (That includes trousers! You never know when you might have to stand up).

Avoid disturbances

Make sure everybody in the house knows when your interview starts and to avoid coming in or making noise during that period.

Profile is important

Make sure your profile name and picture are professional and presentable. It’s generally a good idea to use your LinkedIn picture for continuity and make sure your username is your full name.