How to Prepare for a Skype Interview

This century has seen the transition from in-person to telephone interviews for many employers’ first method of screening. Now, Skype interviews are becoming more commonplace as well. If you’re wondering how to prepare for a Skype interview, many of the same tips for phone interviews apply–for instance, having a quiet, uninterrupted space in which your interview can take place. However, since you’ll be visible to the hiring manager using your computer, there are a few extra factors you’ll want to consider.

For instance, do you have the most updated Skype software? On the tech end, there’s a lot to consider, such as making sure your camera and audio are working properly. NDT Training Videos stresses the importance of looking at the camera and not the screen. Their trick is to put your laptop computer up on a box to elevate the camera to your eye level. This ensures that you appear to be making eye contact with the hiring manager, not showing him or her the top of your head! For NDT’s short, helpful, and thorough video on how to prepare for a Skype interview, click here.

Also, you’ve probably considered your social media image, but have you thought about what the interviewer will see when he or she looks up your profile on Skype? Paul J. Bailo, author of The Essential Digital Interview Handbook, says, “Make sure a high-resolution, quality photograph is the first image the hiring manager associates with your name. It should be of you in professional attire, taken in front of a professional background.” And to project a professional, excellent image, he advises that your username reflect your current grownup status, not your childhood nickname or hobby.

Just as you’d silence your phone in an in-person interview, when you’re on Skype, it’s also smart to close all other open programs on your computer. “Getting Facebook notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional,” cautions “Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).”

Since you’re on camera, lighting is important, too. All the experts recommend two lights in front of you and one in back to give off an even glow but prevent scary-looking shadows from forming on your face. And that quiet, uninterrupted space around you should be clean and uncluttered but have enough furniture and objects to keep your voice from echoing. All of this requires some set-up, practice, and careful thought about what the interviewer will actually see.

Of course, because you are visible from the waist up, you’ll want to dress professionally just as you would for an in-person interview. Cool colors such as blues and greens work best for video, and it’s wise to avoid shiny objects that could reflect and distract the interviewer. For women, modest tops are especially important since your upper half is the only viewable part of you.

If you’ve been wondering how to prepare for a Skype interview, be sure to check out all the tips from these experts. Planning, preparation, and practice are the keys to putting your best foot forward as you search for your next job.

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