Six tips to master Skype interviews

Man conducting a skype interview in his office

Over the past few years, web-based interviews have been on the rise. Not only has there been an increase in the frequency of Skype interviews, but many hiring managers have revealed a preference to use them as well.

As these interviews continue to become more common, it is more important than ever for candidates to interview comfortably over the web.

Follow these 6 tips to help you embrace technology and master a Skype interview.

1. Dress for success

Dressing in the same way as you would a face-to-face interview will put you in the right frame of mind for your interview, plus it will negate any embarrassment if you need to move mid-interview. Dark colours are typically best, and avoid stark white as well as overly busy patterns. High gloss lips and glittery jewellery can also be distracting.

2. Remain engaged with your interviewer

Looking into the camera, rather than your image on the screen will help you look as engaged as possible, giving the impression that you are looking into the interviewer’s eyes. While you’ll want to keep your posture straight, leaning forward toward the camera slightly can increase eye contact and allow the interviewer better read your facial expressions.

3. Consider the setting for your interview

Make sure your interview space is distraction free and mirrors a business setting, keeping to a blank or neutral background. Before you start, test the angle of your lighting to avoid being shrouded in shadow and to make sure it’s flattering on your skin tone.

4. Be careful reading from notes

Notes can be particularly handy in a Skype interview, but if you use them, you’ll need to make sure your reference to them is extremely subtle. Reading notes or sounding too rehearsed will disrupt the natural flow of conversation, making you look under-prepared.

5. Anticipate technical issues

If you experience a technical glitch like a weak connection or interference, always ask the interviewer to repeat the question. If the problem continues, politely mention it and ask to reconnect to avoid missing any crucial information. Monitor the speed and tone of your speech to make up for any delays in communication and remember to test your equipment well in advance as well as immediately before the interview begins. Making acknowledgement sounds like ‘hmm’ or ‘yes’ will also reassure the interviewer that you can hear them.

6. Finish on the right note

As with any face-to-face interview, you’ll need to find the opportunity to summarise your main points as well as to thank the interviewer for his or her time, while making sure you confirm any next steps.

Other things to consider:

  • Body language – centre yourself a medium distance away from the camera, keeping the upper halves of your arms showing as well as allowing for some free space above your head will allow the interviewer to best read your body language.
  • Interruptions – inform those around you of the interview so you are not disturbed.
  • Documents – have a printed version of your CV handy as well as any other necessary documentation. Keeping your email account open is also a good idea in case you need to share any documents with your interviewer.

For more interview help, read our tips on how to answer the most common interview questions.

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