Chatting Online: How to Prepare for Skype Interview

Posted on April 2015 By Speller International
Skype Call

​A Skype interview is a different breed. Not quite a phone interview, not quite in person, it’s something in between and, to the uninitiated, it can be pretty daunting – but it needn’t be. With our handy tips, you’ll be acing Skype interviews left, right and centre and, hopefully, be up to your eyeballs in job offers!

Not just another reference to our article on interview tips

Because a Skype interview is still an interview, it’s helpful to remember the tips we offered in our post titled Not Just Another Article on Interview Tips post, like providing specific examples, understanding your weaknesses and preparing questions to ask the interviewer. The ‘early arrival’ obviously doesn’t apply, however setting everything up early (and testing your Skype connection) is the equivalent in this instance.

When the clock ticks over to the designated interview call time, you should be ready and waiting to press ‘accept’ and begin your interview. Eye contact is a difficult one to maintain, but ensuring that you engage with the interviewer is critical – looking all over the room at anywhere but your screen is not going to convey an ‘interested’ message!

Also, don’t forget the interviewer can see you, so you still need to dress the part just as you would for a face-to-face interview.

It’s just like you’re on the phone… but not

Just like the advice given in our phone interview preparation post, you need to make sure your Skype profile is recruiter-ready. Your photo should be professional – we even suggest using the same one as in your LinkedIn profile for symmetry and ease of finding the right you (especially if your name is common).

Being prepared counts, online or not

Research and preparation on the company and your interviewer(s) is the same for any type of interview you have:

  • Thoroughly research the company and the interviewer

  • Prepare questions to ask. If you need some tips, these might help.

  • Ensure you know your resume back to front. Why did you leave your last role? What were the challenges you faced? How long did you work at company xyz?

The set-up of a Skype interview allows you to have cue cards nearby (but out of sight from your interviewer) with a list of bullet points to remind you about company info, questions you want to ask, news about the company/market etc. Just make sure you are not looking down all the time!

Be sure you’ve got the skinny on Skype

If you are relatively new to skype (or you’ve never used it at all) then doing a trial run with a friend a few days prior will enable you to become comfortable with how it works, looks and to allow you to practice your interview questions so you can see how you will present to the interviewer.

A good tip is to look at the camera and not at the screen. It is also a good way to test out if the backdrop the interviewers will see is appropriate and if you have the camera angled correctly so you are clearly visible but not ‘smooshed’ right up close. You also have the chance to test the volume so that both you and the person you are talking to can hear each other clearly.

And before you go….

There are just a few more tips we want to give you:

  • Ensure the place you select to set up is quiet and free of distraction

  • If you are using a wifi signal, have you selected a spot where it is its strongest? Or is the connection likely to drop out mid sentence?

  • Consider the background – what will the interviewer see behind you? Will it be distracting for them when they are trying to listen to your responses? Is it an appropriate backdrop?

  • Turn off your mobile phone (and unplug any landlines that may ring during the interview) just as you would for an in-person interview

  • Make sure you’ve got your interviewer’s telephone number and email address in case you lose connection or encounter a technical hitch during the Skype interview as a back up

  • If you do experience technical issues, don’t be afraid to let the interviewers know. By flagging this, you can suggest calling them back to see if the signal is better

… and before you hang up from that Skype interview, don’t forget to thank the interviewers when wrapping up, and ask them what the next steps will be.

Skype interviews can be great because you are in your own comfort zone, but it’s important not to get too comfortable. Keep your appearance and profiles professional and your technology and interview info prepared and you will be sure to smash your any interview out of the park! Good luck!