Preparing For A Video Interview: Skype

Remote communications are now widely used with lots of meetings holding online, especially when attendees are located in different places. Some organizations even allow their employees to work from home in what is popularly known as teleworking. Interviews are increasingly conducted using telephone and video. This is where Skype comes in. 

According to The Guardian, 82% of hiring managers have used Skype interviews to assess the suitability of prospective candidates. 

Believe it or not, interviews over Skype are often harder to prepare for than traditional face-to-face interviews. Not only do you have to prepare your answers and appearance, you also have to ensure that your physical background is presentable. As is the case with phone interviews, make sure you select a venue where you will not be distracted by ringing door bells, phones or screaming toddlers.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when preparing for a Skype Interview:

  1. Make sure your Skype program is working. Before your scheduled interview, verify that the Skype program installed on your computer is updated. This decreases the likelihood of experiencing technical failure during the interview. If after all your preparation, things still go awry, perhaps with the audio or video connection, admit to this and correct it.
  2. Prepare your environment. See to it that what is visible to the interviewer is also presentable. An effective way to do this is to back up against the wall for a solid background. Also, don’t forget the lighting. If you notice you are in a dark spot, either increase the lighting or place a lampshade/reading lamp so that shadows are eliminated and you appear in good lighting. Use as much natural light as possible. Also, check the alignment of your camera to ensure eye contact with the interviewer.
  3. Dress the part. If you are interviewing for a corporate position, wear business clothes. If you are applying for a creative position or something similar, a casual attire will do. To be sure, check out the organization’s website and look for images or hints as to the kind of culture and dress code that the company’s employees adopt.
  4. Prepare your cheat sheets. A Skype interview can be set up such that the interviewer will be unable to see the objects on your desk. Take advantage of this by placing your resume and any useful notes on the desk, especially notes on questions you would like to ask the interviewer when you get the opportunity. Avoid clutter to prevent you from fumbling through it to get to a specific document.
  5. Practise. Do a dry run with someone to ensure that your lighting, positioning and placement is intact and that nothing is left to chance.
  6. Watch your body language. Smile, sit up, make eye contact and ensure your words are in line with your facial expression.

If your Skype Interview goes right, it just might be the ticket to getting the job of your dreams.


"Web Cam Shows Video Conferencing" by Stuart Miles/