Slam Dunk your Skype Interview

Many of the graduate students who come to Career Services to see me and my colleagues have Skype interviews coming up. Although some of these students use Skype to talk with family, friends and their significant other, the prospect of using it for an interview injects a bit of anxiety.

So here are a few tips to help you come across well in an interview via Skype:

  • Even if it feels non-intuitive, look at your computer’s camera, NOT at the person(s) with whom you are Skyping; otherwise it will appear to the other person(s) that you are looking down.
  • See what the space behind your chair looks like. Get rid of piles of paper, coffee cups and anything else that makes your environment look messy.
  • Make sure that you will not be interrupted by spouse/partner, children, pets, ringing phones, timers, email pop-ups and other “alerts”.
  • As you decide what to wear keep in mind that colors make the features of your face show up better than white.
  • If you use a microphone attachment or lavaliere microphone the search committee will likely hear you better.
  • Facing a window in the room diagonally may provide good light on your face and no reflection on your glasses.
  • Lighting can be damaging when it comes from behind your head because it can put your face in shadow. Test light levels at the time of day the interview will be to see if you can tell where the light is most beneficial for illuminating you during the conversation.
  • If you lose your connection, just call them back. (You could ask at the beginning or, in an email prior to the Skype interview, if they would prefer you to call back or have them call you, should you be disconnected.) It may be to your advantage to have your interviewer see you handling a problem.
  • Do a practice interview with a friend or schedule one with a Career Services advisor. You won’t regret it!