The Ultimate Guide to Skype Interview Success
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The Ultimate Guide to Skype Interview Success

by Kaitlin King
Photos Tonhya Kae | October 02, 2015

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN GOOD SKYPE INTERVIEW AND A STELLAR ONE? AMBIENCE, CONTROLLED NOISE LEVELS, AND GREAT PREPARATION. HERE'S HOW TO PLAN AHEAD, AVOID ROOKIE MISTAKES, AND LAND THE JOB.

Plenty of things have gone wrong in the history Skype interviews, most of them hilarious for the recruiter and humiliating for the interviewee. There’s the rumored shirt-and-tie candidate, who was forced to stand-up during the interview, revealing just boxer shorts below. There was the woman who was calm and collected during the conversation, until a technical difficulty sent her into an angry cursing match that, unbeknownst to her, the recruiter overheard on the other end. And of course, there’s the interviewee taking the call in their parent’s basement, on the floor of the office where they work, or even at a bar.

Just like any other interview, Skype success still depend on authentic answers, a connection to the company and with the interviewer, and an engaging dialogue. The same interview best practices apply: dress the part, come prepared by researching the company, embody confidence. The key difference is to plan the details so you can ensure the best discussion without interruption. {Click to Tweet}

1. CREATE A GOOD AMBIENCE

Find a neutral background with plenty of natural light (or good indoor lighting if you’re taking the call at night). Too much clutter around you can send the wrong message about your organizational skills, while too many personal items can share too much information too soon. If you’re starting the job search and anticipate you’ll do several interviews, The Muse suggests creating a “Skype Studio” where you can make your own perfect background with white rolled paper and strategically placed lights.

And don’t sit directly in front of a window! Doing so will cast a shadow over your entire figure, making it impossible to see your beautiful face.

2. FIND A QUIET SPACE

Clear your computer of sound effects, notifications, and distractions. Hearing Skype pings, meeting bings, and email dings not only distracts you as the interviewee, but makes it hard for the interviewer to hear you. If you taking the call at home, plan ahead for a noise-free environment: let everyone in the house know you cannot be disrupted, have your dog walked and fed, and maybe hire a babysitter if you have small children.

Just like any other interview, Skype success still depend on authentic answers, a connection to the company and with the interviewer, and an engaging dialogue.

3. PLAN FOR DIGITAL DISCORD

Remember that while Skype technology is highly advanced, it is still going to have its quirks. It’s better to tailor your communication style to it. When your display is limited to a small box, using excessive hand gestures can be overly expressive so tone down movements.

It’s also common to have breaks in sound and time lapse delays, so speak slower than you normally would and focus on clearly annunciating. Nonverbal cues can also get lost on video chat, so play up voice intonations to keep yourself from sounding monotone, which can translate as uninterested.

Finally, maintain eye contact with the center of the screen, where you should place the interviewer’s image. Looking directly into the camera can feel unnatural to the receiving end, and it doesn’t give you the chance the read the other person’s reactions and create a strong connection.

Regardless of mix-ups along the way, keep your focus on the interview and always maintain professionalism. The best way to prepare is to practice! {Click to Tweet} Call your friend, your mom or your mentor. You can even just record yourself speaking to the computer, and play it back so you can tweak details. It’s also smart to do a practice run right before the call, to get as comfortable as possible, make sure your internet and Skype account are working, and finalize any last minute changes.

Best of luck!

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Got a Skype interview horror story? Tell us about it in the comments.