Preparing For A Skype Interview

As part of the SKR application process, you will need to list your Skype ID. Many schools prefer a Skype interview over regular phone interviews. We want to prepare you for your interview with the school you want to work at. Here are some anti-bombing tips on how to slice and dice a Skype interview.

1. Treat it Like a Real Interview

You should do the same level of preparation as you would for a face-to-face interview; that means researching the company and the country, thinking about what you can bring to the company, how you might tackle certain questions and preparing a list of questions for you to ask them.

2. Do a trial run a few days before the real interview, with a friend on the other end to give you feedback.

Treat this trial run the same way you’ll treat the real thing, including wearing the outfit you’ll wear for the interview. Your friend can tell you if you’re talking too loudly or not loudly enough, if the pattern in your shirt is playing oddly on camera, or if you’re washing yourself out with overly bright lighting.

3. Pay attention to your physical background.

You’ll look much more professional sitting at a desk or table and against a neutral background without any clutter. Keep kids, pets, televisions, telephones, and all other distractions away form you. Alert everyone in the house that you’ll be interviewing and need absolutely no interruptions.

4. Keep other programs on your computer closed, especially if they might make noise during the call.

You don’t want a beep every time you receive a new email, for instance, or a reminder popping up of that other interview you have tomorrow.

5. Vainglory: I’m not your biographer.

It’s your responsibility to keep your interview engaged with relevant and interesting answers to the questions. Especially in a Skype interview, where your interviewer is still on their work computer and email notifications are appearing inches above your video feed. Assess the mood and energy level of your interviewer and adjust.

6. Position yourself correctly.

Don’t sit as close to the computer as you normally would. Instead, sit a bit farther back so that your face and upper shoulders are framed in the shot. Additionally, place the computer slightly higher than you normally do, so that it’s capturing you face-on and you’re not looking down at it. (An easy way to do this is to simply prop it up on some books.)

7. Remember to look into the camera, not at the picture.

If you look directly at the image of your interviewer on your computer screen, you’ll appear to be looking slightly away from them. Instead, looking directly into your webcam will read as direct eye contact on your interviewer’s end.

8. If you find the image of yourself distracting, cover it.

Skype will include a small image of yourself in the corner of your screen. If you tend to watch the image of yourself rather than watching your interviewer, change your setting to remove that window altogether—or just cover it with a sticky note.

9. Plan for technological difficulties.

Keep your computer plugged in so the battery doesn’t die, and keep your phone on hand in case the interview mode changes at the last minute.

10. Slow It Down.

It can be easier to talk over people on a Skype call so wait for the interviewer to stop speaking before you answer. This also gives you a few seconds to think about what you want to say before you speak.