4 Quick Tips for Skype Interviews

By Kaitlin Hurtado on July 31, 2017

The traditional 9-to-5 day job seems less and less appealing for many as job seekers dream of jobs that are often more remote or which would let them work more from home.

Likewise, traditional job interviews aren’t always guaranteed in the job search. A job opportunity can be across the country. Your potential employer or interviewer may be on a business trip and unable to meet you in person. Skype or phone interviews are now a popular option among both interviewers and interviewees.

However, if it’s your first time partaking in a job interview it may seem daunting or overwhelming when you don’t know where to start to prepare yourself for an interview that isn’t the one you grew up getting prepped for. Here are a few know-hows on how to prepare and make the most of your Skype interview.

1. Dress the part 

Like any job interview, you don’t want to face your interviewer looking like you just rolled out of bed. Put in the same effort for a Skype interview that you would put into another interview that you are going to do in person. Go through the motions — wash your face, brush your hair, dress up.

You may think that making your upper half look presentable is the only thing you need to do to prepare for the interview, but when something goes wrong and you need to stand up for whatever reason, you don’t want your interviewer to see you in ratty pajama bottoms.

Dressing up as you would for any in-person job interview shows the interviewer that you are taking the interview seriously.

2. Pick the interview space and prepare your background

You aren’t the only thing that your interviewer will be observing in your Skype interview. They will also be taking in the details of the scene behind you. If they see a dirty, unorganized mess behind you — piles of clothes, loose leaf papers, dirty dishes — they will question your organizational skills and associate the messy background with you.

Pick a less busy background, such as a blank wall, painted in a neutral color. Having a neutral background gives out less personal information and helps your interviewer focus on you throughout the duration of the Skype interview.

If the interview is something you have plenty of time to prepare for, plan ahead to prepare your interview space as much as possible. If you are going to take your Skype interview to your bedroom or somewhere else in your room, tell your family/housemates that you would appreciate them keeping the noise down and ask that they try to keep away from the room you are interviewing in.

If you know that your living space will provide too much distraction during the Skype interview, look elsewhere for Skype interview locations. Try your local library or university to look for private study rooms that are often soundproof, provide internet, and a distraction-free zone with a neutral background.

3. Take advantage of the Skype aspect 

Because you can control the space that your interviewer sees, you can “cheat” during the interview. You can have notes out of the camera’s view, allowing you to pull up information about the company, refer to questions you wrote before the interview, and look at your resume.

However, be careful of how much you are referring to any notes. You don’t want to spend your whole Skype interview with your eyes downcast and focused on something other than the interviewer. If you spend a majority of the interview focused on something the interview can’t even see, they can assume that you are spending interview time focused on something else, like your phone.

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4. Address any technical concerns as soon as they start

One of the most daunting aspects of a Skype interview is often the technical issues that are associated with them. If technical issues start during your Skype interview, bring them to attention as soon as possible instead of making both the interviewer and yourself suffer through camera glitches or low network connectivity.

If the technical issues continue to worsen, let your interviewer know of the problem and discuss the probability of temporarily stopping the interview to fix any issues — restarting your computer, checking out your router. Your interviewer will appreciate your honesty and also take note of your problem-solving skills as you are able to fix any problem that comes up during the Skype interview.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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