Where To Do A Skype Interview

Question: Where do you think agood place is to do a Skype interview?


Answer: I imagine we’re close to the day when Skypeinterviews will replace phone interviews.

If a potential internship employer asks you to do aSkype interview, you need to be prepared.

Here are some points to keep in mind when youprepare to do a Skype interview.


1.  Inconnection with your question, you need to find a quiet place with a door thatyou can close. Make sure you put your roommates on alert that you need quietuntil you open the door.

2.  The background for the interviewshould not be a plain wall, but it also should not be too cluttered. Thinkabout interviews you see on TV. Consider having a bookcase or a table withflowers as part of the background. Make sure the plants, though, are notsprouting from your head. They need to be to the side of you. Don’t sit withyour back to a window. Such backlighting will make your face dark and hard tosee. If anything, make sure you have some extra light highlighting your face. Youcould sit facing a window and use the light to highlight your face. Experimentwith lighting as you prepare for the interview. Avoid florescent lighting. Ifyou have a widow behind you, pull the drapes, but the drapes need to beneutral. Busy patterns will be a distraction during the interview.


3.  Dodownload Skype if you don’t have it on your computer yet. Then make sure yourequipment and the software work. Start practicing now with your family andfriends before you have an interview. As you talk with family and friends,experiment with backgrounds and lighting. If you’re a women, experiment withyour make-up. Does is look too light, too heavy or just right?


4. As you experiment with the room’s background andlighting, move the computer’s camera far enough from you so that you can see youfrom just above the waist. Think TV interviews again. Some believe you shouldbe able to see your hands move in the frame of the camera. If you lift yourhands, they should be visible in the frame. You don’t want a super close-up duringSkype interviews.


5.  The chairyou sit in should be a stationary chair. Avoid desk chairs that swivel. Youdon’t want to swivel your way through the interview. You’re likely to swivelmore when you’re nervous. Also, sit on the edge of your seat and lean slightlyforward. Such body language shows you’re interested and engaged.


6.  As foryour dress, dress as though you’re going to a face-to-fact interview. Both menand women should wear a dark plain suit that’s black, dark blue or dark gray. Menneed to wear a shirt and tie. Avoid wearing stripes, woven patterns or dots.Patterns often vibrate on camera. Avoid bright colors, such as red and pink.Women should make sure that the neckline of their tops are high enough so thatno cleavage shows. I’d also recommend that you dress from head to toe just incase you do have to stand up during the interview.


7.  Prior tothe interview, turn off your phone. Make sure your phone isn’t on vibrate,either. Also, turn down the sound on your computer so that when emails come in,you don’t hear it.


8.  Whenyou’re doing the interview, you need to look into the camera vs. looking at theopen window of the interviewer on your computer. I heard a media consultantsuggest that you use a hole punch and punch a hole in a picture of a friend andposition it over the lens of the camera. That way you’re looking at someone youknow, and it helps you keep focused on the camera. You want good eye-to-eyecontact during the interview.


9.  When youtalk during a Skype interview, slow down. Make sure the interviewer has stoppedtalking before you start to answer. It’s easy to talk over others during Skypeinterviews.


10. Finally, practice, practice, practice so thatyou’re prepared when an employer asks you to do a Skype interview.


It’s estimated that about 500 million people useSkype. If you’re not one of them yet, it’s time to start using this technology.You’re next interview could be via Skype.

Sheryl Swingley
Ball State University