Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 June 2022 | Published 15 December 2020

Updated 16 June 2022

Published 15 December 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

With the popularity of virtual offices and work from home culture, companies are resorting to video interviews to save time and interviewing costs. Video interviews were popular among global and virtual companies and those hiring from diverse locations.

Skype, a group online phone and video facility, is a popular choice among corporations for long-distance and international video interviews. For job aspirants, Skype offers numerous benefits along with the ease of interviewing from home. It saves both travel time and money. And in terms of preparation, it turns out to be less stressful than an in-person interview. In this article, we share some valuable tips for a great Skype interview to prepare you for success.

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips for a Successful Interview

Tips For Preparing For A Skype Interview

Remember practice and preparation are core to success. Follow the below steps for a hassle-free Skype interview.

Download the Skype app and install it in advance

If you have not used Skype before, download the app and install it well in advance to ensure that it is functioning properly. If you already have Skype installed, check whether it is updated or not. Make sure it is updated and you are aware of your log-in credentials so that you do not have to reset your password at the last moment. Create a professional Skype profile. In Skype, people search by first and last name, so create a professional username by using your first name and last name. Avoid usage of nicknames in your Skype profile. If you know the interviewer's Skype contact, then add them in advance.

Related: Advice For An Online Job Interview: A Definitive Guide

Do a test call

Practice with your friends or family members to ensure you can easily make and answer a call. Ensure that your microphone and camera are working properly. Practice looking at the camera for long periods. Practice will instill a sense of confidence in you. The best way is to practice interviews with a friend on Skype. Treat it as a real one, speak with confidence, and answer mock interview questions.

Ensure an appropriate background

As you are the focal point of the interview so choose a bare wall to ensure there are no distractions or contrasting color clashes with your dress. Make use of Skype's background blur feature to blur your background else make sure that whatever is behind you on video is appropriate. Ensure that lighting is sufficient and keep the area neat and pleasant. Clear out your desk, decorations, showpieces and other stuff.

If you are taking the call in your bedroom, make sure that your background is free of piles of pillows or bed sheets. In the case of an office, organise it so that it looks neat and clean to the interviewer.

Exit other applications

To prevent distractions from pop-up windows during the interview, exit from all other applications on your computer. Make sure that your phone is in silent mode as well. Email alerts and phone buzzes may show your lack of focus on the interview.

Dress professionally

As appearances create positive and negative impressions your dressing sense is very important. Wear appropriate business attire from head to toe like you would for a regular interview. Keep in mind the position for which you are facing the interview and dress in a way that reflects both your personality and the position. Avoid very bright colours, such as red, that can be too bright for the camera. Formal attire and sober colours convey the message that you are interested in the role.

Related: What To Wear: The Best Job Interview Attire

Choose a quiet location

Background noise can cause distractions and break the rhythm of the interview. So, choose a quiet location with the least amount of potential interruptions. Tell your family members that you will be taking an important call and that they should not disturb you or wander near the interview place.

If there is a possibility of interruption, such as due to kids or dogs, be honest with the interviewers and explain your position so that they are not surprised. Remember to mute your phone and stop pop-up notifications on your computer as well.

Location becomes all the more important if your job involves frequent business meetings and customer or client calls. The recruiter may expect that you have a dedicated space to work with the least distractions and interruptions. If an interruption happens during the course of the interview, acknowledge it politely, and remain focused on your discussion.

Related: Tips From a Recruiter: Mastering the Virtual Interview

Keep notes of important points in front of you

One of the benefits of Skype interview is that you can refer to a note sheet. Face the interview with important bullet points in front of you so that what you want to highlight during the interview is at the back of your mind. Jot down notable achievements, details of previous work experience, etc. in advance. Sometimes the conversation can take an unexpected direction and you can forget important talking points. You can have a look at the notes without losing eye contact with the interviewer. Practice answering questions so that you do not frequently stare down at your paper.

Maintain a proper distance from the computer

Maintain a proper distance between yourself and your computer camera. Make sure your video camera captures your face, shoulders, and upper chest, and in the shot, there is space between the top of your head and both sides of your body. If you are in the centre of the frame, it means the distance is better.

Prepare for the interview

Just like the preparation you would do for any interview, practice answering common interview questions in advance. Review your resume and cover letter, and research the background of both the employers and the company. The company overview will give you a good idea about the firm's values and culture and what they are looking for in a potential employee.

Also, gain some knowledge on how to fix minor technical issues and keep that information in front of you before the start of the interview. If your video or audio goes out or some other minor technical errors crop up, you will be prepared to fix them quickly and get back to the discussion.

Tips To Follow During The Skype Interview

Maintain good posture

Actions speak louder than words. The way you present yourself, your facial and hand expressions reveal more about you than you know about yourself. Good posture shows professionalism. Straight posture with shoulders back and eyes forward will not only present you as more professional but will also help you feel more confident.

Keep palms open, break eye contact from time to time, use hand gestures, and breathe evenly. Use body language such as leaning forward and hand gestures to looking convincing to the interviewers. But desist from making any theatrical hand gestures or nodding your head too quickly.

Establish eye contact with the interviewer

To establish eye contact with the interviewer look into the camera instead of the screen when speaking. Act professional and confident throughout the interview. Your face is a reflection of your thoughts. Maintain a smiling, calm and attentive posture through the interview.

Keep headphones

PC microphones might capture background noise and cause distractions. Always carry headphones or earphones with you. They will not only check the background noise but will also help both you and the interviewer listen to each other's voices with clarity.

Record your interview

Take permission from the interviewers and record the interview. If you have to face multiple Skype interviews, the recorded interview can help you prepare better preparation for the next one. Based on the interview discussions, you will be able to make improvements the next time.

Thank the interviewer

A polite 'thank you' is a must at the end of the interview. Convey your thanks to the interviewer for their time and tell them it was nice to connect with them.

Take it seriously as the purpose of an interview is to assess the suitability of a candidate for the job. Make preparations, have questions of your own ready and practice answering common interview questions as well. The setup may be different, but the objective of interviewers remains the same, i.e., to gauge the suitability of candidates for the job. They are more interested in the answers to their questions.

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