How to Ace Your Skype Interview

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Most students will partake in a phone interview at some point in their college career, but as the popularity of Skype continues to grow, more and more employers are requesting that prospective job candidates “meet them” for a video interview. Whether you’re trying to score a summer job from across the pond or just live far away, read on for tips and tricks to help you ace that Skype interview.

The Obvious:

– Location Matters – sit alone somewhere quiet where you’re unlikely to be interrupted by roommates or loud noises from outside. Lock the door, and make a middle-school-style “Do Not Enter” sign to hang outside. Do whatever you have to do to get some temporary privacy – we all know it’s a rarity at college.

– Lighting Matters – make sure your face is well lit but not blinding on the screen, and remember that fluorescent lights can make even the most clean-cut interviewees look like criminals.

– Appearance Matters – I don’t need to tell you that your hair shouldn’t look messy. When it comes to makeup, less is more; even a normal amount of eyeliner can make you look like Taylor Momsen if the camera lens is inadvertently blurring your features.

– Wifi Matters – be sure to test your connection a few minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin. Don’t just test your sound with the Skype tool; actually Skype with your mom or your best friend to make sure that they can hear you and see you clearly. Bonus: they can approve your hair/makeup situation at the same time.

The Less Obvious:

Pants Matter – I’ve heard at least one horror story about a friend of a friend who wore tiny pajama shorts with a professional-looking top and was unexpectedly asked to stand up by her interviewer. It’s unlikely that you’ll be put in the same situation, but it’s better to be safe than sorry….

– Where You’re Looking Matters – I personally love to stare at my face in that little box and judge how chipmunk-like my cheeks look while I Skype, but I would not recommend following my lead during an interview. Any seasoned Skype interviewer will be able to tell when you’re checking your hair in the camera, so try to hold off until the interview is over.  

– Background Matters – pick a plain background with no personal belongings visible, and don’t just push your laundry pile to one side – make sure it’s completely out of sight in case you move around in your chair during the interview. Interviewers can get distracted, too.

– Posture Matters – you may think it’s impossible to tell that you’re slouching through the screen, but it’s not.

– Clothing Color Matters – black and navy blue certainly look professional, but solid jewel-tones can brighten your skin tone and enhance your overall appearance.

The Final Word:

Smile, be yourself and remember to put your cell phone on silent. Happy Skyping!


Image: Medix Team

Junior > Communications > Boston College

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