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How do I prepare for a Skype interview?

The only interviews I've ever done have been in person, and a company in a different state wants to interview me via Skype. In what ways is this interview going to be different than in-person interviews? What's the best place to set up my computer for this interview? college career interview skype job-application

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WADDAH’s Answer

Video interviews are being increasingly seen as a more efficient and cost-effective way to vet potential new employees – and with global hiring also becoming more commonplace, it’s worth understanding how best to maximize your chances if you’re invited to a Skype interview.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with some Skype video etiquette. Avoid the pitfalls and navigate your way to on-screen success with our 10 top tips for making the most of your Skype video virtual interview:

  1. Test your technology

Do a technical check before your online interview begins to make sure that your internet connection is stable enough to avoid dropouts and poor sound and picture quality. Consider setting up a dedicated external lapel or desktop mic if your built-in mic sounds muffled. Have a list of links to a resume or portfolio ready to copy and paste if required. And ensure your Skype name and photo are professional looking, so you create the right impression from the outset.

  1. Practice makes perfect

Do a quick ‘mock interview’ run-through with a friend beforehand and you’ll feel much more confident when the time comes. This is a great chance to test out your technical set-up, your comfort levels on Skype and the quality of your answers.

  1. Turn off other applications

Before your online interview begins, make sure you switch your phone onto silent and turn off other applications (such as Facebook), so that message alerts don’t intrude and distract.

  1. Dress appropriately

This is no time for a T-shirt and sweatpants – you need to treat this like a face-to-face interview. Dress as you would for any normal interview and be well groomed, so you really look and feel the part.

  1. Make eye contact

It can be harder to create engagement and connection with your interviewer through video – so be sure to counter this by looking directly into the camera as you speak, rather than at the screen or the picture of yourself. This can be tricky to sustain, but if you accomplish this you’ll be way ahead of your competition (who mostly won’t use this trick).

  1. Avoid distracting backgrounds

Position yourself to minimize distracting background clutter. Piles of laundry or mess behind you are distracting and will send the wrong message. Frame yourself in the best light and in the best surroundings to convey an image of calm, order and professionalism.

  1. Minimize background noise

Whether it’s a screaming baby, a blaring TV or the roar of the nearby freeway, background noise can interfere with your concentration and distract your interviewer. Make sure you’re somewhere where you won’t be disturbed – and remember that your mic will also potentially pick up the sound of shuffling papers or drinking from your coffee cup, so be careful to minimize those types of noises.

  1. Watch your body language

Physical cues can be even more noticeable on Skype – so avoid crossing your arms or hunching your shoulders. Adopt a posture that is relaxed and open, remember to smile a lot, and try not to slouch in your seat or rest your head in your hand.

  1. Ask the right questions

As with a face-to-face interview, be ready when you’re asked if you have any further questions. You’re likely to leave more of a lasting impression in the mind of your interviewer if you do ask some incisive questions. Read our 7 best interview questions to ask for more advice on this.

  1. Follow up correctly

You may have spoken on Skype, but avoid the temptation to follow up with a message on Skype Chat – it can come across as a little too casual and informal. Instead, stick to an email ‘thank you’, which will impress much more.

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Emma’s Answer

Hi Kristen,

There's a lot of good advice here already, so I'll touch on a few things I've personally noticed in virtual interviews.

1. Make sure you're in a room where the lighting is facing toward you. Having your main source of light behind you will make you appear more like a dark silhouette, and not give the interviewer a clear picture of you.

2. Close all other apps, turn off notifications, and silence your phone. I interviewed someone once who was continually distracted by pop ups and it was super easy to tell when her eyes were darting up to the corner of her screen to see what notification just came in. This interview should have your full attention.

3. Remove any background noise you can. No TV, no music. Kids or pets in your home? Make sure they're content and supervised if possible so you don't hear any whining or have to step away from your interview to calm anyone down.

4. If you have a weak internet connection, turn off any other devices that may be using bandwidth. Unfortunately, tech issues during an interview may sabotage your chances of leaving a good impression. Things happen, but try to control anything you can.

5. Show up on time. Maaaybe 1-2 minutes early. In many cases, your interviewer will get a notification that you're in the meeting, waiting. Showing up 15 minutes early my seem a little over the top. It's not great practice, but your interviewer could be in another meeting with the same link you were provided. It would not be fun interrupting another meeting and having that be your first impression!

6. Use headphones if possible. They'll help prevent you from echoing and give your interviewer clearer audio.

7. Have your video on! It may be tempting to treat it like a phone interview, but there is value in face to face connection. You'll likely leave a better impression if your interviewer is able to converse with you in a more personal way.

Hope these tips are helpful to you. Best of luck with your interview!
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Poonam’s Answer

Here are the best tips for skype interview:


The key to have an effective video interview is to practice well in advance, so that you can keep away from technological issues and gain confidence with the entire process. Thus, you can avoid hiccups during the actual interview.



Arrive sooner than required so you have sufficient time to be ready. Request help in case you don’t know how to utilize the setup. Actually, regardless of the possibility that you can make sense of, its better to request for a quick overview of the entire equipment.


In the event that you’ll be utilizing your own particular hardware, do a trial run a day or two preceding the interview.

Fix your camera and any headset or mouthpiece as though you would do in case of a genuine interview.

Your camera ought to be at the eye level (not above or beneath). An ineffectively set camera can bring about unflattering twofold chins or unusual shadows.

Check to ensure that your sound gear works appropriately.

For more details: Tips for skype interview

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Tina’s Answer

Hi there,

This is a great topic and I know many people have questions around Skype (video) interviews but do not know where to turn or who to ask. Believe it or not, Skype interviews have become more common in the interview selection process in recent years. It helps save time and/or travel expenses for the company especially when you may need to meet with several interviewers.

Prepare as you would for an in-person interview; look polished, speak well and clearly (make sure to test your video and microphone beforehand); situate yourself in a well lit room (but not extremely bright to where it presents a glare on the screen) with no distractions (pets, TV, doorbell close by); and lastly try to let your nerves disappear a bit - it's just like any other interview but a little more relaxed because you're in your own, familiar atmosphere.

I do many Skype interviews through out the year and even as an interviewer you check off the boxes to be prepared!

Good luck!

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Lucie’s Answer

Same as a regular interview! Just be mindful of Internet connection, background noises, etc.

Hope this help,
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Simeon’s Answer

You'll want to do some work on your background for the video. Look up ideas on how to spruce up the background. Remember to look at the camera and not the interviewer's face on the screen. Check out this Wall Street Journal vid for some more ideas:
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Jimmy’s Answer

actually , let me tell you the truth, dominate the process by fillling the camera with your big head and make yourself confident,
that's how I prepared enough before the interview and succeeded.

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Make sure you have a neutral background, ensure you have a strong wifi connection and practice by videoing yourself beforehand.
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Vikram’s Answer

There is already a bunch of answers posted but something I didn't see in the previous responses is that never fear your interview, your interviewer an the virtual mode. It's ok to falter but be confident and face the interview in all goodness and be bold to answer any questions.
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Sarah’s Answer

Treat a virtual interview the same as a F2F interview. But ensure the technology works (you can test it); jump on the call early to ensure all is working smoothly; that you are not going to be interupted and always be aware you are on camera! Good luck!
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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Kristen,

If you don't have the right technology for the interview at home, you need to think carefully about where to do it.

"If you don't have Skype at home, then ask your university or college careers service if they have a room that you can use – some will offer you a room for a telephone interview too," says Tracy Johnson.

"If you have to interview in a public place, let your interviewer know in advance, says Joanna Keilt. "Arranging an interview outside of lunchtime hours should mean that the coffee shop or café is less crowded. Avoid main roads at all costs."

As for a regular interview, you also need to think about what to wear. You'll only be seen from the waist up, so you might be tempted to dress down, but this can be a risky strategy.

"Your interviewer will only find out that you're in your pyjamas if you have to stand up to get something, so strictly speaking your can wear what you like. However, being in business dress might make you feel the part and help with your performance," says Joanna Keilt, consultant at Futureboard.

You may also want to think about doing a mock interview to see if you need to adapt your style for technology. Mike Higgins, career coach at This is My Path, says: "If you can, do a dry run with a friend or someone who is a regular interviewer. If you are feeling brave, you can even record it and play back later. Pick out two things that you would like to improve for next time."

Something you may not have thought about is social interaction and how your body language comes across on camera. A Skype interview gives you less time to make a positive impression, says Tracy Johnson.

"You need to develop a rapport with the interviewer as quickly as possible. Think about your non-verbal communication: make lots of eye contact, smile and sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back and down so that you have good posture, open your chest and speak clearly."

Mike Higgins agrees: "With audio and video channels, less body language information is transmitted, so focus on matching the tone and pace of your voice to the message you are trying to convey. If you say you are excited about a project, sound excited. If there is a mismatch between tone and message, the interviewer will go with the former rather than the latter."

I hope these tips can help you. Read all the article in:

Good luck!

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Meena’s Answer

Skype interviews are as good as in-person interviews. You need to dress professionally, pick a room in your house away from household noise and distractions. It should be well lit so the interviewer can see you.

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Jay’s Answer


With the new work from anywhere world, video interviews have become the norm. I think there are a few things that you can do to set yourself up for success:

1. Make sure your background is clean and not cluttered. It is perfectly fine to have a background with some items in it, but you want to make sure it is not distracting. If you do not have the best background in your interview area, feel free to use a virtual background,. or blur your background

2. Make sure you are outwardly presentable. This does not mean you have to rush out to buy a brand new suit or set of fancy clothes but remember that first impressions are the longest-lasting, and you want to be professional. Make sure you are set up for success by being presentable and ready to go.

3. Make sure you do not have any distractions around you. Try to be in a quiet area with no loud distractions.

4. Be set up logistically. Make sure the area is well lit, and you can come in clear. Make sure your audio is working and that you practice connecting and disconnecting to avoid and snafus. Finally, I like to recommend setting your camera up at eye level. If possible set up your camera so you can be standing, so you do not look hunched over and can convert at ease.

Best of luck!