12 Skype Tips To Succeed in Your Next Interview
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 12 January 2023
Published 25 June 2021
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.
Video interviews are popular because they allow employers to recruit applicants from a greater distance than ever before. There are obvious benefits in being able to interview applicants without interviewees needing to travel to a specific location.
Skype is video conferencing software that makes remote interviews straightforward for both recruiters and candidates. If you're looking for work, you will likely receive a request for a Skype interview at some point. Video interviews are not only for companies that work remotely; they simply make the interview process quicker and easier for everyone involved. The nature of a Skype interview means that it might seem less formal and important than an interview in person but this is not the case. With that in mind, we have prepared some tips for anyone preparing for a Skype interview.
Skype interview tips
Being interviewed on Skype is a straightforward process, but it can seem intimidating if you haven't done it before, especially for an interview. Here are some tips to help you:
Install and update Skype
Unlike some other popular video calling platforms, you will need to download and install Skype on a suitable device. Skype is free software and can be downloaded from its official site. Even if you already have Skype, make sure that it is updated to the latest version to avoid any technical issues. If you have an upcoming Skype interview, log into the application in advance to check that the program is working and ensure no unfortunate circumstances such as a forgotten password make you late for your interview.
Test your technology
In addition to signing in to Skype, it's essential to check that your webcam and microphone are working before the interview. You'll need to open Skype, then open the “Settings” menu and click the “Audio & Video” tab. This will display your webcam feed and check your microphone's volume.
If your webcam and microphone are working, you should also take the time to check that your background is free of distractions. Ideally, a plain background works best, but this won't always be possible. Try not to sit in front of a window as this can result in glare or shadows. You want to ensure that the interviewer is focused on you and not a picture on your wall.
Check that your speakers are producing good quality sound with no static. Just as you want your interviewer to hear you clearly, you need to be able to listen without constantly asking them to repeat questions.
Video conferencing can use a lot of bandwidth, so you'll need to check that your internet is working smoothly. It's unlikely that you'll want to upgrade your internet provider for the sake of one interview, but you can make sure that no other applications are consuming bandwidth and ask your housemates not to stream their favourite shows for the duration of the interview.
Treat a Skype interview the same as an in-person interview. Research the company thoroughly and familiarise yourself with what they do, as well as the responsibilities of the role you have applied for. Thankfully, the majority of companies now have an online presence, so take a look at their social media profiles and their official website, if they have one.
Consider the answers to the most likely questions you could hear during the interview. These might include your motivation for applying for the job, why you think you are a suitable fit and other general questions. It's worth recruiting a friend to give you a test interview; this will also give you a chance to test your equipment before the real thing.
Pick a quiet spot
Make sure your computer is somewhere quiet, where there will be no interruptions. If you have family or housemates living with you, tell them when your interview is taking place and ask them not to interrupt you or make loud noises during that time. This includes background noise, which can make it difficult for you and the interviewer to hear what is being said.
If your home is unavoidably noisy (maybe there is building work next door, or you live near an airport), ask a friend or family member if you can take the interview at their house instead. Remember to silence or turn off your phone and make sure no notification sounds from your computer will disturb you. If there is an interruption during your interview, apologise and carry on; these things can happen, however hard we try to prevent them.
You might be wondering what to wear for a Skype interview. You probably won't need to wear a suit for a remote interview, so don't feel that you need to be overly formal but make sure that you look smart and presentable, as you would for any other interview. The effort you make here will go a long way towards making a positive first impression when the interviewer sees you.
Make sure you arrive on time for a Skype interview the same way as you would an in-person interview. Logging into Skype early and making sure you're able to take the call will help prevent any last-minute issues that might throw your interview into disarray. The last thing you need before any interview is additional stress. If nothing else, the interviewer will be able to see that you signed in with time to spare, which will reassure them of your punctuality.
Arrange your Skype windows
Even though you aren't in the same room as your interviewer, eye contact is equally important. When the interview starts, try to position the video window as near to your webcam as possible. This provides a sense that you are looking at the interviewer, giving the illusion of eye contact even though you might be hundreds of miles away from the person you are speaking with.
Engage your interviewer
As with eye contact, your interviewer will observe your body language and will also pay attention to how you express yourself verbally. Do your best to avoid awkward silences by answering the interviewer's questions promptly and clearly and don't be afraid to engage them in conversation when it's appropriate.
Remain conversational throughout the interview but remember not to dominate the conversation. Pick the appropriate times to speak, to avoid accidentally interrupting your interviewer. When do have the opportunity to speak, relax and don't rush, so your words can be clearly understood. If somebody makes a joke, don't be afraid to laugh. Remember, you're attending a job interview, not an interrogation. Your discussion with the interviewer is a chance to show them your personality; it's unlikely that they want to hire a robot.
Check your posture
It's easy to forget about your posture during a remote interview, especially as you will probably be attending it from your own home. Don't sit on an armchair or sofa that encourages slouching; you're far better off sitting at a desk or if you don't have one, a dinner table. Sit up straight to display positive body language and don't rest your head on your hand. Again, you don't need to act like a robot, but you're also trying to show your professionalism and confidence in the way that you present yourself.
Share your screen
During the interview, an opportunity might arise to showcase some of your relevant achievements. One way of accomplishing this is to ask your interviewer if you can share your screen and show them a digital portfolio. This will let you show your professional website, social media accounts and any other documents such as spreadsheets. Make sure this material is already open on your computer before the interview, so you don't have to waste time looking for it.
Record for future reference
It's worth sending a message to the company beforehand asking permission to record the interview. Recording the interview means you will be able to watch it again in the future; you might notice room for improvement. This could be something as simple as trying to eliminate negative body language during the interview or thinking of ways to tackle a common question that you struggled to answer. Hopefully, your interview will be successful but, if it isn't, being able to revisit past interviews might help you make the necessary changes in the future.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Explore more articles
- 5 influence interview questions (with answers and tips)
- What to include in an effective interview confirmation email
- Personal assistant interview questions and example answers
- Understanding semi-structured interviews (with examples)
- Flight attendant interview questions (with sample answers)
- Assistant manager interview questions (with example answers)
- 35 front office manager interview questions (with answers)
- 37 physiotherapist assistant interview questions and answers
- A Complete Guide To Writing an Interview Transcript
- How to conduct an interview (with tips and advice)
- How to answer: 'Where do you see yourself in 10 years?'
- 13 PGCE interview questions and how to answer them