Skype has made it so easy to video chat over PCs and mobile devices that more employers are using it to replace some in-person interviews. It makes sense: From the company’s point of view, a Skype conversation can save both time and money.
It provides a convenient way for hiring managers to have an initial conversation with a candidate, before committing to the time and expense of whiteboard tests and team interviews.
As with any interview, the key to a successful Skype conversation is planning. The difference is you need to prepare more than your answers and what you’re going to wear. You must consider the technical issues involved in using Skype properly. Set up ahead of time:
Set up your camera so that your face is nicely framed.
Try positioning the camera so that the lower edge of the frame is in the upper part of your chest, roughly in line with the third button of a dress shirt. Position the top of the frame about a hand’s width above your head.
Test your microphone.
For sound, your voice should come through without any echoes, hums or buzzing. If in doubt, invest in a headset. It’s better to wear one than to have poor sound quality that will distract from what you say.
Check the lighting.
Your image should be plainly visible without being too bright. While it’s true you’re not making a feature film here, get your skin tones to appear as natural as you can by adjusting the camera’s settings, the angle of the room’s lights and the window shades.
If you wear glasses, minimize your computer monitor’s reflection in your glasses.
Change the monitor’s angle, cover it with paper, or possibly turn it off during the interview. Or, consider removing your glasses if you are sure you won’t need them during the interview. Whichever approach you take, test it out before the interview itself.
Prepare the room.
Set up a professional-looking space that won’t distract from the conversation.