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Skype Interview Tips: 7 Important Dos and Don’ts

Photo Credit: Stocksy.com

Back in the day, people predicted a future that included "video calls" that would let you connect with colleagues from the convenience of your home. The future is here, but what they failed to predict what a pain it would be change out of your track pants and figure out lighting that doesn't make you look like death warmed over. But fear not! Follow these tips to for your next Skype interview to ensure you can let your qualifications shine through (and not your messy bedroom).

1. DO dress professionally, or at least choose clothes that are neat and clean. Yes, we know you are working from home, but a crisp shirt is always preferable to your yoga clothes covered in cat hair.

2. DON’T overlook your background. Look behind you. Is it distracting or untidy? Avoid boring blank walls, but steer clear of cluttered bookshelves, a wall of family photos, uneven blinds or garish drapes. If you have plants behind you, check how you look on screen before your call — you don’t want to look like you’ve sprouted leaves or horns.

3. DO check your lighting before your live Skype interview. According to the Skype Workplace Blog, it’s best to use at least four lights when Skyping. One directly overhead, one pointing slightly off-centre from the upper part of your face, one on the opposite site, and one directed to the background. Tip: a plain white piece of paper on the surface in front of you will reflect light to help you look your best.

4. DON’T use a laptop at your kitchen table or desk if it requires you to look down into the camera. Gravity is not your friend when doing a Skype interview. Wrinkles, saggy skin and double chins magically appear when you look down. Instead, sit on a lower stool, or raise the laptop with a few books so you’re looking directly into the camera.

5. DO keep pets and kids occupied during your interview. Plan to have all your little creatures safely off camera for the duration of your video call. You want to keep anything that distracts from your professional accomplishments to a minimum.

6. DO a trial run-through to make sure your camera, speakers, and mic are working. Skype with a friend or family member a day before your real interview. Ask them about lighting, background, your outfit, makeup if relevant, and positioning on camera, and make adjustments as needed.

7. DON’T go online without checking your appearance in the mirror. Messy hair, lettuce in your teeth, or a wardrobe malfunction could sink your interview before you say a word.

Taking the time to adjust your background, lighting and personal appearance could make the difference between a successful interview and a flop. Now don't forget to look right at the camera rather than the screen, give a warm smile and let your knowledge and skills speak for you!