The last thing you want to do is get on Skype minutes before a job interview totally unfamiliar with Skype. Even if you use Skype somewhat regularly, it’s a good idea to have a Skype call with a friend shortly before your interview just make to make sure everything looks good, sounds good, and works as intended.
In the trial run, you should also make sure your Skype software is updated and you know what your password is. You don’t want to start up Skype for an interview only to spend several minutes trying to remember, recover, or reset your password. If you find anything wrong during your trial run, here are some ways to fix Skype problems.
Naturally, your interviewer should get your Skype username before the interview. But, the history of Skype calls is far from perfect, so you should have a backup plan. No matter how well prepared you or your interviewers are, something could go wrong that prevents you from having the interview via Skype. In that case, it’s a good idea for you both to be ready to switch over to a plain phone interview. Making that switch is a lot easier if you’ve already given the interviewers a phone number they can reach you at should the Skype connection drop.
Before you send an interviewer your Skype details, make sure you’ve reviewed your Skype username and profile. If you’re still using a goofy username that you made up in high school or have profile details you don’t want them to see, it may be time for you to update these things or create a new Skype profile for professional purposes.
If you’ve ever been on the other end of a video or phone call and had to listen to everything you say echoed back to you, then you know how frustrating it can be. Some high-quality microphones can do a good job of preventing this, but the easiest way to make sure you’re not going to annoy your interviewers is by wearing a pair of headphones. Unless you have incredibly loud headphone, your microphone shouldn’t pick up the audio coming from your interviewers.
It’s not just the echo of your interviewers’ voices that you have to worry about. Do your best to pick a space that’s quiet, so the interviewers can hear you when you speak and don’t hear a bunch of racket when they speak.
Keep in mind this doesn’t just mean you should find a space that’s quiet at the moment you start the interview. It might be quiet in your living room, but street noise could suddenly flair up and disrupt your interview. you’ll also want to avoid typing on your keyboard while on Skype, as the clicks can be fairly audible.
If you have a hard time finding somewhere perfectly quiet, you can also make use of the mic mute button in Skype when you’re not talking.
Your roommates might be your best friends, but if they come home during your Skype interview, they can be a serious disruption. If you’re in a common space, they may make noise that interrupts the interview, and even if you’re in your own room, they could play loud music that forces you to briefly stop the interview. The best solution is to tell your roommates when you’ll have a Skype interview, where you’re going to try taking the interview and hope they’ll respect the need for quiet.
You want your interviewer to be able to see you, and the fastest way to ruin that on a Skype call is to sit with your back to a strong light. Your webcam will likely adjust to the lighting, and leave you appearing like a mysterious silhouette. Your interviewers will likely be unable to see your face or your mouth moving, and it won’t help your chances of getting the job. Instead, face the light source so your face and background are equally well lit.
Just because you’re interviewing on Skype and your interviewer may seeing nothing but your chest, shoulders, and face, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress appropriately for the interview. Dress as you would if you were going into the company’s office to meet your interviewer face-to-face. Yes, that means you should wear pants, especially because you can’t be sure you won’t have to get up and move during your interview. At least shoes and socks are optional; if your feet end up on camera, something else has gone wrong.
We’ve mentioned a few things you don’t want your interviewer to see, but there’s still more to this. Having a cluttered background may distract your interviewer, and if it’s a real mess, it may give them a bad impression. Ideally, you should find a place with a tidy and plain background so your interviewer can focus on you. Adding to this, the angle of your camera is important, as you should try to get the camera level with your face and avoid putting your computer in your lap with the webcam angled up. That’s an easy way to give interviewers a view up your nose.
Your phone may be great for a lot of things, and it’s handy being able to have video calls on phones, but they aren’t ideal for having an interview on. If you have no other option, use the phone, but go with a computer if you can. The larger screen will make it easier for you to see your interviewer, and the higher, more stationary camera should let you give them a better angle to see you. If you absolutely must use Skype on your phone, at the very least make sure you don’t hold it in your hand.
To use Skype online, a key component is actually being on line. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile connections may be a lot better than they have been in the past, but wired connections are generally far more reliable. If your computer can connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable, and if you have wired headphones, these are better bets for a stable connection than relying on wireless connections for your Skype interview.