Skype Interview Tips To Get The Job

By Maddie Lloyd
Nov. 30, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

With remote working becoming a more common practice, virtual interviews are quickly becoming a reality for job seekers everywhere. Because Skype interviews are a relatively new practice of the hiring process, there’s a whole new set of rules to follow.

There are common mistakes that could completely derail your interview, and there are steps you can take to ensure that you go into your Skype call with enough confidence and finesse to land the job.

Here’s everything you need to know to ace your next virtual interview and get the job.

Key Takeaways:

  • You should treat any Skype or remote interview the same way you would an in-person interview and follow the same standards for professionalism and dress/appearance.

  • Remote interviews come with additional considerations to prepare for, like making sure that you have a good internet connection, a working camera, and a quiet, well-lit place from which to join the call.

  • Be sure not to treat Skype interviews too casually, and make sure you have the proper technology to conduct the call and that any necessary materials are easily available.

What Is a Skype Interview?

A Skype interview is a job interview performed over the video chat program Skype. Regardless of what video chat software you’re using, though, the tips in this article apply.

More and more companies are turning to virtual interviews, both as a safety precaution and as a way of hiring for remote positions. They’re somewhere in between a phone interview, which is basically just a screening, and an in-person, onsite interview.

We recommend treating your Skype interview more like an onsite interview than a phone screening. You get the benefit of not having to worry about traffic, finding the correct location inside the building, and being late (as long as you don’t forget your interview time).

The biggest mistake you can make for a Skype interview is to fail to treat it with the same professionalism as you would any other interview.

10 Tips for Your Skype Interview

  1. Treat a Skype Interview as You Would Any Other Interview. A virtual interview is just as important as a traditional, in-person interview, so treat it as such. Just because you’re not meeting in person doesn’t mean that this interview will be any more or less stressful.

    Prepare for your Skype interview just as you would an in-person interview. Familiarize yourself with the most common interview questions, prepare your answers, and dress as you would for a traditional interview.

  2. Find an Appropriate Setting. Because you won’t be meeting in an office, your surroundings matter. Be mindful of what your setting says about you.

    If you’re in your childhood bedroom, the interviewer probably won’t be able to take you very seriously, and if you hang out in the bathroom for your interview, well, it’s safe to say you probably won’t make the best impression on your interviewer.

    Find an appropriate place to have your virtual interview, and make sure that it’s clean. Your interviewer will notice everything about your surroundings, so make sure to pick a spot that’s well lit, quiet, and makes you look like you have your life together.

  3. Look the Part. For an interview, you always want to dress for success so you can impress. For a Skype interview, that means everything — even your username.

    Sorry to break it to you, but it’s time for your high school username “420BlazeIt” to be retired. Opt for a more professional alternative, like FirstnameLastname, or any other variation of your name that makes you happy.

    Make sure your profile picture for your Skype account is also appropriate. You may be the reigning beer pong champ of your fraternity, but there’s no reason an interviewer should know that from looking at your profile. Keep it professional.

    Dress as you would for any other interview. Even if you’re interviewing at 3 in the morning, get up early and get fully dressed. Yes, that means pants. Just because they’re only going to be looking at you from the torso up doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable to embarrassing mishaps. Just wear your pants.

  4. Have Answers Prepared, but Don’t Read From a Script. As with any other interview, you should always do your homework ahead of time and have some prepared answers on hand. This doesn’t mean you should read from a memorized script, then you’ll just come off as robotic, detached, and uninterested.

    Just because you’re going to be on camera doesn’t mean that the interviewer won’t be able to tell that you’re reading speeches directly from your notebook. If you need some help, write a few cheat cards to jog your memory — but never read entire answers written out verbatim.

  5. Make Sure You Have a Stable Internet Connection. Even the most up-to-date technology is prone to the flakiness of the enigma we know as our internet connection. Do a practice run with a friend or family member to make sure that your Skype connection is reliable. And if it isn’t, move somewhere else where the internet is more stable.

    We all know that WiFi isn’t the most reliable force on the planet, and dropped calls are understandable — but if they happen frequently, it reflects poorly on you and your ability to plan ahead.

  6. Check That Everything Is Working. Make sure everything is up and running before it’s time for your Skype interview. Test out your webcam, your microphone, and your speakers to ensure that everything’s in working order before the big day rolls around. It would be a shame if you lost a job opportunity because your interviewer couldn’t see your face or hear a single thing you said.

  7. Have All of Your Interview Materials On Hand. It’s important to show up to every interview with all of the necessary materials. That means you need to have all of your attachments on hand, so you can reference them easily without having to search through your computer.

    Have your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and other work samples ready to go for your interview. It will show that you’re prepared, while also preventing you from wasting anyone’s time.

  8. Maintain Eye Contact. This one gets a little tricky when you’re interviewing via Skype. It’s your natural instinct to look at your interviewer, but on a webcam, it will appear to them that you’re actually looking away. It’s awkward, but try to look directly into your webcam to feign eye contact.

    Feel free to look down at your actual interviewer every once in a while so they don’t feel like you’re staring directly into their soul, but try to focus most of your eye contact toward the actual camera.

  9. Keep Your Interviewer’s Interest. We all know how easy it is to get distracted on the internet. With an expansive world of information and entertainment at our fingertips, it’s hard not to get distracted by the amazing enigma of the world wide web.

    It’s up to you to make sure that your interviewer doesn’t get distracted during your Skype call. You’re going to be the size of a tiny Skype window, and it’s going to be easy for them to get distracted by their smartphone or the latest troubling headline circulating on Facebook.

    To keep their interest, use hand gestures, be animated, and engage in a conversation with your interviewer. They’re your audience, so you want to keep their attention.

  10. Don’t Get Distracted. On the other hand, you’re going to want to take measures to prevent any distractions on your end. Silence your phone, close all windows aside from the interview and your supporting documents, and make yourself unavailable online to prevent interruptions.

Commmon Skype Interview Mistakes

Now that we’ve covered the most important tips to ace your Skype interview, let’s quickly go over the biggest mistakes to look out for.

  1. Being too casual. This one is easy to forget, especially when you feel super comfortable in your home and you were probably doing something totally normal around the house right before the interview.

    It’s important that you treat this as a professional conversation and don’t revert to more casual speech patterns and word choices. And yes, this does include wearing business-appropriate clothes.

  2. Not doing a test run. Before your actual interview, make a call to a friend on Skype to make sure everything works. Don’t stop there, though.

    Perform a whole mock interview with this person to work on your posture, tone, and delivery. You’ll catch both technical problems (bad lighting, glitchy internet) and interview performance problems in one fell swoop — now that’s efficient preparation.

  3. Bad camera angle. If you’re using a laptop, be sure that the camera is level with your face. Stack books below your laptop to reach the appropriate height. You don’t want to be looking down or have the interviewer looking up your nose.

  4. Bad backgrounds. Posters, beds, blankets, laundry, etc. should all be out of view. A nice neutral white-walled background is pretty much perfect, but if you have a bit of personality in the decor behind you, that can also be a good thing.

  5. Not clearing your tabs. If you suspect there’s even the slightest chance you’ll be sharing your screen at any point during the interview, make sure your screen is presentable. Get rid of or move around bookmarks that don’t look great, and close tabs that you won’t need.

    And if you’re certain that you’ll be sharing some part of your portfolio with the hiring manager or recruiter, have those files already opened.

  6. Using a cell phone. Always use a computer with a webcam or a laptop for your Skype interview. Even a propped-up cell- phone is liable to shake and move around, giving the interviewer vertigo while they’re trying to interview you. It’s not a good look and the interviewer will remember you…for the wrong reasons.

Remote Interview FAQs

  1. Should I sign in to a remote meeting early?

    Yes, you should sign in to a remote meeting early. It’s best practice to arrive and check in to a remote interview about ten minutes before it is scheduled to begin. In addition to showing punctuality, this allows you to check for any last-minute technical issues.

  2. Do remote interviews take as long as in-person interviews?

    No, remote interviews usually do not take as long as in-person interviews. While interview lengths vary, remote interviews don’t take as long as in-person interviews on average. Remote interviews also allow you to save the time you would also spend driving or commuting to the interview location.

  3. Should I wear headphones during a remote interview?

    Yes, you should wear headphones during a remote interview if possible. As long as the headphones themselves work properly and are not unprofessional in appearance, using headphones can cut down on external noise and help give you and the other interview participants a better audio experience.

Final Thoughts

In our technology-savvy world, virtual interviews are quickly becoming a more common aspect of the interviewing process. Skype offers a more cost-efficient way to conduct interviews, particularly during a time when remote working is becoming more widespread.

It’s easy to make a mistake during an interview, and most are forgivable — but in the world of Skype, one small error can completely derail the success of your interview.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to avoid all mistakes, make a great impression, and land your dream job.

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Maddie Lloyd

Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

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Topics: Get The Job, Guides