New York, N.Y. Skype interviews are gaining huge popularity in all industries. After all, it’s the next best thing to face-to-face interviews and also saves time and money for businesses and organizations. But the ease and efficiency of live video often broadcasts bad impressions.
“I was conducting my fifth Skype interview this week with prospective MBA students, and instead of listening to the words of this one candidate, I was distracted by her puffy, pink throw pillows in the background,” said Lindsey Plewa-Schottland, associate director at Baruch College’s Graduate Career Management Center. “Needless to say, it’s all I remember of her.”
According to Plewa-Schottland, the same rules apply to video interviews as in-person interviews. Being aware of subtle details – and following these 10 tips – can really make a difference in landing a second interview or getting that offer.
1. Dress for success: Whether you’re in the room or on video, it’s still an interview. Dress the same as if you were meeting in person. Applying for admission to an MBA or other professional program? A suit jacket is expected – including a tie for men.
2. Location, location, location. Carefully consider where the interview is taking place. Ask yourself – what else can the interviewer see? Are you sure you want them to see that? Remember, the simpler, the better.
3. Don’t be camera shy. Look straight at the camera when you’re speaking. Though it’s tempting to look at the interviewer on your screen, they want to see your eyes – not your eyelids.
4. Assume the right position. Don’t sit too close to the camera so they only see your face. The shot should show you from the waist up.
5. Use your words. Never use emojis or emoticons when messaging the interviewer. Not before. Not after.
6. Be photo ready. Upload a professional looking photo as your Skype profile picture. Your photo should resemble your LinkedIn profile photo, not your Instagram profile photo.
7. Be on time. You wouldn’t be late for an in-person interview. Don’t be late for Skype. If you’re running a few minutes behind, acknowledge it, apologize and move on.
8. Testing…testing. Do a test run of your Skype connection ahead of time with a friend to ensure it is reliable. A bad connection makes a bad impression.
9. Send a thank-you. Interviewing is a process that that doesn’t end when you click off Skype. Make sure to email a thank-you email to your interviewer within 24 hours.
Assoc. Dir., Graduate Career Management Center
Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College
Lindsey Plewa-Schottland has coached hundreds of students on how to successfully navigate a job search for over 10 years. She is currently the Associate Director of Career Advising at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College where she ensures that MBA and MS students’ needs are met through effective coaching sessions and innovative programs. She holds an MA and two professional certificates, one in Adult Career Planning and one in Leadership Skills, from NYU.