The 9 Best Skype Interview Tips of 2020

Use video technology to snag that job

Many companies use Skype to handle job interviews. While it makes the interview simpler in some ways, because you don't have to travel to do it, it also creates some new difficulties. If you're on the hunt for a new job and expect to do some Skype interviews, these tips can help you look professional when it comes time to jump online and chat with your potential future employers.

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Do a Trial Run

Headset on a laptop computer keyboard

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The last thing you want to do is get on Skype minutes before a job interview and be totally unfamiliar with Skype. Even if you use the app for conference calls somewhat regularly, it's a good idea to do a test run with a friend shortly before your interview just make to make sure everything looks good, sounds good, and works as intended.

You should also make sure your Skype software is updated and you know what your password is. You don't want to start up the app 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.

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Make Sure Interviewers Have Your Contact Info

Woman looking at a phone number and typing it into her cell phone

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Naturally, you should give your interviewer your Skype username before you chat. But, you should also have a backup plan. No matter how well prepared you or your interviewers are, something could go wrong. In that case, be prepared to switch over to a regular phone interview. Making that switch is a lot easier if you give the interviewers your phone number ahead of time so they can reach you should the Skype connection drop.

Before you send an interviewer your Skype details, make sure you review your Skype username and profile. If you have a goofy username you made up in high school or you have profile details you don't want potential employers to see, it may be time for you to update these things or create a new Skype account for professional purposes.

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Use Headphones

Businesswoman wearing headset at desk

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If you've ever been on the other end of a call and had to listen to everything you say echoed back to you, you know how frustrating it can be. Some high-quality microphones 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 headphones, your microphone shouldn't pick up the audio coming from your interviewers. 

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Be Mindful of Background Noise

Business people working in busy office

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It's not just the echo of your interviewers' voices 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 racket when they speak.

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 flare up. If your family or roommates come home during your Skype interview, they can be a serious disruption. You also want to avoid typing on your keyboard while on Skype, as the clicks are fairly audible.

If you have a hard time finding somewhere perfectly quiet, you can also make use of Skype's mic mute button when you're not talking.

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Don't Leave Lights on Behind You

Silhouette Of Person Standing Against White Background

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You want your interviewer to see you, and the fastest way to ruin is to sit with your back to a strong light. Your webcam will likely adjust to the lighting, and leave you looking like a mysterious silhouette. Your interviewers won't see your face or your mouth moving, and it won't help your chances of getting the job. Instead, turn toward the light source if you can, so your face and background are equally well lit.

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Dress for an Interview

Business interview

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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 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 around during your chat. Shoes and socks are optional; if your feet end up on camera, something else has gone wrong.

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Think About What Your Interviewer Will See

Psychology of a messy room

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A cluttered background may distract your interviewer, and if it's a real mess, it may give them a bad impression. Ideally, you find a place with a tidy and plain background so your interviewer can focus on you.

The angle of your camera is also important, as you should try to get it level with your face. 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.

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Don't Use Skype on Your Phone

iPhone video chat

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Your phone may be great for a lot of things, but it's not ideal for conducting an interview. Use the phone if you have no other option, but go with a computer if you can. The larger screen makes it easier for you to see your interviewer, and the higher, more stationary camera lets them get a better angle to see you.

If you absolutely must use Skype on your phone, make sure you don't hold it in your hand. Find a stable place to set it, preferably at eye level. This eliminates camera shake and lets you move freely.

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Use Wired Connections Wherever You Can

Ethernet Cable

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A key component to using Skype online is actually being online. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile connections are more stable than they've 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 your best bets for a stable connection during your call.