Many companies choose to hold initial round interviews and/or internship interviews via Skype, Fuze, Hangout, or any number of related products. Although these interviews share many characteristics of an in-person or phone interview, there are specific things that you should consider prior to connecting with the interviewer(s).
Dress for Success
Although tempting to consider just showing up in your sweatpants and a tee shirt, do dress as though you’d be in the interviewer’s office. So, wear a suit and tie with a freshly-pressed shirt or blouse. Comb your hair. Brush your teeth. Even though your interviewers can’t notice these fine details, you’ll be setting yourself up to present yourself in the most professional manner.
Perform Through Technical Glitches
Inevitably, there will be a technical glitch revolving around the sound or video quality. Make sure you keep an up-beat attitude while resolving the problem. Even if you can’t hear their side of the conversation, they may be able to hear you. So, keep it professional, up-beat, and calm. You will demonstrate your problem-solving skills in a more appropriate manner.
Remember to smile as much as possible. This is a trick that works well for phone interviews, too. Putting on a warm, inviting smile is just as important as putting on a freshly-laundered shirt. It makes everyone feel better.
Modulate Your Voice
Avoid maintaining a monotone voice throughout the interview. Keep a positive demeanor, and let your personality shine.
Keep it Uncluttered
Look carefully at what your camera is picking-up behind you. If your room is a mess, or terribly cluttered, or has unprofessional wall coverings, fix it before you start the conversation. You want to focus to be on you, not your (or your roommate’s) stuff.
Work in a Well-Lit Room
Hopefully, you’ll have natural light to brighten your room. If not, make sure you have warm lamp light and not too much overhead fluorescent light. You should not be too dark.
Look at the Camera
The only way to appear to connect with your remote audience is to look into the camera lense... NOT at the screen. It may seem like a subtle point, but if you’re NOT looking into the camera, it will look like you’re staring off into space. This will allow you to look into your subject’s eyes, making a stronger connection.
Get a friend to help you practice your interview skills via Skype. Record the conversation and play it back in advance, so that you can make adjustments to your room or computer settings.
Close Other Programs
Be sure to close all other programs that would normally be open on your computer. This will prevent you from becoming distracted by an email, Twitter, Facebook, or other messages.
Be sure to place some well-conceived notes around your computer screen, just in case you need to refer to the important parts of your presentation. Tape them up in areas that will not distract you from their side of the conversation, but not too far away from the camera In that way, when you do glance at your notes, it’s only for a brief second, and not far away from the camera lense.
Finally, relax and enjoy the conversation.