Every day, students around the world are being asked to participate in Skype interviews for their summer internships. Typically, this happens because they go to school in a city or country that’s a long distance away from where the potential internship opportunity is located. Skype provides a quick virtual solution for employer’s that need face time with students unable to travel the distance.
For a Skype interview, you only need to download the Skype program on your computer. You can also download the Skype app on your phone, but it’s not quite as reliable. Today, you typically don’t need an external microphone or webcam because, for the most part, most computer manufacturers now build them into their system. If your computer is older, you might need to get a webcam and/or microphone, which you can pick up at any Best Buy or purchase online.
Remember, Skype is a different interview platform that requires a different set of interview tips.
Top Tips for a Successful Skype Interview
Practice Makes Perfect
Go into your career center and ask if they’ll do a mock interview with you. The way you appear on Skype can feel slightly different than the way you do in person. Do a few practice interviews and ask for feedback on your interview skills.
Create Your Set
You want to make sure you angle your computer correctly and sit with an uncluttered background behind you. That means no background shots of your dorm bed. Also, try to avoid backgrounds with large art (especially heavy metal band posters) on the walls. Remember, you are a professional—your background should look professional as well.
Look at the Camera
When most people are doing Skype interviews, they tend to look at themselves. You want to make eye contact with the employer and the way to do that is actually to avoid looking directly at yourself and to look right into the camera. Think of this as your way to make direct eye contact.
Dress for Success
Yes, this is a virtual interview but they can still see you. Make sure you are dressed up the way you would if you were going to the office. A button down shirt and a blazer is always a great choice for a Skype interview—for guys and girls. A word to the wise. Don't just dress up from the waist up just because the interviewer can't see below your waist. Dressing up also has to do with how you feel and sweatpants will make you feel half ready for the interview.
Check the Employer Skype Name
In order to do a Skype interview, you will need to connect with the employer on Skype a few minutes before the interview. You’ll need their Skype username in order to connect. Make sure you find the employer on Skype the day before the interview. You want to allow time just in case you have an issue finding their username.
Confirm the Volume
Before you start the interview, confirm that the employer can hear you and see you properly. You want to make sure everything is working properly before you get started.
Pump Up the Energy
You have a virtual wall between you and the employer so you want to make sure you show off your personality. Be upbeat and energetic during the interview. This is a great topic point to raise with your career center about during your mock interview.
Take it Seriously
Although it may not feel as intense because you are not at a brick and mortar office, take the Skype interview seriously. This is the way the company will be selecting their interns. If you don’t take it seriously, it will show in the interview.
Articulate Your Words Clearly
Again, you have a virtual wall between you and the employer. Make sure you don’t speak too fast and don’t rush your words. Take the time to clearly articulate everything you are saying.
Show Your Passion
Just as you would in an in-person interview, make sure the potential employer leaves the interview knowing how passionate you are about the company and the position. If you aren’t able to express that while answering questions, make a point to mention it at the end of the interview. Say something like, “I just want you to know how passionate I am about this company and this specific internship position. I really would love to work for you.”