The Skype Interview: Treat this 21st Century Interview Technique with a Little Old School Savvy

May 19, 2017 Nicole Slaughter-Graham Interviewing

The digital world is changing everything from how we communicate to how we consume news, and it is even changing how we interview.

The job world is becoming more and more comfortable with adopting virtual tools to vet candidates, conduct interviews, have meetings, and share information. The digital age can make communication a little stale though, which is why employing some “old-school” tricks can make you stand out against other candidates during a Skype interview.

Here are a few ways you can add some charm and finesse to your Skype interview.

Dress as though you’re meeting your interviewer in person

Believe it or not, sprucing up your appearance makes a difference. Maybe you put on a tie or a string of pearls. Maybe you put on a little makeup or comb and set your hair. If these are things you’d normally do for an in-person interview, do them for your Skype interview as well.

Your appearance, even over the web, is your first impression and should be taken seriously.

Take account of your surroundings

You also want to make sure your surroundings look good on camera. You don’t want to take your Skype interview with your unmade bed in the background. You also don’t want to have that neutral wall in the background washing you out.

Turn your camera on and experiment with a few different locations in your house. Make sure you look your best on camera. Choose a location that isn’t too revealing (no bathrooms please) where the lighting is good and there’s not too much going on.

Do your research

A virtual interview can make us feel like preparation is not as necessary as it would be for an in person interview. This is not true.

You will want to prepare for your Skype interview just as you would if you were meeting the hiring manager in their office. Figure out how long it would take you to get to the office. Make sure the company’s values align with your own. Learn as much as you can about the position you’re being interviewed for.

Decide which approach—email or snail mail—will work for a thank you

Generally, you’ll follow up with an email, thanking the hiring manager for considering you for the position. But in some cases, it’s best to opt for snail mail. You’ll want to put some thought into figuring out which thank you style fits best.

Pull out a physical, folded, paper thank you card and hand-write a note to send off. Find that book of stamps you bought last year and take a trip to the post office (or just stick the letter in your mailbox for the postal worker to pick up).

Physical thank you letters are a pleasant surprise nowadays, especially since hiring managers are typically inundated with emails.

If you’ve applied for a tech position or some other fast-paced industry position, sending snail mail might make you seem dated so sending an email is best.

Either way, make sure to send a thank you. It shows you appreciated the hiring manager’s time and are sincere about wanting the position.

Though these tips might seem like no-brainers, you’d be surprised how many interviewees don’t abide by them. These little measures could mean the difference between making an impression and being just another applicant.

What tips do you have for someone preparing for his or her Skype interview?

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