How to Succeed at Skype Interviews (By Really Trying)

I just couldn't resist that How to Succeed in Business joke in the title, could I?

Last week, I had my third Skype interview since coming to St Andrews. Over the past couple of months, I've found some things that work quite well for me so I thought it might be worthwhile to share them with you in case you're also trying to do interviews from abroad or just another city.

Skype interviews are quite daunting in a different way than normal interviews. I always worry about the internet working, how I'm going to look on camera, and being able to understand what the other person is saying. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can make it a much less painful experience!

1) Find a quiet space to do your interview. This is very important because you don't want noise keeping you from understanding the interviewer's questions. I also make sure that I warn my flatmates ahead of time if doing the interview from my room so they don't make noise in the hallway or knock on my door.

2) Dress nicely...from the top up. For every interview I've done while here, I've worn a nice business-y shirt, leggings, and my slippers. It's important to look professional, even though you're not meeting in person. But one of the best things about Skype interview is that from your waist down, you can wear whatever will make you feel comfortable and at ease. (My dinosaur socks always make me feel a little better about life.)

3) Have a nice background. I'm not saying you need to have an all-white background or anything, but do check to make sure it looks okay. (Use tip #4 to check!) Make sure that you can't see any dirty laundry or anything in the background.

4) Check yourself in the Photobooth App if you have a Mac computer. Honestly this app is perfect for checking what you look like. Sometimes if I don't like the angle I'm seeing, I'll prop my computer up on some books. It's also a good opportunity to make sure you don't have lipstick on your teeth or your hair isn't going crazy.

5) Ask sometime to test Skype you 15 minutes before. If you're worried about your internet connection, then ask a friend or a parent if they can Skype you for a few minutes to make sure you'll be fine.

Hopefully if you have a Skype interview coming up, you might find these tips helpful! If I do all these things, then I feel a bit more relaxed during the actual interview and can concentrate on what I'm actually talking about. But even if you are nervous...at least in a Skype interview, they can't tell if your hands are shaking.

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