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SKYPE Interviews

1. Look at the camera, not the screen or surrounding
Make sure you look directly at the webcam. It is very tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during a Skype session, but looking directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.

2. Dress professionally.
If you dress professionally it will feel more like an interview.  Your Skype interview is just like an in-person interview and dress professionally from head to toe or at least from head to waist.  There is a professional dress code with video interviews that is expected, not excused.

3. Don't Forget to Smile!
At an in-person interview, you would naturally smile upon arrival, and try to keep a pleasant facial expression for the duration. It’s more difficult to do this with a remote interview. Lacking a ‘live’ person in front of you, and sidetracked by thoughts of equipment or cameras, you might be less likely to smile reflexively. If that’s the case, you can seem like you're staring wide-eyed at the camera.

4. Prepare your surrounding environment.
Select a quiet place to interview with a professional backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen NOT the background. Remove anything unprofessional behind you.  Let everyone know you are interviewing and make sure you close the door, lock it and leave a note on the door saying "Do Not Disturb-Interview in Progress." Be sure you have someone secure any pets in your interview space.

5. Practice the interview first.
Doing a mock interview with a friend before the interview.  This is helpful because your first few Skype calls are likely to feel different and awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen. Try everything prior to the interview to make sure it works and you are comfortable with it.  

6. Close other open programs on your computer.
Getting Facebook notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).

7. Use notes or reminders.
Don't be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume when you interview. A big plus of having a Skype interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don't have to memorize everything just be cautious and don't focus on your notes-focus on the interviewer.

8. Keep your profile professional.
Unlike an in-person or phone interview, your first impression during a Skype interview doesn't actually involve you. The first thing your interviewer will see is your Skype username and picture, so double check that they are both interview appropriate or create a professional Skype account — after all, they're free!

10. Watch your body language.
Do not slouch or get too close or too far from the camera. Be sure to have good posture and relax your shoulders to avoid stiffness.

11. Avoid a "Can you hear me now?" situation.
Nothing is more distracting than only catching every other word a person is saying, so be sure to tweak the Skype audio ahead of time to make sure you can hear and she/he can hear you.  Also make sure your interviewer is engaged and is listening to what you say.

12. Follow up!
A thank-you letter is just as important after a Skype interview as it is in an in-person interview. Make sure you send either a postal thank you or an email thank you.

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