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Tips for Using Skype to YOUR Advantage

Paula Goodman
By Paula Goodman, Director of Recruitment / HR Client Services-CUHR at Columbia University
May 3, 2016

Higher education employers are increasingly holding off on in-person interviews until a final stage, opting for phone screens and often Skype. This is especially common for out of town candidates since Skype is typically the most accessible option for the employer and for you.   

Here are five tips for succeeding on Skype:

1. Be Prepared for Technology Fails

Even if you are sure that the technology is in place on your end, do understand that there is always the probability that the technology might NOT work on their end.  I have had that happen here for unexplained reasons.  So you need to remain undaunted (which will reflect positively on you) and be flexible if phone ends up being the alternative at the last minute.


2. Professional User Names

Just like the general best practice of having a professional email address for job search communications, make sure you are using a professional Skype name for your interview. 


3. Staging Your Space

Make sure to prepare your interview space so that it is clean and well lit. You do not want your interviewer to be able to read too much into your personal space. Also, make sure that your space is quiet and free from interruptions and distractions.


4. Demonstrate Confidence

Posture is particularly important in a Skype interview. Pick a chair with a straight back so you do not accidentally start slouching during the call. You want to sit up straight and communicate confidence. 


5. Be Prepared

Most of all, you need to prepare for a Skype interview just as diligently as you would if you were meeting the interviewer in person.  That translates into studying the job description thoroughly and making the case that you match up perfectly with every aspect of the role.  Keep reminding yourself that you would not have been chosen to interview had they not seen enough in the resume to lead them to believe you might have what they are seeking in the role.  


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