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To Skype or Not to Skype?

Posted At: March 26, 2012 2:00 PM
by Kera Cottingham

The PR profession is ever changing, constantly causing students to buy new editions of books each year and PR professionals to brush up on the latest trends. But one new trend, the Skype interview, has found its way into the field.

Recently, I was asked to participate in a Skype interview with a company. The company is located a two and a half hour drive from my location; therefore, a Skype interview would save both parties from paying any traveling expenses. When I received the phone call requesting me to “Skype” in a mere couple of hours, I immediately was flooded with a multitude of questions and concerns:

“Two hours? I am not prepared. What do I wear for something like this? Will my unreliable Internet work long enough for a whole interview? I am not prepared!”

After a mild freak out, I composed myself, chose my desk in my bedroom as my interview location, then got to work frantically making up my bed and straightening the pictures on the wall. I then realized for my outfit that I might could get away with being only half-professional: blazer for a top and sweatpants for bottoms. But I decided to be better safe than sorry, and I completed the look.

The time then came to start my interview. I anxiously sat at my computer desk and waited. The call came through and there was a problem: the company’s sound on the flat screen TV in their office, which my face would be enlarged and projected on, wasn’t working. Therefore, I conducted the interview with my phone held to my ear (not the best for appearance purposes).

The interview continued as any traditional job interview, and concluded with them calling me up to their office for a “real” interview. So not only did the company pre-screen me, but I too got to check them and their office out before making the journey to them. Not a bad deal.

So what do you need to know if asked to conduct one of these revolutionary Q&A sessions? According to an article on, there are four things you should do if you find yourself in the midst of a Skype interview. First, “keep eye contact.” Just as in a regular interview, you want to be engaged and attentive to who is speaking.

Also, resist the temptation to only dress the top of your body professionally. “Maintain professional dress.” You never know if you’ll be asked to retrieve something or if your roommate will run in and you have to chase them out.

You should also “pay attention to the details.” This includes that lousy Internet connection and hiding your Cabbage Patch Kid.

And finally for a Skype interview, “keep a quiet environment.” Tell your roommate to cut off the Biebs blaring in the background and maintain the peace.

There is your survival guide to Skype interviews. Don’t be afraid to leap into today’s technology and take part in this new interviewing technique. Not only will it save your gas tank, but also it will give you foresight on what a face-to-face interview with a company could entail.


  1. Post comment

    The advice you give in this post is pretty good. Unfortunately for me, I did not read this before my last Skype interview. I decided that wearing a suit and tie would be enough and thought that PJ bottoms would suffice.

    It could have turned out horribly except due to our own technology hiccups for the first about 30 seconds of the interview I could see my soon-to-be-boss but he could not see me. He was an aquatics director and had decided that a suit/tie/swimsuit-for-pants combo would work. When he realized that I could see him in his swim trunks when he was standing trying to fix the problem he got a little flustered.

    I said, “Please, sir, don’t worry,” then stood up and showed him my PJ bottoms I had on. The interview went really well from there and I got the job offer.

    Would this work with any major company? Most likely not. Did I get the job? Yes, yes I did.

  2. Post comment

    Recently, I interviewed with a company over Skype because they were 8 hours away. I had already completed two phone interviews, but they insisted on a Skype interview for my final interview because of the distance. Because I had never been through an interview on Skype, I didn’t think of everything that could possibly happen. The biggest challenge for me was constantly looking at myself in the corner. When you’re in a regular face to face interview, most of the time you can’t see yourself, but in the Skype interview I was constantly checking to make sure I looked okay. It was very distracting!

    I think the only way to be comfortable with it is if you get as much experience as you can.

  3. Post comment

    I can relate to this post, as I have recently undergone my first interview process. I found the interview to be extremely stressful. It was nerve-wracking to be judged by a professional whose sole job is to judge you. Although a face-to-face interview is intimidating, I think a Skype interview would be equally as stressful.

    Today, students are thoroughly prepared for standard interviews, but there is not enough assistance in helping people prepare for the new style of interviewing that is evolving due to technology.

    This post makes me more comfortable with the idea of a Skype interview, but I still think I would be more nervous for a Skype interview than a traditional interview.

  4. Post comment

    This was an excellent post. I am in the midst of the job hunt, and your insight was greatly needed.


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