Skype as an Interviewing Technique

By Eli Gibbs, Photographer/Videographer
The invention of communication via webcam has allowed the possibility of face to face global communication. No longer does an individual need to be physically present in a room to participate in the conversation. Since its inception, webcam communication has proven to be a vital tool for conference calls, interviewing and much more.
Prior to learning about its professional applications, I always imagined Skype as a way to interact with my family while away from home. Communication has many nonverbal cues that are missed in phone calls and not entirely portrayed in photos. The only way to truly track these cues is through video, which Skype can offer. 

About a week ago, I had my first Skype interview for an entry-level position after graduation. This particular public relations firm has offices in many major cities, but I interviewed for the San Francisco branch because it is best for my desired practice, technology.  

While each employer is sure to differ, here are some tips following my first and only Skype interview thus far:
1. Connection problems are expected

If you miss some information, do not hesitate to ask someone to repeat it. Consider using a cell phone for the audio component.

2. Eye contact is not as necessary as it is in face to face communication

If you were to truly resemble eye contact, you would be staring into the webcam, when it is expected that your attention would be on the screen. Make sure to look both at the screen and the webcam when speaking.
3. Be sure to ask questions, not just answer them

Do your research on the company and ask questions that will allow the interviewer to elaborate on what you can do for the company – not what the company can do for you.
For some tips about what NOT to do in a Skype interview, this article is sure to help.

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