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After a telephonic interview for a job with a IT company, the company wants to have a conversation via Skype through video chat for the next round. I am totally new to this type of interview procedure so I don't know how to set my workstation or if I have to follow any rules. I am using desktop in my room and what type of clothing sense do I have to follow for the video chat?

I consulted with my few friends though but they too never faced such type of interview, do I need to follow some sort of ethics for that, let me know the points to remember, as it's going to be my first with this kind of interview procedure.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 39 down vote accepted

There are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Wear formal dress. Even if they won't see you completely, you will act differently while wearing formal attire vs casual attire.
  • Make sure you are facing the webcam. If it's not centered on your computer (perhaps you have two monitors) arrange things such that you are looking at the camera and interviewer.
  • Verify sound levels before the interview. Last thing you want to do is start an interview and find out your interviewer cannot hear you, and spend 10 minutes trying to tweak settings. This is especially important if you don't video chat more frequently. Pay attention to echo as well as this is really annoying for the person on the other end.
  • Try to have your computer facing a neutral wall/background. It's not necessarily important you have a white wall with nothing, but don't have tons of STUFF in the background as the point of the interview is you, not your interesting artwork or the poster of the scantily clad woman in the background, etc.
  • Get rid of all distractions on your computer. Sign out of chat, close email, etc. This will only distract you during the interview even if you don't use them. It also might help to clear your desk off somewhat (try to make your environment similar to an interview room would be if possible).
  • You can still take notes via paper/pen. Make sure you tell the person if you do this.
  • Turn your phone on silent.
  • Ensure all pets are not going to make an appearance.
  • If there will be other people in the house at that time, make sure you let them know about the interview and ask them not to enter your room unless there's a really big emergency.
  • Try to get a feel for background noise on your end and determine if you need to make modifications to your overall setup/environment.
  • Prepare an alternative communication method (ie phone) in the event things don't work

In a more general sense (but probably not relevant for IT) you could have PDFs or examples of your portfolio pulled up and available to show via screen share.

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3  
+1 for covering most of what I have seen go wrong. I'd also suggest having a phone available with a contact number for one of the panel in case there's a technology failure; again set this up before the interview if possible. –  GuyM Dec 22 '12 at 23:10
    
For verifying sound levels, one may add a Skype's Sound Testing service called echo123 to a contact list, call it once, and follow the instructions. –  bytebuster Dec 23 '12 at 14:45
    
@enderland very thanks for the descriptive answer..and very sorry for accepting at late(was off for a day ) –  swapnesh Dec 23 '12 at 16:21
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You should probably add that as the interviewee, one should be prepared for the interview to just plain not work - Skype doesn't guarantee any level of service. It may take a couple of attempts to get a good connection. –  Tacroy Dec 24 '12 at 17:26
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Two more tips: (1) Do a practice run with a friend and make sure you look into the camera (and not at their face on your screen) when answering questions. You want to give the illusion of eye contact, even when you're just looking into the camera. The best trick for this I can give you: look slightly to the left of the lens. Then you won't look like a deer caught in headlights. (2) If you can't fullscreen the other person's face, then move the window so that their video feed is RIGHT BELOW the camera on your laptop. That'll force you to look them "in the eye" on their end. –  Aarthi Feb 22 '13 at 1:19

You have raised a number of points:

  1. Dress. You can't go wrong if you wear the same clothes you would for a face to face interview. The only change might be to not wear a suit jacket.

  2. Environment. Make sure that there are no big distractions in the background. Take down any posters - particularly if they're something you wouldn't want to have displayed in an office. I don't think you need to make the background totally blank - the interviewers will expect there to be some clutter in the background.

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if the interview in-person would require a suit, then there is no reason you should not also wear a suit to the skype interview. The suit is there for a reason beyond "it is cold outside" –  bharal Dec 4 at 20:05

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