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Five Ways to Sparkle on Your Skype Interviews

If you can master the Skype interview, your chances for MBA admission are greatly enhanced. Here are five tips that can ensure your next Skype interview is a sparkling success.

Chances are you may find yourself doing a Skype interview at least once during the MBA admissions process. While the basics of interviewing remain the same whether conducted in person, via Skype or by phone, there are a few extra things to keep in mind when being interviewed by Skype. If you can master the Skype interview, your chances for MBA admission are greatly enhanced. Here are five tips that can ensure your next Skype interview is a sparkling success.

  1. Prep Smart and be Early. There is always the chance that your interviewer is going to Skype a few minutes early and you want to be ready. In fact, for some schools this might even be a strategy to see how you handle unexpected events. Another reason to be online a bit early is that you want to spend those last few minutes reviewing the key points you would like to make during the interview, not scrambling to fix Internet problems or audio/visual connections. Go old-school and plug in to maximize your chance of having a strong enough connection to avoid technical issues. Confirm the Skype address of your contact in advance and have a phone number available in case you have trouble with the connection.
  2. Pay attention to what is behind you. Ideally you should have a very neutral background such as a white wall behind your screen and use a computer, not a hand-held device. I once interviewed a candidate who had a very bold black and white tapestry behind him and he also was using his cell phone. It was beyond distracting and made me feel like I had entered a psychedelic disco scene as he moved along with his hand motions as he talked with his phone. Check Tools/Options/Video Settings on Skype before the call so you can check the view your interviewer will see.
  3. Look at the Camera. You want the Skype interview to be as close as possible as talking to a person in the same room. The best way to do that is to make eye contact with your interviewer. On Skype you will need to look at the camera, not your screen. Practice with a friend before your interview and make sure to make direct eye contact as you participate in the interview.
  4. Dress for Success. While it is true that no one will see if you are in your jammie bottoms, you will project with more confidence and professionalism if you wear the same thing you would wear in a face-to-face interview. Men should be well-groomed and women should wear the same makeup they would wear for an in-person interview. Dressing and grooming professionally sends the message that this school is a priority for you.
  5. Smile! I’m saving the most important point for last. You would be surprised how in just the first five seconds of the interview a big smile can set the tone for a relaxed, collaborative conversation. I did not always make a formal note of this in my reviews, but as I reflect on what had the biggest impact on assessing charisma and confidence, I would say a seeing a smile played a large role in assessing those traits that are ultimately needed for acceptance into any top MBA program.
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