Online MBA interviewing becomes more widespread and more important every year. I came across this post providing good advice for Web interviewing from Lindsey Plewa-Schottland, Associate Director at Baruch College’s Graduate Career Management Center.
Tipping my hat to that, I’ve adapted it slightly: here are my five things to remember when doing an Skype or equivalent online MBA interview:
1. Protocol: Be on time, and be dressed just as if you were meeting in-person for this interview. In other words wear standard professional work clothes. In the U.S. a tie for men is still expected in interview situations. In Europe you have more latitude.
2. Check what’s behind you. Skype-type interviews are visually boring– you’re just looking at their talking head, and they are looking at yours. So expect their eye to wander and make sure you have controlled everything in camera view. On the Mac, “Photo Booth” will preview what your camera will show and how you look. No doubt similar exists on for the PC.
3. Set yourself at a medium distance. It’s no accident that Nazi (and many other) propaganda films put the camera too close to their target’s face, distorting it. If you sit too close you too will be all nose or all goggle-eyed. Obviously don’t sit too far back either.
4. Look at the camera. This is tricker than it seems. Problem is your interviewer’s face will be on your screen but your camera will be on top of it or above it, which means when you look directly at your interviewer she will perceive you as looking down. Best solution is to minimize the Skype window and put it as close to your camera lens as you can.
5. Check your Skype pic or gravatar. When dialing up the Skype connection your interviewer will probably see your still photo or icon. You should have a professional-looking still as your profile picture, and it should be recent enough to be credible when your live video feed appears.