How to Ace a Skype Interview for Graduate School

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Do: Sit at a desk and, as your mother would say, sit up straight.

Don’t: Put your laptop on your lap or sit on a couch.

Do: Level the camera with your face, make your shoulders and face visible.

Don’t: Angle the camera so someone can see in your nostrils and can’t tell you’re wearing a professional top.

Do: Clean your surroundings, make it professional, or use an office if you have one.

Don’t: Have any clutter, or show any posters or odd décor. Plain is better.

Do: Choose a well-lighted space.

Don’t: Look like a lurker in the dark.

Do: Dress to impress.

Don’t: Try to just pull of a nice top and pajama bottoms, lest you have to stand for some reason.

Do: Have a professional screen name (no “CoolChick101”).

Don’t: Think that your clever one will fly.

Do: Test all of your gadgets beforehand and make sure everything works. Do a practice run with a friend. Better yet, do a few to be extra sure.

Don’t: Leave anything half-charged, and don’t leave your cell phone ringer on, and don’t stay logged into Google or Facebook chat. These sites will make a noise if someone messages you.

Do: Have everything you may need on hand so you don’t have to excuse yourself.

Don’t: Prepare less than you would for an in person interview. Skype or other online interviews are increasingly common and as important as a traditional interview.

Do: Remain engaged. This is a different form of communication and you may have to be more animated then you would in person to convey the same emotions.

Don’t: Make the interviewer ask all of the questions. Don’t be so eager that you forget to make sure that the program is right for you.

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