Learn to Excel in Skype Interviews

Now that all applications for the T. Howard Foundation Summer Internship Program are in, we’re planning several rounds of interviews via phone and Skype. If you recently applied for a 2014 summer internship through the Foundation, we’ll contact you if you are chosen for an interview.

T. Howard Foundation staff aren’t the only ones using Skype for interviews these days, and Skyping with your prospective employers is different than having a casual video chat with friends.

To help prepare you for your Skype interviews, LaShika Howard, T. Howard Foundation Career Development Specialist, shares some helpful tips:

TEST your Skype software capabilities (settings, audio and video) before the day of your interview to ensure that the system is working properly. Be mindful of how you position your web camera; and what can be seen in the background while you’re interviewing.

REMEMBER to position your webcam/computer/laptop appropriately so that only you and a neutral background are the only things in the interviewer’s view.

PREPARE your interview space at least 10-20 minutes before the interview.

  • Make sure you are in a well-lit area so that is easy for the interviewer to see you
  • Tidy up the interview space.
  • Close windows/doors and open computer applications.
  • Dress professionally.

NOTIFY anyone who is/has to be in the room with you  ahead of time that you have an interview scheduled. If there is a conflict, try to secure another interview location.

KEEP a notepad next to you,  just in case you want to take notes. DON’T use your computer/laptop to take notes during your Skype interview–the typing noise will be a distraction to you and the interviewer.


  • If necessary, ask the interviewer to repeat the question or ask the interviewer for clarification.
  • Pause – for a few seconds to think about the question and formulate your answer.
  • Respond directly and concisely

AVOID distractions

  • Turn off or silence all electronic (phones, music, television, etc.)
  • Make sure there are no people talking or walking around in your interview space
  • Try not to fumble through your notes
  • Remove large or inappropriate signs/posters/pictures/objects from your interview space
  • Maintain good eye contact: Avoid looking down or off to the left or right at your notes more than you are looking directly at the interviewer

Before your interview, be sure to set up a test face-to-face Skype call with a friend or family member. 

Good luck!