Getting the most from a Skype interview

The demand for video content, coupled with the ‘free’ factor, is driving more reporters to use Skype to conduct interviews. For interview candidates, this is a bonus. In addition to voice, you have the added value of the video images to help tell your story.

Here are some tips to make the most of a Skype interview:

  • Do a dry run. Practice your interview with someone else so you get a good idea of what you look like on camera. Use this time as an opportunity to balance the lighting to soften shadows, eliminate distracting visuals from the background and adjust the height of the camera so the angle is flattering. A camera that is lower than your eyes focuses on your neck and chin, and an downward angle can draw attention to your nose. Most people look best when the camera is eye height.
  • Dress for the camera. Present a professional image. You may be doing the interview from your guest bedroom but the viewer doesn’t need to know that. For clues on best dressing options, watch what TV anchors are wearing. Consider high contrast clothing in solid colors with minimal pattern. Avoid whites, which can create distracting hot spots on camera. Because the image will focus on your head and shoulders, pay particular attention to the fit of necklines and collars.
  • Avoid the talking head syndrome. You’ve seen the person on camera who drones on and never changes facial expressions. This is very boring for the viewer. Relax and convey enthusiasm for you subject with smiles, gestures and a lively persona.

These are a couple of ideas for getting the most out of a Skype interview. What’s your best trick?

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