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Job Doc

Don’t wear pajamas for a Skype interview

Q. Should I wear a suit and tie, jacket and collared shirt, or just a collared shirt for a Skype interview?

A. This type of interview is used to save time and money, especially when there is significant distance between a candidate and the company’s location.

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An online video interview is just as important as an in-person interview. You should dress as if you were interviewing at the company’s location, professionally from head to toe. Often candidates believe they should only dress professionally from the waist up. This is not the case. You might need to stand up to adjust your webcam. You don’t want to be worrying about your outfit.

A few other tips for online video phone interviews:

Do a technology check before the day of the interview. Test your connection with a friend. Sometimes a slow connection causes awkward pauses and lags in the conversation. You don’t want to be concerned about your connectivity during your interview.

Exchange phone numbers and contact information before the interview just in case there are any unforeseen glitches. And make sure you have a phone handy during the interview. Part of your technology check should be testing how an outfit plays on the screen. A loud pattern may be distracting. A bold necklace might cause unnecessary glare.

Make sure that your Skype profile is a professional one. Skype requires users to select a user name and a profile photo. Both the user name and profile photo should be appropriate and professional.

Eliminate distractions. Silence your phone. Crate your dog. Make sure that your background is professional and does not include an unmade bed or dirty dishes in your kitchen sink. If you are planning to schedule this interview at work, be careful. A private lockable office would be a good choice for a location.

Remember to focus on the camera, not the image on your computer screen. Practice this before your interview.

Prepare. Just like for an in-person interview, prepare. Don’t minimize the importance of this interview.

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton.
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