You’re in Chicago and you’re interviewing for a job in New York City? No problem! Many hiring managers have been rapidly replacing phone interviews and screenings with Skype interviews. Nothing can truly substitute a face-to-face meeting, but Skype has proven itself to be a handy alternative in preliminary screenings and low-budget situations.

You might be wondering how to go about a Skype interview properly. There are a lot of important factors to consider in order to put your best foot – and face – forward.

Pre-Interview Prep

Like any interview, Skype interviews require preparation. Along with researching the company, consider these things while getting ready:

Assess Your Technology
If your username is “spicybabe85” and your profile picture is suggestive, change it immediately! You should always have a professional username and profile picture.
After the basics are squared-away, do a test run to make sure both the sound and video are working to avoid “Can you hear me now?” moments. Then find a trustworthy friend to conduct a mock interview to double check everything is working properly and to get honest feedback. Practice makes perfect!

Mind Your Setting
Like all video, you need to make sure the lighting is good and the background isn’t distracting. Overhead and florescent lighting can wash you out, so natural lighting is your best option. The background should be simple and tasteful – no inappropriate posters in sight!
While choosing your location, consider its seclusion. You don’t want anyone walking in and interrupting your interview, so find a quiet room and ask others not to disturb you.

Dress for Success
It may be tempting to wear your suit jacket and pajama pants because the interviewer will only see your upper body, but don’t do it. Wear your full suit in case you need to get up in the middle of the interview. You don’t want to be caught in those ratty old sweatpants!
Also, avoid patterned shirts, as they do not look good on camera. Stick with dark, solid colors – anything to make your face stand out more.

During the Interview

You may be concentrating on the questions asked, but keep these things in mind to make sure nothing distracts the interviewer:

Eye Contact
While Skyping, many fixate on the screen instead of the webcam. If you do this during an interview, it looks like you’re not making eye contact, so be sure to look into the webcam, not the screen.

Add Extra Clarity and Enthusiasm
Reactions always translate differently on camera, so you need to compensate. Smile a little bigger, and nod your head a little more. You also need to make sure you’re not mumbling. Speak louder and clearer to ensure your interviewer can understand you.

Sit up and don’t lean too close to the camera. The webcam should have a good shot of your head and shoulders, as well as your hands.

Post Interview

At the end of your Skype interview, do not follow up on Skype Chat! Send thank you notes like you would for a regular phone and in-person interview.

When you get a Skype interview request, don’t panic! Remember these tips, but also remember that Skype is fun, so make sure you enjoy your interview from the comfort of home!