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Tips for interviewing over Skype

Tips for interviewing over Skype

Tips for interviewing over Skype


The increasing mobility of lawyers combined with rapid improvements in Skype and other similar technologies has led to a dramatic increase in the number of interviews taking place over this medium.

Whilst you need all of the usual interview preparation, a Skype interview brings some additional considerations that are well worth preparing for.  Below we list our key tips for ensuring that the technology is on your side.


  • Ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth for the call – if you are unsure, consider plugging in rather than using wireless, or holding the interview somewhere that does (check here).
  • Check your microphone and sound (consider using a USB headset if it is not optimal).
  • Ensure that your skype username/profile picture is professional as this is your first impression.


  • Find a neutral professional background and remove any mess/clutter.
  • Any artificial lighting should be pre-tested (it is likely to be best positioned behind the camera).  Natural light is preferable if at all possible.
  • Ensure that you are in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed (avoid coffee shops).


  • Set up a practice call with a friend or family member to allow you to check the technology, the surroundings and your responses as seen by the interviewer.
  • Consider recording the call if you want to review and improve performance.
  • If all else fails, as a minimum, use the test call function to check the basic technology.

Pre-Interview Preparation

  • Aim to position the camera as close to eye level as possible (you may need to raise a laptop) with your head and upper body in shot.
  • Print off a copy of your CV/Resume, any notes about the interviewers and the firm, and any questions that you hope to ask. Have these to hand but not in sight of the camera.
  • Ensure that you have a telephone contact number for the interviewers in case there are problems with the technology.

Dress Code

  • Business attire (…yes, including the bottom half!)
  • Avoid strong or complicated patterns as they can become blurred over a video-connection.
  • Try to wear contrasting colours – e.g. light background, dark suit and a light shirt. Beware the “floating head” impression of a white shirt on a white background.

Body Language

  • There is a natural tendency to focus on the image on the screen but remember to look at the camera frequently to give the impression of making eye contact.
  • Avoid fidgeting or gesturing heavily as what might seem natural can be exaggerated when viewed over a skype link.
  • Speak calmly and ensure that the other party has finished speaking before
  • Try to use plenty of tone in your voice as this compensates for the artificial setting.
  • Smile and don’t let the technology inhibit your usual warmth of personality.


  • Technical issues can occur despite your best preparation. If the faults are making it impossible to concentrate on the interview, make the interviewer(s) aware.
  • If closing and redialling doesn’t fix it, consider suggesting you continue the call over the telephone (perhaps keeping the skype connection on mute for visuals).
  • Above all, remain calm, polite and don’t get agitated…and remember, they may be able to hear you even if they can’t see you.

Wrapping Up

  • Glance at your list of questions to see if anything hasn’t been covered.
  • Try to summarise why you think you would be a good fit for the role and why you are particularly keen to be considered.
  • After the thanks and goodbyes, stay on interview mode until you are sure the connection has been closed.


Please contact Jason Horobin at Origin Legal International on +44 (0)20 7096 1681 or email[email protected] for more advice.

References / Further Reading

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