Skype interview – Another case of ‘The Future is Now’

Rowan University students have been asking me about skype interview prep. Here
are some tips compiled from a variety of sources that should help. To comment:

First: a summary

1) Do
wear the same attire you would wear for an on-campus interview. Business dress
is recommended.

2) Do
situate your camera or laptop in a quiet room where you will not be interrupted
by other people coming or leaving during your interview.

3) Do
make sure your camera/laptop is charged or plugged in so you do not have to
interrupt your interview to plug it in.

4) Be
aware of how you appear on camera. Test your camera before the interview to
ensure that the lighting is not too bright or too dim and that your distance
from the camera is appropriate – we do want to see more of you than your face,
but we do not need to see the entire room behind you.



10 must-dos for Skype interviews

Master video
skills, etiquette ahead of time


Oct. 1, 2011 from The Philadelphia Inquirer – Career Builder


If you are a job seeker and never used
Skype – the software program that lets you video chat on the Internet – then
you might want to get familiar with it. Skype interviews are becoming
increasingly common during the hiring process. They’re more personal than phone
interviews since they allow recruiters to meet candidates face-to-face. They’re
also great for job seekers conducting long-distance searches, especially these
days when budget-conscious companies might be unwilling to cover travel costs
for interviewees.

If Skype interviews still are uncharted
territory in your job search, here are 10 must-do tips for this up-and-coming
hiring practice.

1. Do a tech check. A successful Skype interview will require a high-speed
Internet connection and a webcam, so make sure you’ll have both of these
available and in working order before scheduling your interview.

2. Practice. If you’re new to Skype, set up a time to chat with a family
member or friend to work out any technical kinks. You also can use this
practice call to play around with Skype’s file-sharing capability, in case your
interviewer requests to see samples of your work, a résumé, reference letters,

3. Dress appropriately. A Skype interview should be taken just as seriously
as an in-person interview. If you’d wear a suit for an in-office interview,
wear one for the video interview, too.

“Even though you are not interviewing for the position in person,
appearance still matters,” said Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career, a
career coaching firm in Ohio. Dressing your best will help you feel confident,
qualified and professional.

4. Watch your back(ground). Set up your computer where you plan to conduct
the interview and turn on your camera. What do you see? Chances are, you’ll be
doing the interview from home, but your surroundings should be free of mess,
clutter and overly personal touches. In other words, your pile of dirty dishes
and your toddler’s high chair should not be visible in the background. A neat
home office, well-organized bookshelf or blank wall will make the best backdrop.

5. Pay attention to lighting. Like in any other setting, lighting will help
set the mood for the call. You’ll want to make sure your face is well lit and
free of shadows.

“Since you are clearly trying to put your best foot forward, you don’t
want shadows over your face,” Palmer said. “It is advisable to put a
light behind the computer so that there is enough light to illuminate your
face. You should also keep in mind that the lighting can make your face shiny,
so make sure that you powder your face lightly (even if you’re a man).”

6. Minimize the chance of interruptions. “Lock dogs, cats and other
pets in another room, preferably out of earshot, and turn off the ringer on
your land and cell phones to avoid an awkward interruption,” said Laurie
Berenson, a certified professional résumé writer and owner of New Jersey-based
Sterling Career Concepts. “Or, if there’s any chance that someone might
ring your doorbell or knock on your door, place a sign on the door that says
‘Interview in process. Do not disturb.'”

To avoid distracting background noise, turn off radios, televisions and
loud appliances.

7. Look at the camera. “Practice looking at the camera,” said
Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University.
“Most candidates look at the screen but that means they are not looking at
the interviewer. It feels odd but looks a lot better on the other side.”

Looking at the camera will give the interviewer the impression that you’re
making eye contact.

8. Sit still. Hand-talkers, take note: “Don’t gesture too much.
Depending on the connection on the other end you will present a jerky and
distracting picture,” Langerud said.

9. Jot down notes. Have points you want to make or ideas you don’t want to
forget? Write notes down on an easel pad or type them up in a large font and
print them out. Then, mount your notes behind your camera. That way, you can
glance up at it if you need to jog your memory.

10. Hang up. Once the call is over, make sure you actually hang up.
Accidentally leaving the connection open provides endless potential for

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job

‘PR News’ talks to Pepsi exec about social media

From PR News comes this Q&A on public relations and social media. To comment:

PR News Q&A With Bonin Bough: Will PR
Miss Out on Social Media?

Bonin Bough

Successful social media
engagement is all about relationship-building and smart, focused communications
tactics—traditionally the domain of public relations professionals. In this
Q&A, Bonin Bough, global head of digital for PepsiCo, shares his insights
into why PR professionals must integrate social media into their broader
communications. He will expand on this theme in his keynote address,
“Digital Fitness: A Matter of Survival for PR Professionals,” at PR News’ Facebook Conference on August 9 in San Francisco.


PR News: Does the rise of the social Web represent an opportunity for PR
professionals to reposition themselves within corporate and nonprofit

Bonin Bough: Yes, I 100% believe that. I grew up in digital marketing
shops running digital media and have performed every role. My first agency was
a digital production practice within a PR firm, and the majority of our clients
were strictly digital, while others were shared with the PR team. These agency
of record engagements were big clients such as Kellogg’s, Novartis and Citi.
The second group I ran was a bit more integrated with the broader
communications team. So I have seen it from the inside, and I can tell you that
the core skills of communicators—storytelling, authentic communications and the
art of persuasion—are critically important.

At the same time, I often feel communications agencies and teams confine
themselves to a specific segment within social. They don’t necessarily take the
opportunity to lead. PR agencies are not adapting quickly enough, they are not
thinking broadly enough, they do not understand the stakes. Social media
success depends on relationship building and genuine, sustained authentic
engagement—the core competencies that PR is built on. But it also requires a
deep understanding of consumers and media. It is not too late for PR to capture
the massive opportunities in social media, but the industry needs to kick into
high gear right now.

As communications
experts, [we] have a right to lead strategy in digital and build the
relationships while delivering messaging, but oftentimes we fall short because
we don’t know the tools and have the measurement capabilities. Too often we view
“social media” as a discrete practice or discipline when in fact digital media
has changed every facet of marketing communications.

PR News: What is at stake if communicators don’t seize this moment?


Bough: Social media used to be lumped in with larger communications
programs, but more and more of that budget is being taken by specialty
agencies. Clients are starting to recognize—before the agencies, in many
cases—that social media requires particular expertise and know-how. If
conventional PR outfits don’t offer that, they will get it from new,
specialized players. Already this is happening with the huge growth of social
media agencies. That was their lunch. Digital did it to ad shops, so history is
a good predictor of the future. Again, it isn’t too late to win that confidence
(and business) back, but if communicators don’t seize the moment, the fastest
growing piece of communications’ budgets is going to slip out of reach.

PR News: How can communicators best prove the need for investment in social
media activity to top executives?

Bough: If you are faced with a situation in which a client wants you to
justify social media as part of a communications program, you really might as
well walk out the door. Having worked on the agency side for many years, I know
that isn’t realistic, but the point is that by now the importance of these
platforms should be self-evident. If an executive doesn’t believe that, tell
her to ask her neighbors where they go to see pictures of their kids, or who
broke the news of the death of Osama bin Laden or [about] the technology that
fostered the organizations behind the Egyptian revolution.

PR News: What do you hope attendees will take away from your keynote
presentation on August 9?

Bough: In a word? Fear…just kidding. Perhaps attendees will feel, at
least, urgency. I want people in this industry to be scared enough to change.

Attend PR News’ Facebook Conference on August 9 in San Francisco and learn more from
digital leaders like Bonin Bough