What to wear to a Skype Interview
Skype is an video-calling web tool that allows users to connect with each other. Med Kharbach writes, “educators and teachers connect with each other and organize online meetings from everywhere in the world. Check out Teachers Guide to The Use of Skype in Education to learn more about this platform.”
Ok, that is the pedagogy. Now for the nitty-gritty.
There are 28 million Skypers online. I was one of them… four years ago. I created a cute, but oblique username, cryptic password and jauntily clicked on the web cam to take my Profile picture.
A creepy image manifested itself into my view. Horrified at the way my face rendered on the huge laptop screen, I slammed my laptop screen down and skittered away from Skype. I begged my handyman to reopen my laptop, deactivate my account, and I resolved to stay a Flintstone in the emerging Jetson world of video communications.
I nurtured my Luddite point of view until recently when a job interview request mandated Skype as the communication interface. Here are ten essential lessons I learned from my DeMille close-up moment.
Be Techy: Always hard-wire your Skype sessions. Wireless is just too risky when accepting important Skype calls. If your wireless connection fluctuates and frazzles when your neighbor downloads a NetFlix, your face will freeze in the absolute most unflattering Rorschack pose EVER!
Be Aware: Skype will settle nicely into an automatic Start-up when you boot Windows, meaning that you in all of your make-up-free glory will be available for any available insomniacs unless you also know to …
Be Covert: Always set your status to “Offline”. Also, wait until you are offline to accept Skype Friend requests. Unless, of course, you always look like Cindy Crawford while lounging around after work or first thing in the morning. Ready and rowdy friends can immediately pounce on your Friend acceptance, leaving you unprepared for the Skype call fall-out.
Be Clear: My first Skype practice session friend Sue commented that I appeared fuzzy and blurred to her. Taking her advice to heart, I bounded outside for a soul-refreshing hike and swim. Still no luck. I lacked the clarity I reasoned that only a new pair of shoes would refresh. Ditto for a latte and a matiness of “The Best Marigold Hotel.”
It was my LA-based friend Beth who surveyed the situation and immediately ordered me to take off the oval lens protection tape covering the webcam orifice. The instant clarity rivaled face-lifts and Lasik surgery.
Be Design-conscious: Skype definitely awakens the necessity Set Decoration. Definitely accept no calls until Skypers can see the whites of your walls. Or “Neutral Urban Dusk” as the stylish, young girl coos to describe a wall color the next Design Star. I’ve also set the DVR for Love It or List It to pick up as many set decorating tips as I can after the afore-mentioned Beth called me out on my minimalist background style.
“Throw something on the wall so they don’t think you are speaking from a vacuous void! You had an orange room in junior high, what happened???” Only a childhood friend could offer such poignancy.
Definitely check the 360-degree view of your Skype landscape. Move sock puppets. Ditto any velvet renderings of dogs playing poker or Elvis in any decade. Don’t commence a Skype interview from a “Slash Room” you know…an office/study/guest bedroom/storeroom. It’s just too creepy.
(Let there) Be Light: My company cohort, Mary says, “check the lighting. I look infinitely better on webcam when the light is right. You have to be like Sheldon and find your ‘spot.’ otherwise your grandkid thinks you are the Monster Who Hides Under the Bed. My niece-in-law from China has her webcam hooked up to 50 inch Samsung HD and that’s how she Skypes.
Be Mindful: Time passes. Be mindful of the passage of time: Webcams are unforgiving little demons. My personal view is that because they were invented by children younger than my potted fern, they are oblivious to wrinkle creep and turkey-neck. Using a scarf to hide unsightly folds of skin is just too Grey Gardens. Turtlenecks are too Lands’ End, especially in the sweltering Southern summers. The best alternative is to doff a high-necked jacket in a warm-coral-based color. Unless you are a man, in which case, wear anything you like except a Metalhead t-shirt with mustard stains. My friend Reggie did this and I can testify that even from 2000 miles away, mustard is mustard and the stain does show.
And, as Always…Be Taylor-tastic: Finally, learn from Elizabeth Taylor: Elizabeth’s grooming quote of the 1950’s has merit today:
Did I forget anything? What would you add?