This post is part of a series exploring the different forms MBA interviews take and how you can ace them all!
Skype is often used for MBA interviews when an in-person interview isn’t feasible.
A Skype interview is a conversation via Skype with video on. Occasionally, when Internet connection isn’t great, the Skype interview may need to be conducted with video off because the video puts more demand on the connection, and I’ve also known of times when a phone interview had to replace Skype because of connection problems.
Skype interviews can replace either:
• the in-person interview with an adcom member, or
In both cases, follow the guidelines and tips for these two interview formats in the previous linked posts.
Why adcoms use this method
Skype allows adcoms, alumni, and students to interview applicants in situations where it might not otherwise be possible, e.g., remotely located applicant, sudden change in one party’s schedule, interruptions such as weather-related flight changes, etc.
Benefits and pitfalls for applicants
• Benefit: can showcase your adaptability and comfort with any communication medium.
• Benefit: if you establish a warm, “human” connection with the interviewer over the technology, it can really stand out and leave a strong positive impression.
• Pitfall: you’re at the mercy of the technology functioning well.
• Pitfall: it can seem awkward compared to an in-person interview.
• Pitfall: you have to pay attention not just to yourself but to your setting and your position vis-à-vis the camera.
How to make this type of interview work for you
(This is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews and in addition to the advice in the two previous links above):
• Dress professionally down to your footwear – it will help you maintain, and reflect, a professional mindset and focus.
• It’s tempting to use notes because you can put them out of camera range, but I strongly suggest not doing so; your glances away from the interviewer and to your notes may seem subtle to you, but they will not likely be to your interviewer.
• Before the call, prepare the background (i.e. lighting, visuals) and your camera position (you don’t want the camera aiming up at your neck).
• Practice a bit on the medium, even though you normally engage well in person. It’s a different sense and feel than in person.
• Clarify date, time, and time zone. For some reason mistakes or miscommunications on these simple things are easier with Skype than when scheduling in-person meetings.
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