Over the years I've conducted a lot of video interviews over Skype. The technology is relatively easy to use, free unless you want a subscription or wish to use skype for calling, and has improved dramatically over the last few years.
Now, if you are a casual Skype user, you probably know how to use it, make video calls and send messages. This user guide can come in handy for you and might allow you to catch yourself in some bad habits. For first time users I hope I can address all the steps and also give you some pointers to make the video call more comfortable and useful.
So, to set up an account, go to www.skype.com and download the software if you don't have it on my computer or tablet already. Once you download the software you will need to set up an account. Your account name will be the name people use to find you on Skype. Since there are not a lot of people with the name of WineTalent, I was able to secure that account name. You will want to add your name, email and phone number for people in case they need to reach you when not on Skype.
Once you have your account name, you will go to your contacts section and find people you are going to Skype with. If you are using Windows 8, it is a bit hard to find the contacts, so click on People, and then right click on the screen and you can search for Skype users to find them. When you have found your video interview contact, send them a contacts request to establish a connection. The default setting is to have yourself always online. I don't use Skype consistently enough, so I take myself offline when I'm not planning to be using it.
When you set up your Skype account the software will walk you through setting up your audio and video equipment. It is very user friendly, and quick to do. This test set-up also let's you see the camera angle and the audio quality, so play around with it until the video setting looks good.
In the past it was best to have a hardwired internet connection--but the last few video calls I have done completely wireless and the quality was very good. Do a test run to see how the call quality is--and if you have to plug into your wireless router to improve the transmission.
Now, I think you should try to have a good backdrop when you skype. As I type this I am staring at my computer screen, looking at my desk. I've got all my desk accessories, my files and all those things a real desk has. But when someone will be seeing me through this computer, the view is completely different. For this reason, when I plan to do a skype call I take the background into consideration. And with that, I put my computer on my credenza so it is shooting the video into my desk for a backdrop.
Too often when people set up their Skype picture they are either shooting up at the ceiling (with ceiling fan turning, turning, turning during the call)
Or with a big blank wall and too close