Skype interviews are terrifying in their own right, so I’ve put together a few tips to help you get through them:
You can request Skype interviews not only if you are an international student but also if you’re unable to make it to Oxford due to weather conditions or other restrictions. Please ensure that you contact your college well in advance regarding this.
Time zones – if you are an international student, it is very likely that you will be in a different time zone. Make sure you correctly adjust the interview time (likely to be in GMT) to your local time. Double checking doesn’t hurt.
Test out your Skype connection beforehand, including the video settings.
Keep a phone at hand - in case Skype doesn’t get through, you may have to have an interview over the phone.
Make sure you are in a quiet area with no one around. They might ask you to take the interview in your school or other official settings but if you’re unable to, it is completely fine to have it at home.
Please do not have anyone else in the room. If they get the impression that someone is feeding you the answers, things might not end up well. You might be asked to do a camera sweep of the room to ensure that you’re alone.
Keep pens and paper at hand, you often need to work through questions and show them the answers through your webcam.
Wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Don’t stress over your appearance.
Always, always, always think out loud. Whatever happens, do not go completely still. Let them know what you’re thinking and how you are approaching the problem.
It is often said that because most Skype interviews are scheduled after the interviews of those present in Oxford, the tutors have already made up their mind and don’t take you as seriously. Please know that this is completely false. Skype interviews are just as important to tutors as other interviews and you are certainly not at a disadvantage just because you’re further away than the other interviewees.
I hope the above tips prove useful and I wish all candidates all the very best for their interviews!