I’ve met with individuals over Skype and I have trouble getting beyond their tech difficulties, clutter in the background, angle of the camera (up their nose), and their nervous habits (drinking water, clanking things on the desk, shifting around in their chair). Make sure all of these things are in order or your message will not be heard. The interviewers want to see that you are on your way to becoming a leader in the profession and being prepared is key. Second to that is being personable. Most people don’t understand that this involves being vulnerable, thoughtful, and well-rounded. Always have a couple of favorite stories in mind to share. Write then down on paper in front of you along with important career highlights and dates. Share your favorite book and how it’s meaning changed your approach to your work or be ready to share an embarrassing moment that you turned around into a learning experience. Good luck!
If you have any blemishes in your application, such as low test scores, criminal convictions or poor grades, think carefully before you offer a rationale. If you were to survey career coaches and faculty, some would advise you to describe anomalies because, if you do not, you leave it open to imagination. Others, however, would only encourage you to share details if the graduate program requests it. Advisers on this side of the camp fear that graduate programs may perceive such descriptions as potential liabilities or excuses, especially if your grades were repeatedly low. For example, while committee members may empathize if you reveal that you struggle with test anxiety, they may still question your ability to succeed. Most graduate programs entail tests, and many occupations require individuals to pass licensing examinations before they can enter the fields. Applicants’ inability to perform in this arena may jeopardize the professional standing of the institution.