by Robert Vanisko  Now that springtime is on its way many UM students are in the middle of applying for their summer internships. One of the most important steps in the applying process is interviewing. But how do you interview for an internship in New York City when you are here in Miami for the rest of the semester? Although phone interviews are common, many employers prefer a face-to-face meeting for a job interview, which is why more and more employers have been turning to Skype interviews. With the frequency of Skype interviews on the rise, it is important to be prepared for one.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a Skype interview:  

Dress for the occasion
Even though you are interviewing via the Internet, you should still dress professionally. Many job applicants make the mistake of dressing casually or only dressing professionally from the waist up, since that’s all that can be seen on camera. Professional dress is important, not only to impress the interviewer, but to also keep yourself in a professional mindset during the interview.  

Conduct your interview in a quiet location
Make sure you are located in a calm, quiet room for your interview. A crowded, noisy area could make it difficult for you and the employer to hear each other and thus distract from your interview.  

Test your Internet connection prior to the interview
Be sure to test your Internet connection prior to beginning the interview. Although dropped Skype calls are not necessarily your fault, they may reflect poorly on you in the eyes of the employer. Be sure to have an Ethernet cable on hand, as it is much more reliable that wireless Internet.  

Turn off your cell phone and all computer alerts
Just about everybody knows by now that you should never have your cellphone on when going into an interview, but that sentiment still applies to Skype interviews. Text message alerts and ringtones are just as distracting and unprofessional in a Skype interview as they are in a regular interview. Also make sure that email notifications are turned off and any website that can make noise, such as Facebook and AIM, are closed as well.

Look directly into the camera
Eye contact is very important when interviewing for a job, but where are you supposed to look to maintain eye contact in a Skype Interview? Looking directly into the eyes of the interviewer on the screen may feel like eye contact, but to the interviewer it will appear that you are looking down. The best way to maintain contact via Skype is to look directly into the camera. Looking directly into the camera will not only help you maintain eye contact, but it will also help keep you focused throughout the interview.