Networking with Skype - Etiquette and Expectations


When networking with startups long distance, the go-to tool seems to be Skype.

What are the usual expectations people have when using skype? Do most people expect to use video chat? Is there any additional etiquette to be mindful of?

I prefer to chat without video since I find it distracting and harder to focus. I usually explain this at the beginning of the call but wondered if that's not even necessary.

Thanks in advance!

Tools Skype Etiquette

asked Mar 28 '14 at 21:27
Lindsey Wilson
565 points

3 Answers


Here's how we do it:

  • Skype call without video if collaborating.
  • Skype call with video when interviewing a candidate.
  • Unless it's something that is explained significantly easier with a call, we stick to text based chat.

I think (hope) that's the case with other companies as well. Video is indeed a distraction at most times.

An exception is a weekly Google Hangout we do sometimes with the entire team. When everyone works remotely on their own, this really helps create a sense of belonging.

answered Mar 28 '14 at 21:34
Nishank Khanna
4,265 points


Can't stress this enough: schedule an exact time *before* video calling someone.

answered Mar 28 '14 at 21:37
Bruce Schwartz
767 points
  • And sticking to that schedule. Putting it in each other's Google Calendar with an alert should be the norm. – Nishank Khanna 5 years ago


Text based Skype chat:

  • Send any time
  • If the recipient is busy, they should set their status as "busy". In which case the sender knows they shouldn't keep staring at the window for a response.

Video based Skype chat:

  • Schedule in advance as @Bruce mentioned.
  • Dress the part.
  • Use only when you want to visually explain something (on a whiteboard, for example).
  • For interviews.
answered Mar 28 '14 at 21:45
Darrell Moore
12 points

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Tools Skype Etiquette