In this series on How to Prepare for a Video Interview, we’re going to cover how to set up, how to prepare, tips for during the interview, and even best practice for using a smartphone.
This is part 1, all about setting up.
The two most important keys to any type of video are lighting and sound. Keeping these two things in mind will immediately make you look and sound more professional.
The first thing to consider is location.
Find a room with lots of light. Windows are ideal light sources but make sure they’re not behind you because you’ll become way too dark on camera. Keep the light in front of you, this should provide good natural and even lighting.
If it’s too bright, draw the shades, and if it’s dark you can add a lamp for more light. Just make sure the lamp is again, in front of you and around head-height to provide even lighting on your face.
The next thing you need to consider when picking a room, is sound.
In an empty room, it’s going to sound echo-y as sound reverberates off all the blank walls and hard floor. But a room that’s carpeted with stuff in it will dampen the sound, giving your voice a richer, clearer sound, and no annoying echo.
Do your best to find somewhere quiet. There’s nothing more distracting than an annoying noise in the background. If you have a landline turn your ringer off, make sure notifications are off on your computer, put your phone in do not disturb, and if possible put your kids on do not disturb, as well.
The last thing we should consider when picking a room is the background. A messy room is going to look professional and try not to have anything in the background that could be distracting like a noisy office.
Some people say a blank wall is best as there are no distractions but it can also seem boring and less personal. Try setting something up behind you; a bookshelf, house plant, or artwork to hang on a wall. This is a nice way to dress up the background and look professional.
When you’re setting up your webcam, you want to get the camera lens at eye level. If you leave it at the normal height of your desk, people on the other end are looking up at you and the ceiling. Use a box or something raise your laptop up. Now we’re eye to eye with the people on the other side, and this looks more natural as it’s how people are used to seeing you if you were in-person.
The next step is how to prepare for an interview. And that will be in our next video, part 2 of how to prepare for a video interview.