Today more interviews are being done by video conferencing instead of face-to- face. Ever see a video of yourself or hear a recording of your voice and say, “Do I really look or sound like that?” Usually it’s not very complementary. The same goes for how you look and sound during a video conference call. Here are some tips to consider when planning a video interview.
You need to look the part – Make the assumption that you’re interviewing in person at someone’s office. Dress the part, be well groomed, and highly presentable. Never wear a white shirt or blouse as it will wash out your features. Also, plaids or confusing patterns will detract from your overall appearance.
Room arrangement – Place your computer at a location where the windows are in front or to the side of you. If the window is behind you, you’ll appear in silhouette. If possible, don’t have a busy background scene like a bookcase with knick-knacks to distract the interviewer. They could be more interesting than you. You want the focus on your face and what you have to say, not your surroundings.
Lights, shade and lamps – The position of light can make you look attractive or not. A table lamp with a soft but moderately bright light on each side of the computer will illuminate your features in a pleasing way. If the light only comes from one side it will put the other side of your face in shade, giving you an ominous look. Remember: Windows in front.
Type of devise – Desk top computers are easier to position as they have a built-in camera that is eye-level. Laptops, webcams, and smartphones can be problematic if they are set to a wide-angle view. If you get too close your facial features become distorted, as in a fun house, and you’ll appear clown-like. Because your nose is in front, it could appear twice its normal size.
Angle to the camera – Always try to be at eye-level with the camera. This is more difficult with a laptop computer. If the laptop is below looking up at your face, the view is very unflattering. Actors will never allow the camera to be at that angle. The camera should be at eye level or slightly above. Look at the camera and not the computer screen so your eyes aren’t half closed.
Voice and sound management– Make sure you and your interviewer can hear and understand each other. When people interview, sometimes it causes stress that raises the voice volume and tone. Lower your voice so you don’t sound “squeaky”. A lower voice is more pleasing. Also, slow down your verbal pace so you sound more focused rather than rattling on without thought.
Other considerations – When getting ready, put small post-it notes on the computer screen: Questions, key points, position description or other important information for talking points. The interviewer can’t see them, but they’re a great resource for you.
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