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Candidate Help & Advice

4 Steps in Creating Your Video Interview Environment

Video Conference photo from ShutterstockHave you had a video interview? If you have not been in a video interview yet, just wait. This could be done via Skype, Google Hangouts, or a variety of other platforms. The key to a successful video interview is to look and, more importantly, sound your best.

Room Selection

The room environment where you will be interviewed is key. You want good, consistent lighting and excellent acoustics. Pick a room that is devoid of hard surfaces (like tile or wood floors), glass table tops, or lots of windows. Select a room with carpet and possibly drapes on the walls. When I record my webinars, I am in my master bedroom closet where the hanging clothes creates a studio-like audio environment. You probably cannot hold a video interview in your closet, but you get the point. You will want to position yourself in the room where you are less than six feet from a wall. If your webcam has an auto focus feature you will want the camera to focus on you and not something behind. A little trick is to buy a simple room divider with smooth surfaces and place it behind you. If you select the right room for your video interview everything else becomes so much easier.


You want even, full spectrum lighting on the front of your face. If this is your home or office, most lighting is from above or the side. Purchase three inexpensive desk lamps and install full spectrum light bulbs. These will act as key lights and give you even lighting. Place these pointing up at your face on the front, left and right. Finally, close all of the window shades. Do not spend more than $50 on the lighting. You may already have the lamps in your house or office.


In the world of high definition video, your audio is more important than your video. Our tolerance for poor audio is much lower than for video. You will want to sound great. If you have picked the room properly with sound deadening materials this is fairly easy. Use a set of headphones. These could be the ear buds from your cell phone. You can run the wire underneath the back of your shirt so they do not show. This will eliminate any chance of an echo. If you use headphones you can use the microphone built into your computer. However, I prefer to use a USB condenser microphone. I use a Samson condenser microphone that I purchased with a pop filter several years ago for under $100.

Clothing and Body Positioning

Pick clothes that have color and look good on you. For most of us guys, we will need to ask for help. Avoid patterns on shirts, jackets and ties. The cameras have gotten a lot better at dealing with patterns, but it is still best to avoid them. I prefer my clients to be standing up when being interviewed. You will be able to use your hands naturally. Since you will only be on video from the waist up, wear shoes that will not generate any noise when you move around. Flip flops work great. The most important feature is to be in an environment where you feel comfortable. You are on stage and you want to give your best performance. Much has been written on how to perform during a video interview. However, a great performance can come across poorly without the right environment.

Marc MillerCareer Pivot

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