Tips for Video Interviewing
I put this list together to help the FileMaker developer interviewees get things setup up for a higher quality video interview session. And then thought other readers might find it helpful, as well. Enjoy!
Lighting is probably the most important issue:
- Turn on all lights in the room and open blinds and curtains.
- If more lighting is required, try to place the lights in front/side of the subject (you) offset at 45 degrees left and right.
- If you have one of those Home Depot construction lights (about $9 for a 500W model) just point it straight up at the ceiling, it will flood the room with good light. These lights are Halogen, so they tend to color shift — easily corrected with iGlasses
- Make sure the gap between your back and the wall behind you is at least 3′ — this keeps distracting shadows from appearing on the wall behind you.
- If you are wearing glasses and they are glaring, move the lights so they angle more directly to the sides of your face, rather than the front.
- Uneven lighting is ok as long as it is not too uneven. A little bit is actually desired — gives you a more natural look.
Distractions can be pretty disruptive and are mostly avoidable:
- Turn off cell phones, phone ringers, furnaces, coolers, refrigerators, coffeemakers, other computers, etc.,–anything that might beep or turn on during the interview.
- Put dogs and other animals outside and close the windows.
Background, remember, it’s in the interview too:
- A nice backdrop is good – generally uncluttered, preferably attractive and not too well lit.
- If you have a blank wall behind you and because of the size of the room, shadows are being created… light the wall behind you with a couple of clamp lights — that way the shadows that would be there, will be completely washed away with the additional lighting.
- A white or black screen is good, also.
Clothing, just some tips and some things to avoid:
- Wear nice comfortable clothes–collared shirts or pullovers, nice blouses, etc.
- Try not to wear blue or green articles of clothing
- Solid colors show up best, avoid anything with those little checkered patterns or tight, narrow striping.
How your actual Camera Lens is aimed, can make you intimidating, weak or very friendly:
- Make sure the camera is level and at the same exact height as your eyebrows.
- Put laptops on books to reach the proper height.
- Frame yourself so there is some background above and on both sides… don’t get the lens too close or far away.
- Need an example? Easy — watch any National News show and see how the professionals frame their shots! That’s what you want too.
How about you?:
- Use a Smile Reminder – some people like to draw a smiley face on a sticky note and attach to the camera near the lens in order to remind them to smile.
- Look into the camera when speaking — remember, that’s your audience – that’s why interviewees often focus on that sticky note — easy to talk to a Post It !
- Swivel chairs or standing while doing the interview – normally avoided at all costs. Both cause motion sickness for some viewers.
- There is a downloadable program for the Mac called iGlasses that allows you to adjust color, add effects, etc. It costs $20 and is worth it.
Sound Capture — the better people CAN hear you, the longer they will listen:
- The microphone on a laptop, built into your camera, or plugged into your mic jack should be fine. Please do a test video for color and sound before the interview recording starts.
- A standard Cell Phone wired ear-bud normally has a great microphone and places that mike close to your voice. If your test has weak audio, try your wired cell ear buds.
After implementing most or all of these guidelines, you should get output similar to the video at the bottom of this post.
If you spot or hear an issue, simply adjust and refine your setup a little more and have fun, knowing your setup is awesome!