Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Online Video Interview: How To Prepare Yourself For It

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Getting ready for an online video interview? Find out how to set up your computer, webcam, lights and microphone for a perfect online video interview.


Though for a geek this may be simple stuff, if you are not a technically skilled person or if you have never done an online video interview, getting to know the basics of how to avoid making this become a nightmare is something I strongly encourage you to be familiar with.

In this short video I explain to you in straight, simple words, what you need to do to set yourself up for an online video interview.


How To Prepare Yourself For An Online Video Interview

Full English Text Transcription

Hi! This is Robin Good for Master New Media!

You have been asked to have an online video interview? And you're getting stressed? All shaky just for that?

Come on! I Know, it is something new because been interviewed online is not something that happens every day, but it is going to happen more and more. And I figured out what it takes for you to be properly prepared to do a video interview, with me, with anyone else. Doesn't matter what software or tool they use. The rules are always the same. So, I have taken note of what really counts and I'm gonna give you some specific tips about what you need to prepare yourself for a proper online video interview when you are the one being interviewed.

  1. Ok. For what concerns yourself, where you place yourself, it is important you get yourself properly and comfortably sit in a place where you got some good light.

    This is the main problem everyone has got. You place yourself somewhere, you see, which does not look like it is dark, you think it is ok. No, that is not ok.

    You do not see it right now, but not only there is the sunshine out of here, but there is one, two, three, four lights going on here in all directions to make sure that the overall impression of my complexion and everything is very warm and cool. That does not happen automatically.

    At the very minimum, in a situation where you just need to do it just in time, just take one of those desk lamps and do not shoot it in your face. But shoot it in the wall in front of you. So kind of standing in front of the wall, that is possibly white- or light-colored and shoot a strong white light in front on that wall, so that you get some diffuse light on you.

  2. Second thing: frame yourself inside the webcam eye, the webcam lens, the camcorder that is shooting at you with your head.

    Do not go back and show all your body and all the stuff you got hanging on in the room, that is not relevant. You want to fill in the screen with just your face: from chin to the top of your head. You need to cut off nothing. And fill in with that. So you need just little background, and that should be as neutral as possible.

  3. Then remember: wherever the webcam is, look inside that eye. Look inside there. Do not look at the screen, at yourself, at the other guy, while you are talking and answering. Look inside the webcam. Turn your directions there and talk directly into it, as much as possible. Even if the guy is talking to you right here, you keep talking back to him back right there, you do not do all ah-ah-ah and then you ah. You just ah-ah-ah here the whole time.

To summarize:

  • Lights
  • Framing
  • Watching in direct
  • and Talking clearly and direct.
  • Do not rant. Do not go on too much on your own thing, telling your own story. You know, be concise. Give space so that this become more of a conversation, less of an interview.
  • Make sure you avoid having your speakers up (switched on) on your computer.
  • Use a headset. That makes you look kind of an astronaut, looks cool, technological: that is fine.
  • Get a good microphone.
  • Move the microphone away from being right in front of your mouth. When you get these microphones here, that come on front here like Michael Jackson, move them away from the front of your mouth and make sure it is not directly in front of where you are doing these noises. Because they will be felt. So, move the microphone out of the way. You will be heard very clearly. No matter what.

What else you need to:

  • Turn off your mobile.
  • Turn off your real telephone.
  • Make sure nobody is gonna ring at the door, at the bell and nobody is going to come and ask for help right now. Tell everybody in the office, at home, that you are doing a video interview for so many minutes: make sure nobody is going to disturb you.
  • Make sure you got batteries running, enough tape, and those are the basics.

Finally, it is likely that if the video interview is going to take place via the Internet, your video interviewer will ask you to download a video conferencing tool like OoVoo or Sightspeed or VSee. Go ahead and install it and then add the "nickname" or email of your video interviewer in your newly installed videoconferencing tool contact list.

Robin Good for Master New media. Talk to you soon. Ciao!


A Video Recording Backup Solution

When all else fails, you can always record a video contribution on your computer and then send it to your interviewer.

If the above is too complex or cannot be realized for some other reason here is another simple solution:

You can record your video answer to a possible video interview request asynchronously, by asking the reporter to send you ahead of time the questions via email and then by video recording your replies to them in this way:

1. Get on a Mac or PC and load either Windows Movie Maker (PC) or iMovie (Mac) (These two software tools are free and normally come pre-installed on your computer).

2. Make sure you have webcam, headset and microphone connected

3. Record your video answers by selecting your connected webcam as the video source

4. Save the video recording and set the video quality level for final output at the highest quality level possible. This will generate a very large file.

5. Send your interviewer the recorded video file via one of the many free services which allow you to send huge files.

Originally written by for Master New Media and first published on September 30th 2008 as "Online Video Interview: How To Prepare Yourself For It"

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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, September 30 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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