Video tips for success

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Video tips for success


It’s official. Video interviews are here to stay. With today’s new normal, their importance has elevated exponentially.

Now is the time to sharpen your skills with the best video meeting tools and know-how. Companies may vary on the software, Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Facetime, or Whereby, to name just a few, but video communications are happening!

Want to knock your next video interview out of the park? See these great tips to make your next video session a success. Note – These tips are useful for both candidates and hiring managers.


  1. Good lighting is critical. Lighting is the key to great video, and good lighting will make you clearer on your video stream and allow “virtual backgrounds” to work better. Make sure there is more light in front of you than behind you. Bring in a desk lamp to light the side of your face. Open a window shade slightly to add more light to the other side of your face. You just want to make sure to have more lighting on your face than on the background. Need a cool light to clip on your desk? You can find these easily on Amazon for $20 and under, (they are USB powered and easily clip to your desk).
  2. Turn off the things that go ding. If you have Instant Messenger, Apple Messages, new email notifications, or other apps that ding open on your desktop or phone, be sure to turn them off before your video calls begin. The sound notifications on your computer are broadcast during a Zoom call and can be distracting. Just turn these off, or at least silence the notifications.
  3. Check your headroom. In the TV world, the space above the top of your head to the top of the video frame is called headroom. Too much headroom can be distracting, so here’s a simple way to set up. Once your video is on, put two to three finger-widths of space at the top of your head to the top of your frame (assuming a typical screen size). This improves your appearance and lines up your eyes to an appealing level (in design, we call it the rule of thirds). Your eyes are on the top third of the video screen.
  4. Do your hair and makeup. Whether working from home or remotely, be sure to check your appearance before each video meeting. Check and double check your hair/makeup and clothing choices. Business casual is still the best bet, and bold, solid colors look best. Vivid colors will “pull you forward” visually in the frame. Needless to say, now is not the time to break out that favorite polka dot or crazy Hawaiian shirt. This topic always reminds me of a candidate many years back who rushed to a video interview for us. His appearance was quite ruffled. He looked like he had just stepped out of a windstorm and his tie was askew. It was not the polished, professional appearance our clients were looking for.
  5. Check your background. Be mindful of what’s behind you. You don’t want your audience seeing something that influences their perception of you. If necessary, hang a plain sheet on the wall.
  6. On the Client Side. One of the most significant losses of not being able to do an on-site interview is the candidate loses the perception of how nice a place your actual workplace is. And of course a company tour: a smiling, welcoming employee at reception, seeing happy people walking down the hallway, laughter coming from the breakroom.


But here is an excellent way to approach this challenge. Take a walk around the office with your smartphone. Shoot a 60-second video of the surroundings. If possible, add a few seconds of what your candidate’s new office looks like. And, if you really want to look sharp, you could add a picture of the team. Send it as a part of a follow-up email to the candidate. Not only will your candidate get a great idea of what their new office building, conference rooms, and team might look like, but will also appreciate your thoughtfulness!

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