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Tips to ensure a good video link interview

As more TV interviews are being conducted via video link rather than having a camera operator present, here's a handy reminder about your surroundings to ensure you're presented in the best light.

Ingrid Harrison
Ingrid Harrison
3 months ago
Being seen in the best light vital when you're communicating

LIKE us you've probably been watching a lot of television interviews being conducted through video conferencing apps. Some of them are pretty frightening both in terms of quality and the positioning of the interviewee.

Here are five tips to help you look more on top of your game during the whole exercise. What we mean by that is helping you look more professional and presentable on camera.

If you've been asked for an interview on the news, video-supported podcast, or even presenting to a group, just remember to do these few things before you log into the event.

Raise the camera

We are not ear nose and throat specialists, so there’s no need for us to see up your nose. The first thing you need to do is elevate your camera. Place your laptop, phone, or tablet on a large stack of books until the camera lens is at eyebrow level. This is going to feel a little odd, but it’s a better look for two reasons:

1 Nobody wants to see up your nose.

2 You don’t look like you’re talking down to the viewer, but talking with your viewer.

Tilt the Camera Down

They call it more or less 'headroom'. It boils down to how much space is between the top of your head and the top of the shot. Getting this shot right requires a little adjusting of the laptop or tilting of the device you're using Occasionally the shot cuts off half of your forehead, which means adjusting the camera up. Mostly people being interviewed need to tilt the camera down to reduce the space between their head and the top of the screen. Either way, just make sure there’s just a little space between the top of your head and the top of the screen.

Lighting

The closest we all have to studio lighting is what is beaming in from the outside — natural light. Allow it to light you up.

Do: Sit close to a window allowing natural light to brighten your face.

Don’t: Sit in direct sunlight. This gives you a harsh look. Plus it makes you squint.

Don’t: Sit with your back to a window. We then only see your outline making you look like a whistleblower whose identity is being protected.

Background

Give your viewer a comfortable experience watching you. Sitting directly in front of a wall gives you a cramped, uninteresting environment. Instead, sit in front of a background with depth. If you’re at home, position yourself so we see your office behind, or in your living room with some furniture and appropriate decor on the wall. Make sure the overhead lights are on (but not directly overhead) or at least ensure there’s plenty of natural light to fill the room.

Audio

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if it’s Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Webex or Hangouts, the audio is often not good. The best thing you can do for your interviewer is to be as close as your video shot allows. Positioning yourself too far back from your computer, phone, or tablet will cloud your audio with too much room noise.

So there you have it. Five important tips which we believe will show you in the best light.

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