How to Set up a Video Interview in This Pandemic

Preparing for a video interview requires research, practice, and set design.


Tanush Prem

3 years ago | 4 min read

This is what a virtual interview looks like. This is what it feels like. Interviews are already nerve-racking, but when you throw a video element into it, it becomes that much more anxiety-inducing for a lot of people.

With many of us home now, chances are your next interview will be done through a screen and, well It’s really hard to make that connection with the interview, but one of the best ways you can do that is to present well.

Set the Scene

So ideally, you want to have a nice, clean, simple background. Just the blank wall is perfectly fine. You also want to think about lighting. For example, if you have lighting behind you, you could end up looking like a silhouette on the screen.

Ideally, natural lighting is the best, so if you have a window that you can face
or a window to your side, that would be perfect. But also, if you don’t have a window to provide natural lighting, you can resort to using a desk lamp. And you want to have your camera at eye level with you.

That way, you’re not looking up at the interviewer and they’re peering up your nostrils and you’re also not looking down on them. If you just grab a couple of books and pile them up and sit the laptop on top of that, that is gonna raise it enough to bring that camera right at the eye level for you.

Plan your Outfit

Do a little bit of research about the company so you know what their culture is going into it. You don’t want to show up to your virtual interview in a nice suit if they’re a very casual company. Keep your ensemble basic. Don’t go for really busy patterns. And try to stay away from solid colours
that is bright as those can kind of wash you out on screen.

So you might not necessarily consider your headphones as being an accessory or part of your everyday outfit, but it’s something that you need to consider not using when you are getting prepared for a remote interview.

When you think of somebody with headphones in, they’re unapproachable and somebody that you don’t want to speak to, so forgo using the headphones and just stick with using the external speakers, microphones
that you have on your computer.
(bell dings) — Hello, hello, hello.

Test your Tech

It’s making sure that your webcam is working, your speakers are working.
You need to make sure you have enough internet speed.

Generally speaking, programs like Zoom prefer 1.8 megabytes per second to stream a one-on-one video call, and you can easily test your internet speed going on Google and just typing speed test and you’ll get tons of different options.

If you’re relying on Wi-Fi that’s kind of a little inconsistent with the connectivity, you can always just invest in an ethernet cable, plug that directly into your computer and into your modem and you’re gonna have much more stable internet connection.


And a great way to do that is just to, you know, use a friend or a family member who’s willing to hop on a video call with you. It makes all the difference and especially when it comes to eye contact. We tend to look down on the screen, but what that looks like on the other side is that you’re looking away and not genuinely looking at the person that you’re talking to.

So it’s always important to practice and look directly into the camera. If you get easily distracted by your image on the screen, a really simple thing you can do to avoid that just uses a Post-It note and cover up your image. That way, you’re not gonna be distracted by it and it’s out of sight and out of mind.


It’s inevitably going to happen that a distraction may come around so don’t ever panic when something happens. The more that you do or if you make a quick decision to turn off your audio or your video as a knee-jerk reaction, that could be more detrimental than the actual distraction itself.

But if it does cause the interviewer to get interrupted with what they’re doing, you want to address it and not pretend like it didn’t happen. You want to make sure that you’re able to say, “Oh, my bad, that happened,” and move forward after that.

When you’re at home, even when you’re on an interview, you kind of have that more casual atmosphere than actually going into an office building to interview, and with that casual feeling, you might end up doing something that you wouldn’t even think of in an office setting.

For example, having your phone out. So just turn it off and put it out of sight. And make sure you have all of your internet browsers and windows closed. You don’t need that open. The only thing you should have open on your computer during the interview is the program that you’re using to conduct the interview.

Remote interviews and video interviews are a lot different. They are. But as they become more mainstream, we must adapt and adjust to them. That way, we can continue with our careers and making career moves and not letting the fear of video interviews hold us back.

Originally published on medium.


Created by

Tanush Prem

Ceo & Co-Founder at We Source Talks about #life, #future, #startup, #entrepreneur, and #healthyliving







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