How to prepare for a video interview.
When it comes to the written word, I’m golden.
That’s my natural stage.
Show me a blank page — or a screen — and I’ll find the right words, with ease.
On-screen, I’m, well, competent. But not phenomenal. And lately — with a deluge of video interviews and book launch festivities on the horizon — that’s been bothering me.
So when Ellie Scarborough Brett — a foxy media trainer and former NBC correspondent — offered to give me a private masterclass on how to shine and sizzle on video, I said HOLY YES and THANK YOU.
We created a can’t-mess-it-up checklist to help you nail your next video interview, too.
Print out this page and pin it next to your workspace. You’ll be SET for your next job interview-at-a-distance, promotional presentation, webTV episode or livestreaming chat. And someday? The hotseat of your favorite reality TV show. (Mine? This-one-oh-my-gosh.)
The Pre-video Checklist:
10 things to do before you switch your webcam ON.
( ) Lighting! Sit facing a window — natural light is always best. Then, place two big lamps at 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock, to illuminate both sides of your face.
( ) Audio! Turn off your phone. Put the dog outside. Explain to your infant that you’re going to require a few moments of silence. Experiment with placing a pillow on either side of your computer to absorb outside noise and pick up your voice even better.
( ) Make-up! That dewy, shimmery powder you love so much … will look sweaty and slithery on camera (oh, how I’ve learned!) Fortunately, you went to MAC and invested in cosmetics that are specifically designed for on-camera work. Smart move!
( ) Giant earrings! Take them off. They’re swingy and distracting. That big, chunky statement necklace? Yes. Put that on. Also: are you wearing any busy prints or patterns? Swap those for simple, jewel-tone attire. Let your outfit be striking, not distracting.
( ) Angle! Set your computer on a stack of three or four big books, so that your webcam is at eye level. If it feels like your computer is a little bit higher than it should be, it’s in the right place.
( ) Eyes! Look up at your webcam, not at yourself or the person you’re talking to. Gazing slightly upward will make your whole face feel open and bright.
( ) Pronunciation! Are you being introduced by an interviewer? Do they know how to pronounce your name? And the name of your website, business or blog? Are you sure? Make sure.
( ) Leveling! Doing a split-screen interview? Make sure that you and your interviewer are sitting about the same distance away from your computers, so that your faces are the same size.
Also: check to make sure there’s an equal amount of space above both of your pretty heads.
( ) Philosophy! To quote Ellie: “An interview is a conversation with a purpose.”
Repeat your philosophy and life purpose to yourself, three times.
Try: “I am here to add more _______ to the world.”
Or: “I am here to show people how to ________.”
Or: “My job is to make _______ easier.”
Or simply: “My intention for this interview is to inspire ONE PERSON to _______.”
( ) Smile! We live in magical times. You’re about to be translated into pixels and propelled across the Internet! Grin and rejoice.
You’ve got this.
How do YOU get pumped and primed for an interview — or any big, exciting conversation?