How to Look Great in a Video Interview

We came across a great post on LinkedIn pulse entitled “How to Look Great on Video” by Katie Wagner, a social media guru, trainer and speaker, where she talks about the proliferation of online video and how, for business owners, it can be “an important tool to connect with your target audience. Not only can you use video to explain or showcase your product, but it also helps your audience make an emotional connection with your brand.” Although her post was aimed at business owners, we saw the opportunity to adapt her tips to make sure you look your best on camera (in a video interview).

How to Look Great in a Video Interview

Content in italics is from Katie’s post.

Set up your shot – your place on screen

Professional videographers operate by what we call the ‘Rule of 3.’ When setting up a shot, you never want the subject of the shot (in this case, yourself!) in the middle of the screen. Instead, visualize dividing the picture up horizontally into thirds. The subject should be placed in 2/3 of the screen, leaving the other third to ‘breathe.’

Set up your shot – your posture

If you stand with your weight distributed between both feet, you will appear awkward and stiff. Instead, drop one foot behind you. This pulls one shoulder slightly away from the camera, and makes you appear more natural and less nervous.
In your video interview, you’re likely to be sitting down in front of your webcam or mobile device but learn from Katie’s advice and adjust your sitting pose or swivel your chair ever so slightly to one side.

Set up your shot – your body on screen
You want to see yourself from mid-chest level up. Any more than that, and your face is far away from the viewer. 

Set up your shot – your hands
At mid-chest level, your hands won’t be in the shot. However, if you use your hands a lot when you talk, they may fly up into the picture every now and then. This will be distracting for the viewer. Try bending your elbows softly, and touching the tips of your fingers together, about belt-level. That way, the part of your arms that the viewer sees in the shot looks nice and relaxed, but they won’t be distracted by your hands.

Dress the part
Katie had advised to “dress in a way that fits your job. If you wear jeans everyday, don’t put on a suit for your videos.” However, we’re suggesting that you dress appropriately for a job interview. Just because asynchronous video interviewing affords you the opportunity to interview from home, it doesn’t mean the interview process is any less formal or important so make an effort to make that good first impression with a dress code appropriate to a job interview.

Be yourself

Katie offered great advise on how to communicate on camera which we’ve summarised below:

  • Smile. It’s not cheesy to demonstrate the joy and love you have for your discipline and your work. Actions do speak louder than words and here a smile is worth thousand ‘I love X, Y and Zs.”
  • Amp up your energy on video. The camera will make you look less energetic than you actually are – so over-exaggerate your expressions. Interviewers are always on the look out for people with energy and enthusiasm – don’t be afraid to ham it up for camera – you will shine!
  • Forget your script. Get a handle on the information you want to convey in your video, and then just talk about it the same way you would to a prospective client. You’re probably good at talking about your business over coffee or at a networking event, so try to adopt the same attitude here. 
    Wise closing words from Katie and we couldn’t agree more. There are few things in life less interesting that a script being churned out to us. You know your stuff, you love your subject, you’d love to get this dream job so Share, don’t Shout to nail the job interview.

Good luck!