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Most folks jump onto a video call (whether it’s an interview or meeting) without preparing themselves properly…because you just need a camera and your face, right? What’s so hard about that?

Wrong. The posters on your wall are distracting, the dim lighting makes you look like a Disney villain, and the angle of your laptop camera isn’t flattering. You might not realize it but the person you’re talking to sure will!

That’s why we’ve put together this checklist of tips – you can use them for video meetings, job interviews and skype calls with your Great Aunt Esther. They’ll help you take care of all the little details, so you’re in the best position to rock your next video call.

An easy-to-share infographic is located at the bottom of this post.

1. Check your sound, video and internet

Okay, this might seem obvious, but too many people do just “assume” everything is working correctly. And often, it isn’t.

As well as making sure your microphone and camera work. Take a moment to check your internet connection and your laptop battery level (because 4% won’t get you through a video call). Even if everything was working fine last week,

You’ll also need to download any software you need for the call, whether that’s Skype, Zoom or another tool. And make sure you’ve set it up ahead of time (aka not five minutes before your call is supposed to start).

2. Make sure your backdrop is neutral and distraction-free

The folks you’re talking to can see what’s behind your head as well as your face. So make sure your surroundings are neat, tidy and free from distractions.

Try and position yourself in front of a blank wall, if possible. Or at least take a moment to tidy up and remove any eye-catching posters/knicknacks from view, plus make sure your phone is on silent. You want to make yourself the focus of the call, not your surroundings!

And above all, avoid environments like coffee shops, where there are a lot of people moving around and a lot of background noise.

3. Keep your lighting bright

You need to make sure the people you’re speaking with can actually see your face. And that means taking a minute to fix your lights.

Put a lamp behind your computer, so your face is illuminated. Or, go all out and put another lamp on your left and one on your right, so you’re bathed in a pool of golden light. This is also a great moment to take some great selfies for Instagram.

As a final check, make sure your overhead ceiling light isn’t casting unflattering shadows on your face: this is often a problem, and it’s why using at least one lamp is a good idea.

4. Position your camera at eye-level

Having your camera at eye level means you’ll be looking directly at the people you’re talking to, not up or down at them.

Getting this wrong is the big mistake most folks make with video calls on laptops. We usually push the screen away from ourselves, and end up staring down at the camera (and the person we’re talking to). This doesn’t exactly create the friendliest impression.

So prop your laptop up on a pile of books or pillows! Then make sure you’ve got the right camera height by testing your video.

5. Pretend you’re a movie star (or at least a Kardashian)

This is a quick tip for folks who get nervous on video calls. If you’re a diva and you live for the camera, feel free to ignore this one…

You’ve fixed up your lighting and you’re wearing nice clothes – or at least you should be, no pajamas please! It’s time to make-believe that this is a film set and now is your moment to shine.

At the very least, the image will make you smile and you’ll be more relaxed and open on your video call. Which means you’ll get your ideas across more passionately and confidently, creating a better impression!

If you’re curious about studying online…

You’ll find plenty of informative resources and course descriptions on our website.

And, you can also call us on 855.210.5641 (we love to chat) or schedule a consultation. We’ll answer all your questions!


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5 Essential Tips For Your Next Video Interview

5 Essential Tips For Your Next Video Interview