Preparing for video interviews

Everyone is being interviewed on camera these days it’s important to remember some important things before going into the interview. Here, I consolidate some of my thinking from other videos and podcasts into a few core points.

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Preparing for video interviews is a little bit different than preparing for an in-person interview or a phone interview. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I've done a lot of videos over time. But I want to consolidate to one video where I focus in on a couple of key points so you're not picking it up in dribs and drabs.

Now, one thing is, should be obvious, the background should be a pleasant background that allows you to pop against it. So, for example, in my case, I've got, you know, a certain color wall, I'm wearing something that contrasts and thus I stand that on camera. You also don't want to be too close; you don't want to be too far away. You want to be in a position on camera where you occupy center stage, just like you would on an interview. So you don't want to be to a side obviously. You don't want to appear small because your presence and bearing on camera, make a difference.

Have a microphone, if you can. The computer audios are just not good enough. And at this point, given that we're all doing so many video conversations, it just makes sense to make a minor investment, because things like this don't cost as much as they used to. Do a quick quick review. Like I've used a Blue Yeti microphone. I'll put a link to it in the show notes if you want to order one. And thus, what you're able to do is get a good sound to your voice.

Same thing with camera. See whether you look fuzzy on camera, or whether it's clear. I use a Logitech Brio camera that's external, and thus, I'm able to have a better quality video. Between them, with that in the microphone, I have good video and audio. Because like on phone interviews, your voice matters. And thus you have to sound well.

And I bring it back to first impressions. What's your presence on camera like when they connect with you. I'd like you to be there smiling with a twinkle in your eyes to connect with you occupying center stage so they can see you and get a sense of how you present.

As you know, these days, how you dress from here up matters. They don't care what shoes you're wearing, they don't care what trousers you have. And there are, of course, the obnoxious situations where people aren't wearing them. But this is all they're ever going to see. So just be aware and dress properly from the center of your chest up. You'll see yourself on camera. You know, how you should look. For women, makeup, if that's what you normally would wear. Because again, you want to present well.

Avoid the virtual back backgrounds if you can and in doing so recognize that for most people with virtual backgrounds, when there's movement, at times your head gets chopped. There's a distortion that distracts people from the conversation with you.

If you're at home and family is going to be there, give them a sense of when you might be having the interview so that your husband, wife or partner can minimize noise for themselves. Or if there's a young child there, perhaps they can persuade the child to be a little quieter. And if not, address it proactively and just simply say, "my four year old is home. I apologize in advance if there's any background noise that is disturbing. She's normally, he's normally great, and they're four years old." That's a quick way of addressing it.

And, like any other interview, you have to be prepared. You want to make sure that you've looked at their backgrounds online, you have a sense of the job, you've hopefully purchased my book, The Ultimate Hob Interview Framework or my course along those lines, because it will help you prepare. But fundamentally, your camera has to be strong. Your signal has to be strong. One of the worst things that happen is when you wind up in a conversation with someone and suddenly that message pops up that says

"internet connection slow," and you know you're going to have a problem right after that.

Last point. Last point. On zoom and on many other platforms, there's an option called speaker view. What it does is it puts you in a small box on top which was side. And it allows you to have a conversation directly with someone. It is a great way to do it as opposed to side by side, where the tendency is to talk to the person and tilt your head and not make eye contact. Making eye contact, just like in a real interview, an in-person interview, does matter.

Hope you found these these tips helpful. I'm Jeff Altman. My website is Go there and go exploring but minimally put it in your phone so that, this way, when you think you need advice, you can go to the website, go exploring or contact me for coaching or because you have questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn at Mention that you saw the video. I like knowing that I'm helping some folks. And I'll also say that I mentioned my course, The Ultimate Job Interview Framework that's available in video form at with an S at the end or on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book.

Have a terrific day. Be great. Good luck.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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