11 Tech Tips for a Stress-Free Video Interview


You’ve landed the interview of your dreams. It’s for a remote job that pays more than you ever thought you could make working part-time (or maybe it’s for that international gig you’ve been daydreaming of). In short, you are over the moon!

But the interview is over Skype and you are petrified. Of course, you’ll try to look natural and you’ll rehearse what you should say. But what if there is a terrible echo? Is it okay to join the interview sitting in bed in your room? (Where else will you find a background that hides your messy apartment!?)

You’ve got this. Read on for a list of absolutely everything to do, from your tech setup to “designing your set,” to making sure you look and sound fantastic on your video interview.

1. Get Headphones

If you do nothing else to prepare for a video chat, do this one thing: use headphones. An echo ruins a video chat, fast. And lags in connection and internet blips can easily create an echo, delay, or other sound disruption that can be lessened with headphones. People will forgive your video quality, but they won’t forgive your sound. If the person on the other end can’t understand what you are saying, you’re in trouble!

So, dig up those headphones that came with your first iPhone, or buy a pair of cheap headphones with a mic. (For example, Skullcandy makes a pair for $20.) Your sound will be crisper, the risk of echo will be reduced drastically, and those sirens and dogs barking in the background won’t get in the way of the great impression you’re making on screen!

Note: even if you don’t have headphones with a mic, regular old headphones will work to reduce the echo as well. A sketchy set of headphones is better than no set of headphones.

2. Download The Necessary Tech

Most video chat systems require time to download either an application or a plugin. Do a quick search of the technology that your video interview is using, and see what you need to prepare.

Two common (and free!) platforms to use are Google Hangout and Skype. There is a quick plugin for Google Hangout that requires a browser restart (download here), and an easy application download for Skype (find your version here). There are hundreds of other video platforms that you could use, such as Cisco WebEx and GoToMeeting, so setting aside 15 minutes before your interview to make sure you have the right tech downloaded will ensure you are prepared!

3. Test Your Internet

Being on a video chat requires solid, fast internet speed. Starbucks Free WiFi just isn’t gunna cut it. Test the internet speed at the location where you are going to be joining the video interview by running a free test at speedtest.net. Google recommends an upload and download speed of at least 4 Mbps for a solid video connection.

Also, wireless internet signal can fade in and out. If you have an ethernet cable handy (they usually come free with your internet router or you can purchase one on Amazon for less than $10), plug it in to ensure you have a steady connection.

4. Check Your Sound Inputs and Outputs

Do a quick check of your sound settings to make sure everything is set correctly. Every video chat system has slightly different settings, but most will default to “built-in audio,” which means the speakers and microphone on your computer. If you are using headphones and there is an option to set to your headphone audio (and microphone) instead, click it!

On Skype, you can try speaking and watch the audio bar rise and fall with your volume.

Skype sound settings video interview

If you are using Google Hangout, try playing a test sound to make sure you can hear in your headphones.

google hangout sound settings video interview

5. Plug In Your Charger

Video drains your battery more than nearly any other program you can run on your computer. If you are taking your video interview using a laptop or tablet, charging it to 100% is a great idea. An even better idea is to have your laptop plugged in! Sort through your closets and find an extension cord if you need it so that you can be in the best position and not run out of juice in the middle of your call.

6. Design Your “Set”

Actively think about setting up what is behind you in the shot for your video interview. As executive recruiter Jennifer Johnson shared, being in a big room and having too much depth behind you can be distracting. It’s best to position yourself a few feet from a wall, and have one or two tasteful decor components in the background. For example, a painting, a plant, or an organized bookshelf. Imagine meeting with the CEO of a huge company, and think about what how their desk is positioned: try to create the same setup for yourself. A white wall absolutely works, but if you have the time to “design” your set, it can certainly boost the impression you make!

7. Bring Your Camera To Eye Level

“It looks like I have a double chin!” That was Laura Belgray’s reaction when we started to set her up for her fantastic Skillcrush webinar. You know what she’s talking about: you look down at your laptop, while your chair has you perched up high, and the camera hits you at possibly the least-flattering angle of your neck you’ve ever seen.

Prop your laptop up so that you are looking at the camera at eye level, instead of down. Use a few textbooks, a pile of magazines, or even a rectangular tissue box to set your laptop up a few inches on your desk. It makes you look relaxed and composed, is a more flattering angle, and saves you from neck cramps.

8. Light From The Front

A cardinal mistake of newbies on video interviews is to have light shining from the background. If you have a big window with a view, why not show it off?

Doh! You want the (spot)light on your face, not on the background! Think about getting your school pictures taken (I know, I know, terrible memories of braces. But bear with me on the analogy…). Where did that huge, blinding flash come from? Directly in front of you! So when you setup your video interview or chat, think about your school pictures and place your lighting in the front.

Natural lighting is best, so face towards a window if you can. If you are in a darker room, or you are getting on video chat in the evening, find a lamp that you can plugin and place about a foot in front of your laptop to give you some good lighting. (Just relying on the lighting from your laptop might give an eerily creepy glow…) If you have the time, take the extra step and take away, turn down, or turn off the lights behind you, as well.

To show you just how important light can be for the professionalism of your set, I took a few screenshots so you can see how Google Hangout responds to light. Which one do you like best?

With my window behind, you get to see my great view! But, my face? Not so much...

With my window directly behind me, you get to see my great NYC view! But, my face? Not so much…

The camera focus is right, but I'm a little fuzzy. Almost ethereal. (I guess that's not so bad?)

With the focus adjusted, you can see me on camera, but I’m a little fuzzy (almost ethereal!?) because of the light behind.

Aha! The light coming from the window in front of me makes for a crisp, clear video chat image.

Aha! The light coming from the window in front of me makes for a crisp, clear, and professional video chat image.

9. Check Yourself Out

Before you go live, make sure to check that your video camera works and that you look great on screen! But, you don’t want to login to your interview while you’re checking your setup. Instead, use another program to see how you look before going live.

The easiest way to test how you look is the audio/video settings in Skype. Once you open up Skype, click “Preferences” from the menu and open up the Audio/Video tab. Your camera will turn on and you will see yourself!

If you don’t have access to Skype, there’s a great workaround for testing out how you look on Google Hangout. Pop into Google Calendar and open up a meeting invite. There is an option to join by Video Call (see the bottom field in the screenshot below). Click that, and you’ll open up a Hangout with yourself.

test google hangout video interview

10. Do A Test Chat

The best way to know that everything will work correctly is to do a test run! Try out the technology you are using in a test call before your interview or chat starts. Setup everything as close to the way you will do it on interview day to make sure you have all variables under control.

Quick tip: haven’t talked to your roommate from college in a while? Instead of giving her a call by phone, see if she’s up for jumping on a video chat! You get to test your sound and audio so you feel confident that it works, and catch up with a great friend while you’re at it.


11. Think Solid + Bright

Bright colors look amazing on video. Avoid wearing stripes, paisley, and the like, as the detail can come across as fuzzy and distracting on video. (Ever notice how the best dressed at Hollywood awards shows are usually the solid, bold colored dresses, and the outfits that crash and burn are often patterns?). Particularly outstanding colors for camera include scarlet red, emerald green, and royal blue. Pick your favorite!

Your email address will not be published.



  1. DMC5 Replied

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is very good.

  2. Apex Legends Tiers Replied

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  3. reparacion de credito Replied

    Más Tarde, Siemens abre una filial en España con el nombre de Siemens Electromédica, S.A. y en el 1927 adquiere la firma Industria Latina de Electricidad Aplicada, S.A. (ILDEA) dedicada a la Electromedicina. En 1970, la Compañía cambia su nombre por el de Siemens, S. A., y cuatro años después 1974, bajo la misma denominación, se constituye una empresa única, como resultado de la unión de las sociedades que hasta entonces realizaban sus actividades como empresas Siemens. Siemens, S.A Madrid con las fábricas de Getafe y Cornellá , Siemens Electromédica Española, S.A. (Madrid). Este nuevo despliegue servirá para satisfacer a la oferta comercial de productos y servicios de Tercera Generación de telefonía móvil.

  4. DMC5 Replied

    Good day! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.

  5. reparacion de un electrodomésticos baratos Replied

    Lunes 24 de mayo recibo un mensaje en el móvil indicanado que el portátil había sido recepcionado en la central de Sony de Alemania. Yo compre también un sony vaio que es un lujazo de ordenador y me ha durado un año.Pero el problema empieza aqui como no funciona llamo al servicio tecnico donde no te solucionan nada te dicen que te llamaran y no te llaman.Y te cobran 50 euros si no tienes disco de recuperación.Y encima no te llega y tienes que estar detras de ellos. He tenido 2 Sony vaio y la verdad he evitado el servicio técnico cuanto he podido y la verdad por suerte, ya que no he tenido problemas importantes.

  6. Enoch Sluter Replied

    you may have a fantastic blog right here! would you wish to make some invite posts on my blog?

  7. clasificacion de electrodomesticos segun consumo semanal de huevos Replied

    Los logos y marcas de cada servicio expuesto en este website son propiedad de Servicio Técnico Oficial Siemens PAMPLONA y SAT oficial Siemens PAMPLONA, estando protegidos por las Leyes del Copyright,así como nuestros técnicos estan especializados en el Servicio Técnico y reparación de la marca Siemens. Los logos y marcas de cada servicio expuesto en este website son propiedad de Servicio Técnico Oficial Siemens VALLADOLID y SAT oficial Siemens VALLADOLID, estando protegidos por las Leyes del Copyright,así como nuestros técnicos estan especializados en el Servicio Técnico y reparación de la marca Siemens.

  8. historia repuestos de frigorificos indesit Replied

    FRIGOTECNIA tiene como objetivo principal brindar un servicio de calidad total a sus clientes, en las áreas de la ingeniería en refrigeración, aire acondicionado, calefacción y energía solar, optimizando el uso de la energía y protegiendo el medio ambiente. Calidad en las instalaciones, profesionales cualificados, formación contínua y servicio personalizado definen a IGM. FRED-MATIC dispone de equipo propio con una amplia experiencia en climatizacón y disponen los medios y tecnologías más avanzadas, siendo su mayor logro el inicio y fin de la obra con personal propio, sin necesidad de intermediarios. Instalación reparación y mantenimiento de aire acondicionado, calefacción, placa solares y energia renovable.

  9. points altogether, you just received a brand new reader. What may you recommend about your put up that you simply made a few days in the past? Any positive? Replied

    Hello.This article was really interesting, particularly because I was searching for thoughts on this topic last Sunday.

  10. de is en barcelon ef1c achat enligne is canada Replied

    hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  11. online purchase germany 441d be at is online Replied

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is really irritating. A good site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  12. vitroceramicas reparacion energetically Replied

    Hoy los precios en lo que al satélite se refiere son cada vez más ajustados en España donde siempre hemos tenido cuotas por encima de otros países europeos (en referencia a precios de ADSL) como Francia, Reino Unido, Estonia Alemania. Pero ya les decíamos, que quede claro que la banda ancha no compartida por satélite nada tiene que ver con el ADSL, es más eficaz y permite servicios bidireccionales. El problema del Internet por Satelite, es el precio, en paises latinoamericanos, es muy dificil poder pagar este servicio. Me gustaria que se contactara alguie conmigo para informarme de servicios y costos de internet satelital en mi area.

  13. furtdso linopv Replied

    Hello there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your website came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  14. vr film Replied

    Hi, thanks for this. Would it be possible to cite some of the evidence based research you quoted as this would be really helpful and powerful 3 week diet.

  15. furtdso linopv Replied

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my website?

  16. componentes de repuestos de frigorificos baratos Replied

    Por eso, si en los siguientes tres meses tuviera algún problema con la reparación efectuada, se lo solucionamos de forma gratuita. Sabemos que la confianza hay que ganársela, así que nos esforzamos por ser honrados: al informar de los costes de la reparación y en nuestras recomendaciones. Por eso, contamos con unidades móviles en Badalona que van equipadas para dar respuesta en una sola visita: diagnóstico del problema y solución. Ahora si cuenta con algún electrodoméstico de la marca Bosch que esté presentando fallos es momento de contactarnos para poder ayudarle. Esto hará que nos averie tanto y la vida útil del electrodoméstico sea mucho más larga.

  17. business marketing salary ontario Replied

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  18. lavavajillas electrolux ergo Replied

    Hace unos seis años compre la cafetera modelo m-821 en Carretera del Mig, vuestra antigua fábrica de Hospitalet, y tengo un pequeño problema con ella, y es que cuando acabo de preparar un café, los posos del café no quedan compactos en el cacillo, sino que queda lleno de agua mezclada con los posos. Hola, Juan, deberás llegar la cafetera a uno de nuestros Servicios Técnicos , puesto que, probablemente, se haya averiado el termostato.

  19. Engagement Replied

    Aw, it was an extremely good post. In thought I would like to set up writing similar to this additionally – taking time and actual effort to create a very good article… but exactly what do I say… I procrastinate alot and also no means manage to go done.

  20. Diet Keto Replied

    Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  21. see this here Replied

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content!

  22. Rob Bark Replied

    If you are going for finest contents like me, just pay a visit this site all the time for the reason that it provides quality contents, thanks|

  23. Lamar Henrey Replied

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too great. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a great web site.|

  24. Teresita Mcclearen Replied

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers|

  25. Lamont Deadwyler Replied

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people on this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks|

  26. Brigette Mutz Replied

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!|

  27. Delmer Bovell Replied

    I needed to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…|

  28. Bernardo Auton Replied

    I visited several web sites however the audio feature for audio songs current at this site is actually wonderful.|

  29. Mathew Butterworth Replied

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to other visitors that they will assist, so here it occurs.|

  30. Victor Principato Replied

    you are really a good webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent activity in this subject!|

  31. Margaret Banez Replied

    You are so cool! I do not believe I have read anything like this before. So good to find another person with a few original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!|

  32. Edgardo Gonzeles Replied

    I am genuinely delighted to read this webpage posts which includes lots of helpful data, thanks for providing these kinds of information.|

  33. Cari Cavaco Replied

    I for all time emailed this blog post page to all my contacts, as if like to read it after that my links will too.|

  34. Ezequiel Spagnola Replied

    Hello mates, good article and fastidious arguments commented at this place, I am really enjoying by these.|

  35. Joshua Fesko Replied

    Hi, I check your blog regularly. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!|

  36. Felicia Replied

    Best article I have found. Amazing tips! Things I didn’t even think about. Thank you…that job is mine=-D

  37. Adam Knight Replied

    Great article Leslie! Thanks for sharing :D

Want more articles like this?

Sign up to get the most recent tech news, tips and career advice.