back to home »

Video Conferencing Tips

Interviews conducted via video conferencing require a unique type of preparation in order for success. Consider and apply the points below.


  • Dress professionally – from head to toes.  You may have to move in front of the camera
  • Don’t expose bare shoulders – especially if you are only viewed ‘shoulders up’ on screen – it will look like you aren’t wearing clothes
  • Avoid clothing with patterns - solids work best


  • Turn off radio/TV /cell phone, etc.  Even white noise from fans, Zen-like waterfalls, loud air conditioners, space heaters, dehumidifiers etc. can be distracting
  • Put pets away, close the door, and make sure roommates, family members etc. are aware of the importance of a quiet environment
  • Consider putting a note on the door to prevent delivery people or visitors from ringing the doorbell which may trigger pet noise or background sounds
  • If possible, set up your computer in a room in which you’re least likely to hear outdoor noise – from trucks, children, etc.
  • Create a neutral background/wall with minimal visual distractions.  Keep pictures/equipment to a minimum
  • Preview your appearance and background on screen before connecting with the conference call - you should be the focus of the video – not the scenery behind you
  • Create optimal lighting. Turn on lights in the room and/or close window blinds to avoid harsh glares and shadows on your face
  • Do not eat, drink or chew gum.  If you must take a sip of liquid, drink water – not carbonated beverages.  Verbally pardon your pause, sip, then put the drink safely aside


  • Test your microphone sound level and video well in advance of the actual meeting, then again 15 minutes before the call
  • Adjust the focus of the camera.   Most cameras have the capability to fine tune the crispness of the video.  It’s best to have a friend “connect” with you via webcam to tell you how you appear as you adjust the settings
  • Close ALL other programs not necessary for the call – email, instant messaging, office products such as Word or Excel, and close internet browser windows.  Not only are these a potential distraction, but they could also affect your connection quality
  • If possible, hard wire your computer vs. using wireless.  If you do use wireless, try to be as close to your router as possible for the strongest connectivity
  • Sometimes firewalls can impact your connection/speed.   It may be helpful to temporarily disconnect from VPN or firewalls for the call
  • Look at the camera, not at the screen when you are talking.  You would never look at yourself in a mirror if you were interviewing in person – so think of the camera as the interviewer’s eyes and look into it/them
  • Adjust your chair so the camera is at eye level – don’t look down at the camera
  • If you wear glasses, ensure you are not picking up glare; remove the glasses or wear contacts if either are feasible options
  • Do not use any of the effects your camera may offer (bunny ears, cowboy hat, etc.)

Movement & Pace

  • Be careful with too much movement - heavy movement further accentuates video choppiness.   If you communicate with heavy gestures - be careful!  Clasp your hands in your lap or hold on to a piece of paper. Keep it under control
  • Facial reactions translate differently when onscreen so it's important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers
  • Speak succinctly – and pause for a few moments before talking after being asked a question to compensate for the slight time lag
  • Watch your body language – it’s easy to forget they can see you!   Don’t look bored (chin resting on your hand), or slouchy, and don’t look away from the camera when answering questions (remember – think of it as the interviewers eyes). Be careful with stretching & scratching
  • If you have a high desktop and rest your arms on it, it’s extra-important not to slouch, so that your shoulders aren’t at your ears


  • Login 10-15 minutes before the call in case you have technical problems and/or to ensure you are ready when the interviewer begins
  • PRACTICE!   Find someone that will practice with you using the same video technology you will be using during the interview, if possible.  That person should point out background & environmental distractions, and give you honest feedback on your appearance (including where you are positioned in the screen, annoying movements, sound levels, etc.).
  • Consider recording yourself on a site such as so you can see yourself and make adjustments. 
  • Be prepared for the types of questions you are likely to be asked; practice the answers so you can judge for yourself how you will appear
  • At the conclusion of a call, be sure the call is fully disconnected before you ‘relax.’  You’re still on camera until the session truly ends
back to top