Tips for a better online interview

With the world sheltered in place, nobody is coming in for the studio interview.  It’s all gone the way of Zoom, Skype, or other online interview methods. PenTV likes to use a software called vMix where we give you a vMixCall link and you appear thru a web browser.  It can have better quality than Zoom, but that is related to bandwidth…Sometimes we use Zoom as well, and many of these tips still apply

Here’s a quick list of tips to make sure your interview goes off without a hitch

  • Wear earphones. Speakers cause echoes, and echoes are bad for interviews.
  • Wired networking connection preferred.
  • Wireless connectivity must be solid to prevent latency/buffering. Be in the same room as your router, line of sight, to improve bandwidth.
  • A solid 1-2mbps Upload bandwidth is preferred
  • Use a good microphone – It’s all about getting the mic closer to you. Built-in mics can sound good – but often they pick up a lot of room echos. Headset mics can sound great…Though some people don’t want to look like an air traffic controller/call-center employee, they usually sound good.
  • It’s ok if we see the mic on camera.  Some people try to hide them further out of the shot, but it’s better to sound good.
  • Background noise – Avoid it!
  • Camera angles – Laptops are very cool way to do the online interview, they usually have a built-in webcam.  But they’re also rather low.  Get them on a stand, or a stack of books, a cardboard box, something, anything, to get their camera eye-level
  • Lighting – White or bright backgrounds seem simple enough, but avoid them – but they can cause the camera to “hunt” for the right exposure, so sometimes you’re bright, sometimes your dark, the camera can’t figure out what to do
  • Bright windows – can also cause the camera to adjust to the wrong thing. Keep them in front of you, not behind you…Or curtain?
  • Keep the lighting in front of you
  • If you’re making an appearance via a iPad or phone, make sure to turn that sucker sideways.  We’re going for a video audience and we’re all setup for widescreen mode – Landscape is where it’s at – not portrait
  • We recommend turning your mic off when coughing/sneezing/typing. If you forget to turn it back on, we’ll let you know.
  • Browsers – Chrome is recommended. Phone browsers should work fine.
  • When you connect, the browser should ask permission for what camera/audio source to use – don’t for get to say yes!
  • Make sure you pick the right camera – and right microphone. Some systems have ability to choose between multiple options
  • For more information on using a vMix Call link, you can watch this video: