Lighting is important for your video interviews. Even if you have the best camera on the market, you still need solid lighting to make the image crisp and clear. Without this lighting, you may find yourself in the dark or with shadows covering your face.
In this article, we will first outline the importance of lighting for the success of your video interviews. After this, we will give you some tips to help you optimize the lighting situation in your room, office, or studio. Once finished, you should have all the tools you need to have the best interview possible.
Video interviews are great for the convenience and comfort they offer. The interviewer and interviewee can both be in a familiar environment without having to worry about any travel logistics on the day. There are some challenges that can arise, however.
As you will be meeting an interviewer through a screen, it can be difficult to build the same rapport as you would in person. Engaging online with your interviewer means that you need to present yourself in the best possible way. This means using lighting to make a great first impression and put yourself in a positive light (literally).
In many cases, the best video wins. Give yourself an advantage over other candidates by investing time in your interview setup. With this in mind, let’s move on to some lighting tips for your video interviews.
When it comes to lighting, you need to invest in a lighting setup that is best for you. There are plenty of options that you can choose from. Whether it’s a $10 table lamp or $400 studio lights, let your budget be your guide for what you purchase.
You also need to take into account the backdrop and environment in which you will be taking part in the interview. Lighting + environment = experience, so it is vital to get it right. Ask yourself what you will be trying to achieve with your backdrop. Do you want to impress? Look good? Once you answer these questions, you can begin to build an environment that suits you.
Natural light will work for some people, but it depends on the time of day, the weather, and where the light is coming from. As this is the case, it can be unreliable for your video interviews. The last thing you want is to have your face covered by shadows with much of the image being dark.
If you do choose to use natural light, make sure you have an alternative light source available to you in case the sun isn’t kind to you. Sit opposite a bright, soft light source such as a window as this is the best way to illuminate yourself. If you sit with a natural light source behind or next to you, your face will be darkened and some of your features will be hard to make out for an interviewer.
Artificial light can be used at any time of the day to enhance the quality of video interviews. If natural light isn’t offering enough light, you can use artificial light behind your camera to brighten up you and your environment. Be careful how bright you look, however.
If you have too much brightness, your face can become washed in light, which will mask your features. As this is the case, you need to find the balance between the distance of the light and its brightness. Experiment with lighting before your interview and settle on which balance looks best for you.
As video interviews usually take under an hour, you should be safe from any radical natural light changes that may occur. Setting up your lights in effective positions can help you look polished and your backdrop professional. Here are some further tips to help you position lighting for video interviews.
How you set up your lighting depends on the number of lights you have. These lights should all be bright and natural looking. Avoid using any colors that will give your video an unprofessional feel.
If you only have one light, ensure that you place it behind your camera and face it toward you. Alter the brightness and find the balance where your face illuminates clearly. If you are struggling to create the necessary effect, consider adding a second light.
This second light should also be placed behind the camera, where each light is shining on either side of your face. For further effect, shine them downwards to eliminate any shadows that may occur. Once again, you will need to adjust the brightness to have the desired effect.
If you choose to add a third light from here, you can place it behind you to illuminate your backdrop. A fourth light being added behind you can help completely wash your backdrop in light. When this occurs, your backdrop has a sense of depth which makes you look more multidimensional.
A fifth light can be placed in between the two lights in your backdrop. Doing this can help add weight to your backdrop. At this point, you will have the highest quality image yet from the lighting.
Above outlines a basic lighting setup that you can use to have successful video interviews. There is no perfect setup, however, so depending on the types of lights you have and the number of them, you can test what works best for you. It may take some time to find the right setup but investing this time will pay off.
Once you have your lighting in place, take a photo of the positioning of your lights. You can also leave them in place to save yourself time in the future. Now that everything is in place you are ready to have your interview. Good luck!