How to Prepare for a Zoom Video Interview

This procedure explains how to prepare for a Zoom video interview with Michael Hyatt.
  1. Reboot your computer.

    • The goal is to save as much memory as possible for video processing.

    • We suggest that you consider disabling some of the programs you automatically load at startup. Michael uses a program called Startupizer on the Mac that allows him to load different startup configurations. For Zoom interviews, he only loads a few essential utility programs. Launch as few other programs as possible.

    • You especially want to pause cloud sync and backup programs like Backblaze, CrashPlan, InSync, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

    • Also, keep as few tabs open in your browser as possible. Additional tabs consume additional memory.

  2. Connect to the Internet via a hardwire.

    • Hardwired connections are faster.

    • A hardwired connection via Ethernet provides additional bandwidth for Zoom.

    • If this is a possibility, go ahead and connect it now. Make sure it is working. (You might want to turn off your wireless connection just to make sure.)

  3. Make sure your webcam is HD.

    • Michael often uses the webcam built into his iMac monitor.

    • Another good option is the Logitech C922x Prostream Webcam. It is less than $100 and provides excellent quality video and audio.

      Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910

    • The built-in iSight camera in older Mac laptops is usually NOT sufficient.

  4. Turn off your cell phone.

    • Turn your cell phone off or put it in Airplane mode. We suggest that you not simply mute it, as it still may vibrate you or distract you if it lights up.

    • If you have a landline, turn it off or turn it on “Do Not Disturb,” so it doesn't ring during the recording.

  5. Make sure that you have sufficient lighting on your face.

    • Lighting is the key to professional looking video. You want your face well-lit without too many shadows.

    • You can test this by starting a Zoom session by yourself. Simply load Zoom and click on the Start with video option.

    • For example, mine looks like the image below.

    • Be careful that you don’t inadvertently backlight yourself, casting a shadow on your face. You might need to turn off lamps that are behind you.

  6. Adjust your distance from the camera.

    • You want both parties to be the same distance from the camera.

    • The position in the image above is about right. Close but not too close.

  7. Don’t wear a patterned shirt or blouse that is too busy.

    • HD camera are better than others but still patterns can make the image look like it’s “dancing.”

    • The goal is to wear something that does not draw attention to itself, so YOU can be the center of attention.

  8. Use a quality microphone.

  9. Use a set of low-profile, in-ear monitors.

    • It is important to wear earphones or earbuds, so that the sound from the other person doesn’t bleed into your mic, creating an annoying echo. The problem is that most earphones and earbuds are too visually intrusive.

    • We recommend the MEElectronics M6-CL-MEE In-Ear Headphones. These are extremely low profile. You can’t hardly see them, because they fit into the ear and the wire is clear. This is Michael wearing a set of them:

      Skype Settings 03

    • Here’s what they look like off:

      Skype Settings 04

    • Best of all, they are cheap—only about $20.00 on Amazon.

  10. Have your reference material readily available.

    • This might include notes, web pages, etc.

    • Arrange these on the screen for fast and easy viewing.

    • Put as much of it directly under the camera as possible, so that if you have to glance down, you are not also glancing to the side.

  11. Remember these tips during the interview.

    • Look directly into your camera.

      This is the equivalent of making eye contact with your audience. When people don’t look you in the eye, you subconsciously assume they are hiding something. It creates suspicion and distrust—the opposite of what you want here. So look directly into the camera. If you occasionally have to glance down at your notes, that’s fine. Just don’t forget to look back at the camera. Retain the connection with your audience.

    • Smile and look friendly.

      You don’t have to over-do it, but look warm and friendly. Feel free to laugh or show your emotion. This can communicate more powerfully than mere words.

    • Speak in sound bites.

      The video should feel like a conversation. In order for that to happen there has to be give and take. Don’t “do a deep dive without coming up for air.” Be alert to Michael’s visual cues. Is he getting bored and trying to cut in? Is he trying to move the conversation along?

    • Enjoy yourself!