As a journalist, I got to know Zoom pretty well during the pandemic. It really helped with interviewing others and has since led to some amazing technological advancements around video interviews from afar. Here’s what I learned for best practices when it comes to recording Zoom interviews.
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First, explain to the person you’re going to interview that they will need access to Zoom and to a camera on their computer. Then walk them through these points in advance:
- Find a quiet place for the interview and try to avoid being outside as it could lead to extra noise and lighting issues
- Make sure you are eye-level with your computer’s camera (put books underneath your computer if you need to raise it)
- Position yourself in the middle of the screen/camera shot
- Try to sit somewhere where you have a lot of space behind you; don’t sit up against a wall, it’s good to have depth behind you to improve your shot
- If you don’t have a lot of space then try to frame yourself so there is a corner of the room behind you because it can make the space you’re in look larger
- Try to sit facing a window or natural light and don’t have a window behind you
- Too much light behind you will wash out the shot
- It may feel a little funny, but look into the camera when you’re speaking rather than at yourself or the other person on the Zoom
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Here are some additional tips for you to consider in advance:
- Save Zoom interviews for when you need video. If you can do it on the phone do it that way because a lot of screen time can drain energy and focus
- Get in the mood for your Zoom interview – plan your questions, make sure you’re in a quiet environment, use headphones if needed (make sure this will record your audio correctly by testing in advance)
- Set the interview length so the person is prepared for the time it will take
- Make it clear to someone if you will be recording them or not
- Make the person you’re interviewing feel comfortable by asking about their day and easing them into the conversation
- Don’t forget to ask them if there’s anything you forgot to ask at the end
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Those are tips for conducting Zoom interviews, good luck and happy Zooming!