14 Tips for Recording Video Calls and Interviews

Ever since Corona (at the latest), meetings have been held more and more frequently or even exclusively by video conferencing tools, e.g. via Teams, Zoom or Skype. One side effect: With the increasing number of video calls, the shyness of many people to conduct interviews in the form of recorded video calls has disappeared. In the process, you gain some experience. Here are some tips for successful video calls that are presentable and suitable for use in corporate communications.

Before recording video calls, it helps to bear in mind a few tips.
(Photo: Lucas Alexander on Unsplash)

  1. Very important, and therefore here at point 1: The lighting must be right, and it must come from the front! If you want to do a lot of recordings, it may be advisable to purchase a external light source, like a ring light. And the importance of good lighting should definitely be recommended to the person you are talking to as well.  
  2. Any background light should be switched off, and windows behind you should be darkened.
  3. Your background should have a neutrally-colored surface, e.g. a white sheet, so that a branded background image can be faded in. However, there are other more professional solutions, such as a green background that you can attach to the back of an office chair. We can’t say (yet) whether this product is any good. We haven’t tried it out yet. But it is a funny idea.
  4. Do not sit TOO close to the camera. Make-up incl. rouge can’t hurt.  
  5. Wear a top in warm colors. Nothing patterned. 
  6. Prescribe a text for the introduction (greeting, occasion, introduce the interview participant by name and function, ask beforehand how his name or, if applicable, the product or company name is pronounced…) and practice this text LOUD several times. 
  7. Formulate the questions and practice them OUT LOUD.
  8. Send the questions in advance to the interview participant for preparation. 
  9. The interview participant of your video call should also be well lit and have an appealing background image. Point this out to them BEFOREhand. They might want to prepare a picture of the company headquarters incl. logo or similar first.  
  10. Important: If the video call takes place with an external interview partner who does not work in the same company, check if the change background image also works for them. We have had calls where it does not work for all interview participants. For more instructions, here’s how to fade in a background image in Zoom.
  11. Ask the questions in an accentuated way. If you speak too much in a row without pausing for breath, there won’t be any good places to make a cut. In a nutshell: ask the questions in such a way that they can be easily edited afterwards.
  12. Make sure that the recording is running and then give the system time to convert the video. Unless you’re feeling bold, don’t click somewhere else while the conversion process is running. It can go wrong and you will be left empty-handed.
  13. If you really mess up at one point: Don’t leave it as it is, but start again and redo it immediately. You can cut it out later. If you don’t redo it immediately, you’ll be annoyed later because you won’t be able to change it anymore. This also applies to mistakes made by the interviewer or if the sound is poor or similar. Do not ignore issues, but address them IMMEDIATELY. Small slips of the tongue, on the other hand, are usually not so bad.
  14. And last but not least: After converting the files, i.e. video, audio, etc., upload them to a Teamplace. Then invite all participants to this Teamplace so that they can take a look at the video and express criticism. Here in the Teamplace, the participants can leave comments and in the Activity Stream you can see who has logged in to watch the video.