video interview

How to Look Better Than Everyone on Zoom

Do you have a video interview coming up? Zoom? HireVue? Oh, joy.

Have you noticed you look worse in video chats than you do in real life? Way worse? Sorry. So do I.

It’s the evil HD cameras in our phones and other devices. They’re brutal.

Jane Jetson Had a Brilliant Fix

Jane Jetson experienced this problem in 1962 and had a brilliant solution:

I don’t know why someone isn’t developing a Jane Jetson mask. I vote for Snap to license the IP for their Camera app:

How to Look Your Best in a Video Interview

Until we have Jane Jetson masks, and given that interviews tend to require adulting, do this:

  1. Set everything up.
  2. Optimize your lighting.
  3. Experiment to find the most flattering camera level.
  4. Smooth on some painfully expensive HD makeup from Sephora.
  5. Get dressed as you would for an in-person interview.
  6. If you’ll be on Zoom, turn on its Touch-Up feature and other helpful enhancements (H/T to search consultant Dorothy Dalton).
  7. Do a dry run and have it critiqued by someone not too encumbered by tact.
  8. Make tweaks until you feel handsome/beautiful/etc.
What is HD Makeup?

Done? You probably skipped the pro tip, HD makeup.

It’s formulated to make your skin look great on an HD camera. If you want to read all the chemistry-y things about HD makeup, this explains it.

I like to get mine from Sephora (not an affiliate) because they match my skin tone in the store in a way an online order can’t. They might even make you a free sample. They do that sometimes. Ask.

Now, do “with and without makeup” dry runs. Difference much?

Good! I don’t want you fretting about how you look when you should be rocking your interview with brilliant questions about the company.

One More Tip

To look your best, situate yourself to appear on camera at about the same distance you would sit across a desk in a real-life interview.

Why?

Because recent research from Professor Jeremy Bailenson,  Founding Director of the Stanford Human Interaction Lab, found the close-up views of faces common in Zoom calls unconsciously unnerve people.

So, don’t look as though you’re close enough to kiss the interviewer! Keep the appropriate social distance (the linked report gives precise measurements), even though you’re on camera.

Zoom It!

BTW, I look best on Zoom, which happily has become the de facto standard over the last year. Check it out. If it works for you, and you get to suggest the platform, I’m guessing Zoom will be your pick.

Updated February 2021

© 2014 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 6

  1. Donna,

    I love your posts, they are so practical and contain facts that everyone worries about – AFTER the fact. I think it is fantastic to PLAN for these events, there are not do-overs when making a first impression. Thanks for the advice, I hope all candidates whether male or female check this out.

    Patty Martin
    Talent Finders

  2. You got me! I passed on number but I have to admit I’m not really a makeup kind of guy…usually :)

  3. Thanks for compiling the most helpful information. It’s an important event, yet we so often don’t prepare.

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