Increasingly, technology is playing a more significant role in the job seeking process, right from the initial application, which may require a video introduction, through to the interview, which might be a video call. While most of us have had experience with filming ourselves to record daily life, shoot a Tik Tok or Instagram Story, using video in a professional context can take some additional thought and preparation. The following steps will help you get a professional looking result whether you are filming your Educator Spotlight, Video Introduction, Personal Statement or CV Video. 

Getting Set Up 

Setting 

Your ideal space will: 

  • Be quiet – minimise background noise including that from air conditioning or heating fans 
  • Be bare – avoid background clutter and things that might distract the viewer 
  • Be still – set up in a space where you can stand or sit in a stationary chair to avoiding swivelling or fidgeting 
  • Be echo free – as much as possible 

Lighting 

Ideally you will: 

  • Be directly lit – the main source of light should be facing you, avoid light sources coming from above or behind you 
  • Be naturally well-lit – shoot in daylight, if possible, you will need a well sunlit area 
  • Note: If you cannot use natural light, use a ring light or position two lamps at 45-degree angles from you and have the camera between them 

Your video camera  

Ideally your camera will: 

  • Be steady – use a tripod or set your camera up on a stable surface 
  • Be horizontal – set it up to film you in landscape 
  • Be at eye level – that will be the most flattering angle  
  • Be central – you should be in the centre of the frame 
  • Be composed – don’t lose the top of your head or be too close 

Camera presence 

  • Maintain ‘eye contact’ with the camera 
  • Limit your hand movements, try to keep your hands by your side or gently folded in front of you 
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and maintain good posture 
  • Smile, particularly at the start and end of your responses/statements 
  • If you need notes use an app such CuePrompter or PromptDog 

While speaking 

  • Commence and conclude each statement with a small pause, looking directly at the camera 
  • Begin well, avoid, ‘so’ and ‘um’ at the start of your sentences and avoid ending them with an upwards inflection 
  • Clearly summarise what you are responding to or introducing at the start of each statement 
  • If there are any interruptions or disruptions redo that section 

What not to wear 

Avoid the following: 

  • Heavily patterned clothing 
  • Clothing that blends into your background 
  • Shiny fabric or accessories 
  • All black or all white clothing 
  • Logos or obvious branding that might be a distraction 
  • Noisy accessories like bangles  
  • Do a quick check for any sneaky stains or wrinkles 

Getting practical 

  • If possible, have a friend or family member assist you with the filming  
  • Do a test recording first to check the quality of the sound and the lighting 
  • Have some water on hand 
  • If you have a dry mouth, try taking a bite from an apple 

Getting Technical  

  • Your standard setting should be fine, but if unsure, you can check that you are filming at 1080p at 30fps or 60fps (or otherwise 4k) 
  • For clear sound, it could be worth sourcing a microphone, there are cost effective options that work with smartphones  
  • Take time to edit, you can get great free video editing software. Pay particular attention to trimming unnecessary footage from the start & end in addition to any fumbles 

 

Now you know how to set up, select a suitable outfit and engage your viewer, you are ready to create your most professional video. Happy filming!