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How to Do a Video Interview Right and Get the Job

NEW YORK ( MoneyTalksNews) -- You know what they say about first impressions: You never get a second chance to make one. In fact, researchers at NYU found that it takes only seven seconds to make a first impression. In those initial seconds, we make 11 major decisions about one another.

Why is this so important? Well, if you're looking for a new gig, first impressions count big. And they're often no longer being supplied in person, but over video. With 12.5 million Americans unemployed, employers are sifting through a high volume of applications. They're looking for ways to find the right hire quickly and efficiently -- which is why 60% of companies with 20 or more employees are now conducting video interviews, according to staffing agency OfficeTeam.

Odds are pretty good that your next interview might be via webcam. If you're new to video, take some advice from someone who isn't: Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson . Check out the following video about video, then read on for more.

Now, let's expand on Stacy's tips and add a bunch more...

1. Get the gear
Most modern laptops come with a built-in webcam. It'll get you on camera, but the base models often produce grainy pictures and weak sound. As Stacy mentioned in the video, he uses an external HD webcam that produces a much higher video quality. To find a good deal, check out some online reviews, then head to bargain sites such as, or

2. Check your speed
If you want good video, you'll need a good Internet connection. If yours is spotty, you might freeze or disconnect in the middle of your interview. And if it's too slow, your picture quality will suffer.

The popular video conferencing software Skype recommends an upload speed of 1.5Mbps and a download speed of 1.5Mbps for HD video chats. You can test your current speeds at a site such If your speed isn't up to snuff, consider finding a location with a better connection.

3. Find the right lighting
Have you ever had your picture taken only to wonder why you looked so washed out? The lighting was probably to blame. Lighting can mean the difference between looking fresh and perky or lifeless and faded.

Many professionally filmed interviews are shot using the three-point lighting technique, which plays up your main light source and accentuates the film subject. If you're interested in going for a professionally filmed look, MonkeySee has a good video that explains how to set it up. But if you just want to make sure you don't look bad, try different lights in your house until you find a look you like. A dimmable lamp will give you plenty of options.