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Out of the Darkness

Good lighting can brighten your chances of success in Zoom calls

Since the dawn of the Age of Covid, Zoom job interviews have taken on a life of their own. Almost overnight they became the norm – especially for first interviews. As you venture through the world of the job search, it’s almost inevitable that you will be subjected to a Zoom interview.

There are a lot of tips and tricks to help ensure a successful Zoom experience, but one area that is very often overlooked is lighting. Lighting that is too strong can wash out your face and lighting that is too dark leave you lurking in shadows almost imperceptible to the interviewer.

It should come as no surprise that natural light is the best option. The flip side to that is that, if you’re seated too close to a window, strong sunlight can wash out your face. Some sort of window covering that can diffuse bright sunlight may be your best choice.

Sitting with your back to a window bathed in light can be a problem as well. While some backlighting is desirable, if it’s too strong you will become nothing more than a shaded silhouette.

Diffused or reflective light may work. Positioning yourself below overhead or recessed lighting also may be a good option.

In addition, your person may affect how your lighting behaves. For older candidates, sorry guys, but that thinning hairline may have a strong reflective shiny effect on your camera. Also, bright colors and white clothes tend to reflect a lot of light which can be a distraction.

Your best bet is to test your camera, your lighting and your surroundings. Try it the day before your interview to allow for as much time as you may need to make any necessary adjustments.


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