Most of the interviews we do with Detroit creatives are audio only for a simple reason: We want to produce an interview that you will be proud to share with other people.
Most artists own a piece of equipment that can make them look good or sound good — but it can't do both at the same time. For example, there may be a fantastic camera in your smartphone, but if you are sitting four feet away from your phone during your interview, the microphone will pick up echo from the room. Microphones built into laptop computers also pick up echo and other noises from the room.
We do record video interviews with Detroit creatives who are looking for a showpiece. We do not charge for this service, but we require you to have the proper equipment.
Here's what you will need:
1. External Microphone
Proper sound is crucial to a good interview. In fact, it's more important to have good sound than good video quality. That's why we require an external microphone for a video interview.
If you do not already own one, we recommend these microphones which will give you solid sound without breaking the bank:
For a Laptop Computer:
- Audio-Technica ATR 2005 USB/XLR Microphone
- Audio-Technica ATR 2100 USB/XLR Microphone
- Samson Q2U USB/XLR Microphone
For a Smartphone:
- iRig Condenser Microphone
- If your phone does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, you will also need a USB-C adapter (Android/latest iPhones) or a Lightning adapter (some iPhones).
For all of these microphones, you should purchase an inexpensive pop filter.
We do not recommend using earbuds or gaming headsets.
If you have a top of the line smartphone, it probably has an excellent camera in it.
A laptop's built-in camera will provide adequate — but not stellar — video quality. If would like to ensure that you have excellent video quality with your laptop, we recommend the Logitch c920x HD Pro Webcam.
Proper lighting will make a big difference in how good you look on screen. Test your lighting ahead of time by sitting in the same spot that you will be in for your interview and recording some test footage. Here are some tips:
- Avoid Backlighting: Make sure that you are not backlit. If you are sitting in front of a light or window, you will look too dark compared to your background.
- Beware of Natural Light: If you are lit by natural light — for example, sunshine coming through a window — be sure to test your lighting at the same time of day that your interview will happen. Will the lighting look different in the evening? Also, make sure the light doesn't shine in your eyes, forcing you to squint.
- Consider a Selfie Light: Sometimes, you can get away with the lighting you already have. If, however, you are not happy with your lighting, consider purchasing an inexpensive selfie lighting ring. Look for a ring that allows you to adjust the strength and the warmth of the light. Here is an inexpensive option.
- Consider Foundation: If light is reflecting off your face, making you look shiny, inexpensive foundation makeup can fix the problem.
4. Fast Internet Connection
A slow internet connection can wreak havoc on your interview. Test your connection at Speedtest.net or using the Speedtest app on your phone. You should have at least 10 Mbps of download bandwidth and 3 Mbps of upload speed.
If possible, use a wired connection instead of wi-fi. Also, close extra browser tabs and any other applications that may be using the internet. If you're using your home internet connection, make sure that nobody else is streaming video or gaming online during your interview.
Before your video interview, we ask you to schedule a TechCheck with our producer, Jewell. She will make sure that you look and sound your best, and provide you with helpful tips.
While it can cost a little money to ensure that you look and sound good during your interview, rest assured that your investment will reap continued benefits now that we're living in the age of Zoom. You'll look and sound great for other online presentations, plus your interview will serve as a great showpiece.