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Online Interviews: Avoiding Dropouts and Slowdowns


Interviews are a great way to add real value to your audience. They’re not hard to film, and the best part is you can quite easily do them over the internet using Skype, Google Hangouts, or a similar service.

The biggest issue with most remote interviews is internet connection. Dropouts and slowdowns are incredibly frustrating, and generally beyond your control. Once you’re filming – there’s not a whole lot you can do without repeating parts of the interview!

While nothing’s foolproof – It’s important to reduce the risk by preparing a bit in advance, and making sure you’re internet speed is up to scratch.

Run a speedtest on your internet connection (speedtest.net). You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good, stable connection with both an upload AND download speed of at least 1.5mbps. While the test is running, keep an eye out for any dramatic fluctuations – as these could indicate potential slowdowns during your call.

If you identify any issues here, try using a secondary connection like mobile 4G (tethering to your mobile phone), and see if that improves results. If it works, use this for your call.

Now you’ve tested yours – you’ve got to do the same for the other party on the call. Slow downs in either of your connections will cause the same result – jittery footage, or complete drop outs!

So, as a general rule – 1.5mbps up and down is the minimum number I look for. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t have issues, but it certainly improves the likelihood of a smooth call.

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Related Content:
– Skype’s Bandwidth Recommendations

– Best Lavalier Microphone for iPhone/Android AND DSLR – Under $50!

– My YouTube Gear and Setup

I had a Skype interview drop on me a couple weeks ago- turns out the weather wasn’t great and my power was going in and out. I had an APC battery back-up on my computer, but not my router/modem.

I recommend getting a couple of those and using them for your computer as well as router/modem. Not only is it just a good idea if you use a desktop, but you don’t ruin the whole interview (or have to go back and edit) if there’s a quick power outage. Not foolproof, but a pretty reasonable investment that may reduce some tech difficulties.

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