Although lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift video conferencing is still going to be part of our lives. Businesses still have employees working from home, and this isn’t set to change anytime soon.
With this in mind, let’s look at video conferencing tips that will help you when in meetings, and indeed while attending a virtual job interview.
Avoid Technical Issues
Working from home is a dream of many, but in the dream, your children weren’t around, and your bandwidth wasn’t sucked up by Xbox or PlayStation gamers. Also, you probably didn’t envision spending so much time video conferencing.
Although technology such as Zoom and Skype are straightforward to use, there are always times when a necessary feature eludes us.
As such, ensure when you have a conference call that you are familiar with the conferencing platform you are using. You should know as a minimum how to:
- Mute and unmute the microphone.
- Switch the camera on and off.
- How to join a conference, and if you are hosting it, how to add and remove people from the conference.
- How to answer and leave a call.
- How to share documents and images.
Also, ensure your our microphone, camera and headphones work before the call.
If you have internet issues, you may want to talk to your supplier about increasing your bandwidth/upgrading the connection. If this isn’t possible, then you’ll need to ensure that as few as people are online as possible when it is conference call time.
In essence, ensure your equipment and connections won’t let you down in the meeting or interview.
Location is Everything
Ideally, you want to have a place which is private where you can concentrate on the call. This is essential when you have an interview. As such, set boundaries where it is clear to others, especially children that you are ‘at work’. This can be a shut door, but if that is not possible, having your camera pointed at a blank wall and your earphones in can serve the same purpose.
Mute Your Microphone Unless Speaking
In a group call, it is a good idea to mute your microphone unless you have something to say. This helps to maintain the flow of the meeting as background noise filtering through is limited. If you are low on bandwidth, you can switch off your camera until it is your turn to talk.
Focus on the Call
Often in meetings, the direction of it may drift off to areas which are not your concern. Here you may be tempted to open Facebook or Twitter or start working on something else. Bear in mind that when you do this, others on the call will know you are working on something else and this may reflect on you negatively.
The best practice is to keep with the meeting until it has finished.
Set Agendas and Minimise Conference Call Meetings
If you are in a management position, try and minimise the need for meetings and conference calls. For many, the meetings are stressful and require a lot of organisation. Therefore, set an agenda, keep the meeting rolling as much as possible, and maybe email staff in advance to give them an idea of what to prepare.
Video Job Interview Tips
If you have a video conference job interview, the same rules apply as a standard job interview. This includes:
- Dress for success – Wear what you would for a normal job interview. I.e. smart, presentable, business attire.
- Be prepared for the interview – Learn a little about the company, the industry, have your interview answers ready to showcase what you can do, and have suitable questions to ask.
- Bring evidence of achievements if you have it – If sales increased by 10% or efficiency increased by 5% and you have the documents to show this, have it with you. Also, have digital versions of this which you can share with the interview panel should you be asked.
For a video job interview, there are a few extra aspects to take on board, such as:
- Practice looking at the camera – When we use Zoom and the like we naturally look at the person speaking. Try and practice looking at the camera as this will mimic eye contact that you would naturally do in a job interview.
- Keep the background neutral – Try and position yourself where the camera shows only a blank wall. This will keep the focus of the interview panel on you.
- Make extra sure you will not be disturbed – The last thing you want is to have to leave the interview to sort out an ‘emergency’.
Video conferencing is not the same as face to meetings or job interviews, but with a little preparation, you can make them easier to manage. More productive, and less disruptive.