Make a Good Impression Over Video Conference
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A while back, we interviewed a candidate for a job via Skype since she was in another state. The Skype conference worked great, but we were reminded how important it is to consider your surroundings. Our interviewee was in her room with a pile of clothes on her bed, and we could even see into her disorganized closet space.
The point of video conferencing is to connect like you’re in person and view facial expressions, but the camera can pick up your environment so you have to consider what kind of impression that will make. Having a lot of clutter behind you might give the impression you’re a disorganized person. First impressions are everything, even virtual first impressions.
Before you host a virtual conference with a customer, a potential new hire, a potential new boss, or your own team, consider these questions:
1) Where are you going to have the video conference?
If you host it at home, make sure there’s no background noise from a radio or TV. If you have family members or roommates, let them know about the call. If it’s in your office, turn off your cell phone (or silence the phone), and no chit-chat around your office staff. Remember, it’s important the other people can hear your voice clearly and without interruption.
2) What kind of background is in your screen?
You don’t need to be in a conference room but it’s best to set up so your computer camera points to a blank wall if at all possible. The others will see beyond your face, potentially judging your character based on your surroundings. Most video conference systems do have a test mode so you can see if you are nicely positioned on your desk with a professional-looking background.
3) What are you wearing?
Even if you are out of the office while conferencing via computer screen, wear something that’s appropriate for the audience you’re virtually meeting with. Make a good, professional impression every time. Think of it like a job interview.
4) Is the room bright enough to show your face?
Have your video call in a light-filled space. If the other participants can’t see you because the room is too dark, it’s pointless to have a video call.
5) Do you have stable internet connection?
Having poor internet connection during a video call can be a big disruption. You’ll need high-speed internet and it’s wise to test a video call with someone you know in advance to be certain it works.