It used to be conference calls that moved people. Literally. It was such a call in July, 2009 that moved me from Greenville, NC to Charleston, SC. Goodbye, ECU. Hello, College of Charleston (for a short but sweet time.) Goodbye, conference calls. Look great on video already.
In this photo I’m with some key players in South Carolina’s innovation space at the cool Harbor Entrepreneur Center: Beju Shah of MUSC, Dee Hamill of the Harbor Entrepreneur Center, Jonathan Yantis, Megan Fink (both MUSC) and Jessica Cokins of SCRA.
Because of so much innovation going on, video is where it’s at. Whether it’s a job interview or early-stage pitch or other key meeting, video is faster, cheaper and more convenient than in-person, yet more personal than talking on the phone. Skype/Zoom/Meet interviews let you speak face-to-face (body language!) without the need for travel or blocking an entire day.
Video conference is a communication channel you want to be completely comfortable with. (Or at least not a nervous wreck prior.)
For those of you who deal with C-suiters, you probably already know this but healthcare thought leader, Dan Berman, set me straight: c-suiters don’t do interviews, they do meetings. On video.
(A millennial asked me what a “c-suiter” was. Answer = Grand Poo Bah.)
As for any meeting anywhere, you want to prepare. Preparation causes confidence. Be able to say why you are interested in this specific job/investment/opportunity with this specific company. My top 4 questions to prepare before any job interview are here.
Eye contact is another confidence cue. Look at the camera (not the screen)!!!
“Work Shouldn’t Suck” LeeAnne Scalley Edwards, owner and boss of culture-based recruiting firm, One In A Mil knows all about nailing that juicy job. Her take on killing that video performance:
Close out of all of your browsers and silence your phone!
You only have one chance to knock this out of the park! Take this interview as serious as you would an on-site interview. Times have changed, efficiency is key. Be sure to close out all of your other browsers so you can eliminate all distractions for both parties. There is nothing more annoying than the constant interruption of Gchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, or a phone ringing screaming some Louis Fonzi, “Despacito,” in the background. Think your video interview set-up all the way through and prepare like you have a lot to lose. Because you do.
When you see her, ask her how she really feels about those distractions. 🙂
Talent Acquisition queen, Kat Corona of Phishlabs, says to treat it just like an in-person interview. Dress up, be a few minutes early, make sure your space is presentable in the background, and keep all distracting noises on silent.
Angie Avard Turner, an intellectual property attorney for creatives has clients all over the country. Here are her top tips for looking good and sounding great!
1. Dress appropriately–Solid colors, nothing too busy. You want folks to pay attention to you, not what you are wearing.
2. Hair Make-up and Accessories–less is more. Don’t over do it in this area; again, you want folks paying attention to what you are presenting not being distracted with your appearance.
3. Posture–sit up straight, don’t slouch (your mother’s advice WAS the best.)
4. Setting–make sure the setting in which you are filming is clean, tidy, and organized. People are easily distracted so if you have a lot going on behind you then you can be sure they will focus on that and not on you!
5. Speak distinctly, clearly, slowly, and with correct grammar– your conference may be viewed around the word. Give those, wherever they may be the opportunity to benefit from your great info by communicating it clearly.
6. Breathe! Take a deep breath or two or three before you start to help focus and calm your nerves.
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they can’t see you!
Technical things to check:
- Make sure your Skype username and profile picture are professionally appropriate.
- Also for Skype, check your status, and be sure your location is up to date.
- Test out your video and audio quality.
- Ensure there is enough light to show your face clearly.
- Check out the background view to make sure your bathing suit isn’t hanging off the shelf.
A video conference of any sort is show time. Do your homework, stretch out beforehand and have fun with it. You’re building your brand and becoming a thought leader.