As the lockdown continues, what would we do without online communication? Zoom chats with friends and family, virtual pub quizzes, exercise classes and not forgetting some fun on House Party.
Thanks to all the online apps and platforms available we are able to continue some level of social connection. Some of these platforms are also enabling us to continue working from home and keep a connection with our colleagues. But, just like with face to face communication chatting with your friends and having a work meeting is very different. How are you coming across to your employer and colleagues while at home?
Good online communication is a skill so what can we do to come across well on video?
Test your equipment
Make sure your internet connection is stable and strong. There is nothing more off-putting than pixelated images and intermittent voice. You want to be heard!
Test your camera
Turn on your camera and check it is working. What are you using; phone, laptop or webcam? If you are using a phone, prop it up on something or use a mini tripod so that it is stable-stops shaky hands. Get your image position set. You don’t want to be too close or too far away and ensure your whole face can be seen.
Choose your background
When you turn on your camera what can you see? Make sure there is no mess around or behind you. Choose somewhere quiet where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
Use the mute function
Currently, many of us are working in households with children or where partners are working too. If you can’t be somewhere quiet, use the mute function. That way background noise can’t be heard. Sometimes using headphones is a good idea so you can hear and be heard.
Remember you can still be seen. Avoid typing, looking around, looking bored and fidgeting. It can be distracting for others in the meeting.
Take part in active listening
Because you are not in the room, it can be good to use more active listening to show you are involved. So, lots of head nodding.
If you are having an interview…
First impressions still count, dress like you would if you were attending a face to face interview
Just like a normal interview, prepare. What is the role? Who are the company? Do your research and have some stock answers to competency-based questions. It is good to have some ideas to help you but don’t worry about memorising them, you still want to come across as natural. If you feel worried about the video aspect, practice that until you are comfortable. Some employers use video rounds before face to face. This involves the employer sending pre-set questions and you videoing yourself answering. Before you record your answers practice. Look at yourself in the mirror or on your computer so that you are relaxed and prepared.
Here to stay
There are many aspects of life that will return to normal after the lockdown but the use of online communication, virtual meetings and interviews is unlikely to be one of them. So, think of all your catch-ups on zoom as practising your online communication skills and enjoy. Let us know what hints and tips work for you…