The rise of the Zoom Call has been one of the key phenomena of 2020, but it’s a technology with a few wrinkles that can take some time to get used to. For professional purposes, making the right impression on video calls has become a critical business skill. If you’re applying for work and your potential employer uses video-interviewing it can be even more important to make the right impression.
Here’s a quick look at some of our favourite ways of getting the best from your video interview experience.
Control your Background
Be conscious of cluttered backgrounds sending the wrong signals. Zoom’s Virtual Background tool allows you to use an image of your choice instead.
So, whether you’d like to project a stylish piece of interior design or pretend you’re on the beach, you can tailor your background to suit the occasion.
Managing your sound is critical to a slick zoom experience.
Hosts and delegates have the option to turn microphones on and off, so be aware for your mic settings.
Hearing ‘You’re on mute’ as you try to make your pitch is an experience to be avoided.
Be aware of how your computers microphone picks up background noise and consider using mute whenever you’re not speaking, especially in larger groups.
Using your spacebar to control your ability to speak is an easy way to gain control.
Standard webcams on most home computers are pretty low-tech pieces of equipment which can make it difficult to project the best image to your colleagues.
As small cameras they’re particularly sensitive to background lighting and can struggle to present you in the right way.
The most essential arrangement is to make sure you’re not sitting with your back to a window as this light will dominate the camera resulting in your face appearing in shadow to your fellow callers.
Try to sit facing any natural light and if necessary using artificial light to the sides and rear of your position to provide optimal levels of highlighting to your face.
In sales situations such as job interviews this is particularly important in helping others on your call see your eyes.
There are even Instagram style ‘touch up’ features within the Zoom platform to help you look your best.
Engage others with on-screen emojis
As with email, demonstrating engagement and emotion can be difficult over video calls, particularly in larger groups.
An effective tactic to demonstrate your level of engagement with other speakers is to use the on-screen emoji within the chat facility.
This helps presenters and speakers know how their content is being received and shows your engagement with the activity.
Get comfortable with screen sharing
The ability for hosts and delegates to share their screens for presentations or collaborative working is one of the video calling features that best supports team activities that would otherwise be completed in the office.
Getting comfortable with sharing, switching screens, talking to the camera even while your colleagues are hidden from view and knowing when to reengage visually are techniques that can help your performance stand out from less prepared colleagues.