The continued implementation of social distancing rules due to Covid19 has made technology platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, and others part of our new normal. This has demanded that we adopt new behaviour patterns and mindsets to enable seamless engagement with colleagues, bosses, and clients online. For the early adopters who have had time to get used to this, it has been a breeze but for many others not used to remote working, this has been extremely challenging.
Our participation in interview panels the last few weeks brought to light good and not so good practices. It became clear that a good online meeting is possible despite the possibilities of unexpected challenges like power outages and poor internet.
Today we are sharing tips that can be applied to any online event and not just interviews;
1. Determine location
Make sure you pick your location in advance. If dialing in from home, identify a quiet space that has no disruptions. It may be challenging especially with the little ones around and other necessary adjustments you have made but it is possible. Plan to have your meeting when they are out playing or napping. If your child walks into your call, yes it can happen, graciously ask for a minute to sort things out, turn off your camera, mute your microphone and deal with that, then take a deep breath and re-join with a smile.
2. Your appearance
We all need to connect on a personal level so remember you may need to turn on your camera for that connection. Be very careful about how you look, it makes a difference. We have all seen the videos on social media about embarrassing wardrobe blunders both comical and distasteful; don’t let that be you. Even if you are working from home, be presentable so you can create the right impression that will propel you further faster.
Also Read: Dressing up to show up: Interview Attire
Your camera is the window into your surroundings, be sure to check it in advance. Be careful and aware of where it is pointing, what it is showing. In reference to our earlier point of location, if taking the call in your bedroom look for the right background away from an unmade bed or the bathroom door. Set your stage well.
4. Test the links
Technology is never static, and platforms are constantly upgrading the platforms with timeframes of upgrades. Log in to the platform in advance and test it well so you aren’t caught off-guard by new requirements that could make you log in late, leaving you flustered and frustrated. Recently I logged into a meeting only to find I had no audio and had to upgrade to enable the microphone…check things early and you will thrive.
5. Give yourself grace
Even with all the planning, sometimes things go their own way and seemingly throw the plans out. Internet may fail you; your child may come barging in mid-sentence, lights may go off; it is well. Do not berate yourself, cut yourself some slack, and just be kind to yourself. That is a moment to take a deep breath and rise to salvage the situation. When you have done all, you know what to do…keep going.