Changes in how we work, travel, and communicate have catapulted video conferencing as a crucial tool for business communication, extending to hiring, education, training, and interviewing. With any new tool, a bit of etiquette has developed with some ground rules:
Be courteous and professional.
Pause to allow ample time for others to speak.
Mute when not speaking.
Turn off the filter that makes you look like a cat.
While many agencies have returned to in-person interviews for Alternative Project Delivery, virtual meetings and team interviews will continue to be used across the construction industry.
Mission Critical's Top Three Tips for Improving Your Video Aesthetic are:
1. Be Situationally Aware - Successful video conferencing requires "situational awareness." Your environment, even minor details, significantly impact the virtual experience. An echoing room or visible household clutter can be distracting. Even the sound of page-turning can be amplified by your microphone. To enhance situational awareness:
Employ virtual backgrounds or select clean, nondescript rooms.
Opt for quiet, non-echoing rooms devoid of background noise.
Lock your door to prevent interruptions.
Position light sources behind or to the side of your screen.
2. Slow Down - There is a lot of technology between you and your listener in a video conference. Slow connections can impact your normal pace of communication. Rapid speech can lose your audience since following a virtual voice is more challenging. To optimize your delivery:
Speak slowly, enunciate, and use pauses to denote idea transitions.
Prepare thoroughly to ensure smooth transitions.
Employ smaller, camera-facing gestures for engaging body language.
Position the camera at eye level for a realistic view.
Keep most of your upper body in the frame for effective gesturing.
3. Be Prepared for Glitches - Technological failures will always occur, and these risks increase with multiple participants across various locations. If your team participates in a group interview, we recommend technical rehearsals, testing acoustics, camera angles, and sound device choices. Connectivity issues can lead to missed presentation aspects. To counteract these failures:
Begin the call by acknowledging that technology issues can always occur and request signals from interviewers if they cannot clearly hear or see you.
Identify reference points in your presentation. If communication is lost, return to these points, not your last sentence.
Stay calm and remember that everyone on your call understands - and has likely experienced - the same challenges.
While remote conferencing offers individuals scheduling flexibility and diminishes the impact of travel, good communication still requires a bit of planning and practice.
Implementing these three strategies should enhance your success on your next call, and... please remember to turn off the cat filter.