Unexpected Tips & Tricks for Video Interviews & Discovery Calls

Shauna Van Mourik
Nov 25, 2019 · 4 min read

Modern Day Workforce

We are armpit deep in the digital era and with most job postings and applications being conducted online it’s not surprising that many interviews have shifted gears in the same direction. Working remotely is becoming more popular with the advances in today’s technology which is increasing opportunities for people who may have a difficult time working in traditional roles. Since this is a relatively new method of contact for potential business partners, learning some basic video call etiquette is paramount to conducting a successful meeting.

Background

Keep it simple, silly!

The basic rule of thumb for video interviews, discovery calls, and virtual meetings is to keep background noises and images to a minimum. If you are able to, find a space that is relatively quiet and backs onto a blank wall.

Pretesting your camera and microphone will ensure video and audio clarity.

If your typical workspace does not allow for this type of atmosphere — let’s say you work from home and juggle the needs of your family as you work — perhaps consider going to your local library or commandeering a quieter friend’s home for the duration of the meeting.

Dress for Success

We see it all the time in commercials and on tv programming:

Mr./Mrs. Business person, who works from home, sits at their fancy desk and, as they finish an important video meeting, the camera pans out to reveal that they are only dressed from the waist up — pyjama pants and slippers ftw!

Although this depiction of working and communicating remotely is humourous and enticing — who hates pants? *raises hand* I do! — it leaves way too much room for error in the real world.

If you are conducting a video call, dress the part — the whole part. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a shirt and tie but making sure your tidy and presented well goes a long way in showing your business partner that you’ve got your s**t together.

Dressing and grooming well have also been proven to increase confidence and morale, thereby making your workspace more productive.

Keep It Real

Are you interested in an unexpected plot twist?

Listen.

In the end, the interviewer knows that you work from home and that you have your own reasons for doing so. Maybe you’re a work at home parent or a multiple job manager; maybe you experience mental health issues or simply like reaping the comforts of home.

Although it is convenient and helpful to have a calm surround during your video communications, it should be completely expected that life happens when you’re in your own space. Depending on your occupation, the person on the other end of your call ought to be understanding and sympathetic to any potential interruptions that may occur. If not, they may not be the right fit for you and your working style.

For example, a stay at home parent hoping to support other potential parents remotely can probably be expected to have a child present for some of the video call. (Have you ever tried to do something personal with kids in the house? — let’s say, use the bathroom maybe — And how successful was that for you? Right, not very.)

Moving Forward

With these advances in modern technology and occupational variation come some fabulous advances in the way we understand and treat communities and the individuals who comprise them. We have a better understanding of what it means to be human and can empathize more readily with the situational differences that come with our changing societal expectations.

Working and communicating remotely presents many challenges and even more opportunities. Having an open mind allows for growth and progress in our technological world. While keeping your business relationships professional by dressing the part and working in a focused atmosphere is ideal, we must embrace the fact that life happens outside of work in order to maintain forward movement and the progress that come with that mentality.

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