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Zoom on your virtual presence

Video interviews, which are becoming more and more common, can be overwhelming for most of us. Here are the dos and don’ts

Zoom on your virtual presence

Abha Chaudhary

With the pandemic, the corporate world was thrown into a dark abyss of cost cutting and lay-offs. As a transition coach, it’s important for me to make my client understand that it’s a situational lay-off and not performance based. So, a job seeker must not feel apologetic about looking for a job, instead should use this opportunity to upskill his virtual presence and ace the interview for success. A few tips that one can follow would greatly help in steering the situation to one’s advantage.

Win with your smile & tone

Generally, a telephone interview precedes the video round. Your pitch, inflection, courtesy, tone, understanding, rhythm and enunciation present a perfect picture. Research just as much as you would for an in-person interview. Get dressed and stand up to sound more powerful and confident. Eliminate any potential for interruptions, noise, and other distractions. Have your resume and the job description in front of you. Use a reliable phone line and answer the interviewers call by stating your name. Don’t forget to smile, interviewers can sense it. If the interviewer calls unannounced, it is okay to reschedule to give yourself time to prepare. Though video interviews are becoming more and more common these days, the arrival of different virtual platforms has made it overwhelming for most of us.

Create the office look

Ensure a simple, professional background and appropriate interview clothing. A messy background can ruin the appropriateness of your clothes. A neutral background is the best option for most times. Avoid logging in through a phone. A laptop is a steadier option. Practice using various video technology platforms such as Skype or Zoom. Ear phones help minimising the surrounding noises. Even an email notification on your screen can distract you and you may miss an important detail or a question. Turn off those notifications and set up in a quiet area. Look at the camera, not at yourself on the screen. Speak loud and clear. Practise with your microphone and sound. Check the lighting to ensure the interviewer can see you clearly. Overhead or backdrop lighting may not be flattering. Back lighting should seriously be avoided. Try sitting in front of a window, allowing natural daylight to evenly wash the room.

Get the timing right

It doesn’t make sense to log in too early. If you are 15 minutes early, you could be sitting in front of a blank screen for too long, causing unnecessary Zoom fatigue to yourself. By entering the interview room before your slot, you might interrupt the previous interview. Rehearse your technology well before time and log in just 1 minute before the scheduled time. Wait to be admitted to the virtual room, right on time. Close all other programmes and windows on your computer prior to the interview. Ensure that your computer is plugged in directly to your power and internet sources. Review your profile on the technology platform to be sure all content is appropriate and matches your professional brand. Make sure to log off once the interview is completed.

—Chaudhary is a Chandigarh-based

image and style consultant

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