Hosting an effective web conference or taking a video interview call are a set of skills all its own. Learning to master the skills of running a large multi-location meeting or just a person-to-person interview can help your organization coordinating geographically distant teams or with sourcing just the right hire for that opening. Following these interview hacks will help you define your own style and get web conference savvy.
Web conferencing with services such as Blue Jeans is a very distinct and separate type of conference from simple telepresence. Where telepresence allows the interviewer to ask and listen, it is typically a very mono directional form of communication. They talk and other people listen. Web conferencing allows users in multiple locations, and even on tablets and smart phones to hold and participate in face-to-face interviews without needing to be in a single location, or indeed to travel to any other location other than the one where they are already. Uses for this technology according to Investopedia include holding group-discussions, meetings, hands-on online learning sessions, and even interviewing job candidates. There are some very basic tips that you need to know before hosting your meeting – consider them a “rules of the road” for at attendees and meeting holders.
A study conducted for Verizon by Infocom suggested some elementary tips for maximizing the effectiveness of web conferencing and video interviews.
- Setting an introduction with clear objectives to the interviewer in advance of the meeting will help them prepare effectively contribute and let them know about the merit of candidature under discussion.
- Be sure that all at candidates have access to the agenda and relevant documents well in advance. If you are unsure that in candidate has received their paperwork, and it is not possible to convey to them personally, send them an e-copy.
- Have the candidate sign in for the meeting start time. This will allow the interviewer to address any sign in difficulties and answer any questions that first time web conference users might have.
- Introduce all the participants before starting the interview, making it clear who is there and from what department as well as their position and duties.
- Moderate the discussion – making sure that he will have time to speak, schedule question and answer periods, and encouraging quieter at attendees speak out when they have something to say. Do not let anyone dominate the discussion or monopolize time.
Rules for at candidates should also be laid out in a very clear and concise manner:
- Attendees who are not speaking should mute their microphones so as not to drown out or distract the speaker with side conversations or extraneous noises.
- Candidates who will be speaking should be advised on how to dress for the camera so as to minimize glare and other distractions. Neutral colors and solids are best, as extreme colors such as black and white or very bright colors or contrasting patterns might not show as well on camera.
- When speaking, the person addressing the meeting should introduce themselves by name, department, location, and which job they are currently performing.
- When speaking, strict attention should be paid to any time limits in order not to cut into other speakers’ time or shorten the question and answer period.
Picking Your Web conferencing Service
With the advent of widely available broadband and better uploading speeds versus downloading speeds, Web conferencing has entered a new era. Perhaps especially the advent of cloud-based apps such as Bluejeans has freed more companies to discover the benefits of web conferencing as opposed to traditional business traveling. Gigaom breaks down the needs for productive web conferencing into the following categories.
- Ease-of-use: web conferencing tools must be easy to use for all participants. Features should become available within one or two clicks, and also need to be implemented with the mobile device user in mind, as well as the traditional desktop or laptop user.
- Video and audio clarity: Video should be high resolution and high color, as well as high definition. Otherwise jittery or pixelated video can distract from the spoken portion of the meeting, while poor call quality will give you that “I’m calling from underwater” atmosphere where people must guess what speakers are trying to say.
- Not everyone has broadband, you may have users joining in on a 3G or 4G connection instead of their company’s wireless or ethernet connection.
Cost is of course a factor in many companies’ decisions on which web conferencing services to use. By comparing the features to the price tag, and aggressively mapping out pros and cons, the canny manager can cut through the hype and key in on what really matters – a reliable, secure, and usable resource that will benefit the bottom line as well as employee engagement and satisfaction.