Common aspects of everyday life came to a standstill in 2020. But after a period of uncertainty in the spring, employers began hiring again.
If you started a new job or are about to change careers, you will meet your co-workers online. First impressions matter more than ever, so it’s helpful to be thoughtful about those interactions. Use these tips to make those first few meetings more productive — and a little bit less awkward.
“Hi, how are you?” It’s the most straightforward conversation starter there is. However, you can do better for those first interactions. Skip the “how are you doing” during the first meeting. You don’t have a baseline to work from; you don’t know what ‘good’ means to them. It’s also a hard question to answer right now.
Instead, keep it positive and ask a question with a concrete answer. Instead, you might ask:
These are casual questions that help you get to know each other, keep it professional, and avoid perfunctory answers.
Zoom backgrounds are a fun way to express yourself and show off a bit of your personality. They’re free, and there’s no shortage of them available.
However, do remember to keep it professional. You might use a background photo of your current city or home town, the backdrop of your favorite sports team, or even a generic backdrop that expresses your interests. For example, you might put yourself in a beautiful library if you love to read.
One of the tricky things about Zoom is the over-reliance on verbal language. Even with video, delays, low-quality cameras, and the concept of video in general means it’s harder to communicate.
Be sure to keep an eye on your body language. It’s perceptible even on Zoom. Be sure to position your camera so that it captures your upper body when sitting up straight. When on the call, sit back from the camera so your co-workers can see your gestures. And as always, when in doubt, smile and nod.
Zoom is imperfect, but it’s a valuable tool that most companies now use to conduct everything from onboarding to essential business. You can make those first interactions meaningful by remembering Zoom’s limitations and working to overcome them by communicating as effectively as possible. Remember, these tips aren’t just great for daily meetings. They’re also helpful interview tips.
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