Are you Ready for a Webcam Interview? 3 Reasons Why you Should be!

This post was inspired by @BenefitsMyke

video-interview-manToday I was reminded of how important it is to keep up with the times. It seems as though technology is moving faster than we can process change. One moment we are all using pagers and pay phones, Dewey Decimal Systems, memorizing addresses and phone numbers and the next we are on the World Wide Web tweeting, face-booking, video chatting and linking-in with just about anyone and everyone who will entertain our connections. Through technology, we have extended our reach to end of the earth without having to barely move from our homes. Even the dictionary now defines “friend” as a verb: to add (a person) to one’s list of contacts on a social-networking website (dictionary.com). Nevertheless, I find myself refocusing my attention on how greatly the internet and social media has impacted hiring. If you want to enhance your career and increase your advantage, I suggest you become more familiar and to some degree, skilled in webcam and video interviews.

Here’s why:

1. The World is Round. There’s more to the workforce than your city, county or even your state. Branching out to other states and working overseas is always a great way to boost your career; however employers want tech-savvy workers. You will need to become skilled in video conferencing and interviewing to remain competitive. Having variety of work experience and travel makes you well-rounded and your experience and exposure to a variety of diversified groups gives you an advantage. If you don’t understand the logistics and etiquette of video interviewing or conferencing, there’s a chance your career highlights and experience will get lost in its delivery. Don’t take that risk.

2. Money Money Money. It costs little these days to hop online and have a chat with someone. Lowering expenses is a priority for any business; however employers still want to hire good people. The best way to interview someone with great potential is to do it via Skype or Webcam without having to incur the cost of a plane ticket. Naturally, if they really like you after your great Web-Interview they will surely fly you in. The key….get the Webcam and rehearse.

3. Convenience. Many employers are now asking for short video resumes from applicants to make a decision on interviewing rather than sifting through mounds of paperwork trying to locate emails and re-print what they lost or mistakenly deleted. It’s easier to remember a name once you pair it with a face and it also gives you an opportunity to display more of your personality, which is a limitation with paper resumes.

Now you know why it’s important, so here is how you do it.

1. Eliminate distractions. Try to record or interview in a quiet place, free of distracting noises or inappropriate backgrounds (take down that poster and put away those clothes!).

2. Smile & look directly into the camera. Always make extra effort to smile during a web-interview or recording. I call this the “likability factor”. Many hiring decisions are based on likability, whether hiring managers want to admit it or not. You can have everything wonderfully presented on your resume, but without making that personal connection you’ve lost an opportunity. Try not to take your eyes off the camera. You don’t want to appear uninterested or worse, insecure.

3. Remain direct and confident. If you are doing a video-resume focus on your accomplishments and directly state why you would be a good fit and include key accomplishments about the organization as well. Re-play, re-record and ask for an opinion before you submit. During an interview, behave just as you would in a normal setting but also remain aware and cautious of your facial expressions and posture. There is a record/re-play button here. Don’t forget that.

4. Arrive early. For web-cam/Skype interviews, arrive at least 10 minutes early. Check your internet connection and get ready to click the button as soon as you can. You don’t want it to appear you are not tech-savvy enough to operate a computer.

5. Practice makes perfect! Record yourself, over and over again to see how many times you say “um” “because” “well”….etc. Send it to a trusted source and ask for feedback. You can’t predict the future but you can prepare yourself for some hiccups on your special day. Don’t panic – have a back-up plan. All you can do is ensure the connection is good on your end. If it fails, immediately call in to see when you can re-schedule or if appropriate, do a telephone interview instead. If they don’t have a video resume of you, send one.

I implore you not to overlook this area. The internet is just another way our lines of communication have evolved. Failing to learn better ways to communicate is detrimental to your career.

If you find you’ve become routine within your career, it’s time to move on.

5 Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Business

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Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.

Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?

According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.

86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.

89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.

With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.

1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.

2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.

3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.

4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.

5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!

To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!

20140717-133139-48699513.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.

Stop Socially Networking when you are Socially Networking!

It burns my very soul to attend a networking event and see people (often who have paid to attend) standing on a wall socially networking about being at a networking event! Really? Networking is about connecting with people on a personal level; eye to eye, brow to brow, “Mano-a-mano”, not through a technology box.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe technology is great for many things, but there is a time and a place for it and those places should not include networking events. So please my dear and beloved colleagues, friends and soon to be clients, for the love of all mankind I beg you; please put down your gadgets, give your thumbs a rest and get back to the basics! Image

That’s all for now.

All the best,

Mary V. Davids