Why conference calls are difficult to make the best first impression?
The Challenges of Making a Good First impression on a Conference Call
Conference calls are commonly used in today’s business world. With the aid of modern technology, these calls involve more than simply dialing up some numbers and getting a few people on the line. Virtual tools allow individuals to see one another in real time. Still though, despite these technological advances, some challenges do exist.
Typically, conference calls happen among groups of people who have worked together before. In some cases, however, companies might conduct interviews through conference calls, or new employees may join in. While making a good first impression is certainly possible through a conference call, you should also understand the struggles associated with doing so.
Issues with technology certainly play a prominent role when it comes to the difficulties associated with making a good first impression through a conference call. For example, imagine that you are in charge of dialing into a call or giving a presentation virtually, and it’s your first time meeting the other people. The technology that you’re using might truly fail on you. However, the other individuals might assume that you are the one making the mistake because they do not know you yet to have confidence and trust in you. Using the best technology possible, such as tools that require no PIN and having a technology specialist nearby can help with these snafus.
When you go to a meeting in person, some downtime typically exists before the formal discussions actually begin. In other words, you have a few minutes to mingle with your colleagues and to introduce yourself to new staff members. You can also get a sense of the vibe in the room. With a conference call, the formal discussions tend to begin as soon as the meeting does. People are not calling in and casually hanging out for awhile beforehand. Therefore, you do not have those precious minutes to get to know colleagues on a more personal and social level, which can lead to a level of awkwardness in the conference call itself.
Some social cues are pretty standard. However, others are specific to individuals. As a group of people work with one another for a long time, they can start to tell what their colleagues are signifying. For example, everyone may know that a particular employee tends to lean back in the chair when becoming bored with the meeting. Others are aware that another employee will ask questions long after the meeting is over. When you are meeting people for the first time through a conference call, you can miss out on these social cues.
It’s also possible that you are the only person who is calling in. For example, you might be going for an interview that is conducted through a conference call. All of the other people involved might be on the hiring committee. Therefore, they are all together at the job, and you are talking to them over some sort of technological tool. This separation can make you feel the divide between you and them even more. In fact, you may even feel as though they are all on one team and that you are their opponent. This type of situation can make you feel awkward and uncomfortable, which can render it difficult for you to give off a good first impression.
Technology has helped the world of work in such a vast array of ways. However, some problems do still exist. When you are meeting people for the first time, doing so through a conference call is likely to stir up at least some uncomfortable feelings and moments.