Everybody knows that the face of accounting (and every other industry) has changed with current events. From Zoom conferences to solely digital internships, virtual meetings are taking over, and as that happens – the way you approach them must change, too.
It’s no surprise that a virtual internship, or a virtual meeting, can feel a little different than it would if you were talking to them face to face. But your professionalism should not suffer because of it. That includes preventing tech issues, mitigating potential interruptions and bringing your A-game to the meeting.
We know it sounds tough. That’s why we’ve gathered our best tips for you, so you can crush your virtual meetings.
1. Test your tech
Your virtual interview, or meeting, isn’t going to get very far if you can’t get into the call. Hey, it happens – maybe your internet speed’s low or your microphone isn’t connected. But this will impede on your success. That’s why we recommend everybody takes 5-10 minutes every morning to test their tech, and set their day up for success. We all understand that there are some things out of your control – like maybe your web page crashes, or there’s a power outage – but by preparing yourself as effectively as possible, you send the message that you’re reliable – and that goes a long way.
2. Dress to impress
We know, you’re at home – you want to be comfortable. But, it’s important not to give into the temptation to dress down for an interview or your internship. What your superior sees will skew their opinion of you as a professional in the workplace. If you wouldn’t wear it sitting next to them in the office, you probably shouldn’t wear it on a video call either. But hey – know your battleground, if the camera only shows from your waist up, then nobody will know (or care) if you’re wearing sweatpants or leggings on the bottom as long as you’re appropriately dressed according to the dress code on top.
3. Have your talking points memorized
This is pretty standard across every interview or meeting, whether in person or virtual. You should be prepared – it’s a surefire way to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. But, this is even more crucial when in a virtual landscape – often these meetings are tightly scheduled, and even run back to back. So, sticking to the confines of the meeting time allotted is a pretty valuable skill. Because of that, we recommend spending time before every meeting to bullet the points you want to hit, the questions you need answering and the priority order of them.
4. Be mindful of your background
While we all work from home right now, some pretty strange places have become our office. Whether it’s your bedroom, living room or some other place in your house, your background matters. In fact, you could be as professional as you like, but without taking a minute to ensure your background is professional, too (i.e. no unmade bed, nobody lounging in the background, no obvious TV on mute) then none of it matters. If that’s not possible, because of space restraints or otherwise, then consider adding a nondescript virtual background to your Zoom or Skype call.
By utilizing these four tips, you’re putting your best foot forward for your meeting. We know that this can feel a little weird sometimes, and it’s tough adjusting but with these tips, your supervisor would never know. Do you have any good tips that you’ve learned while working from home? Share them with us on our Facebook page, and you may be featured on our social media channels!
Evan Moore is a Senior Associate of Business Development at Surgent Professional Education, focusing primarily on building and maintaining B2B and B2E relationships in an effort to boost CPA Exam pass rates. In addition to working hand-in-hand with educators, students, and firm administrators, Evan oversees Surgent’s state society relationships pertaining to exam review efforts. Evan also helps to manage a variety of Surgent initiatives including webinars, mock CPA Exams and social media strategy.