What the Viral BBC Interview Teaches us about Video Calls

Last Friday, Robert Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University, experienced what could go wrong when you take a professional video call from home. Professor Kelly was speaking about the impeachment of South Korea President Park Geun-hye live on BBC, when his adorable children entered the room and stole the show. The internet went crazy with commentary over the weekend. Everything from this is comedy gold, to he should have reacted differently, and so on. All the reactions aside, we all can learn a lot from this situation, specifically what to do to ensure your video calls run smoothly.

In the healthcare recruitment world, video calls are a great way to organize and make decisions with people who are on-the-go or working long shifts. At Fidelis Partners, we encourage our clients to use video calls during the interview process when trying to recruit physicians and other healthcare professionals. Video call and chatting technology provides a cost-effective solution for minimizing interview costs and reducing time-to-hire.

Set the Stage

Probably the biggest lesson from the BBC interview, is to be cognizant of your surroundings. There’s no predicting toddlers, but one easy move to avoid this situation from happening again is to film with your back against a simple background. For most people, just against a wall, or if you are at an office, designate a room with your company logo as your background. If the camera had been adjusted so there was a different background, most viewers would have never seen the children or mother enter the room.

Another point here is to de-clutter your background. While the bookshelves in the background set the tone of “academic” it also makes the surroundings busy. A simple background not only helps avoid distractions but will be easier on the eyes for the viewer.


Remain Professional

Professor Kelly did a great job of remaining calm and professional when the interview started heading the blooper reel direction. Whatever happens during your call – whether it’s an interview, presentation or status meeting – always err on the side of professionalism. This is also true for your attire. Even though it’s a video, it’s best to dress for a formal meeting.

Eye contact is also important. This can be mastered by keeping your camera at eye-level and looking at the camera. Many times during a video call, we are tempted to look at the faces of the others on the call, but on the other end that looks like you are looking down or away. Professor Kelly does a great job of never breaking eye contact.

The key to successfully using two-way video is preparation for all parties involved. Having a clear set of questions and structure to the video call before it begins is important. Although it can feel like a casual conversation, a video call for a recruitment purpose should follow an agenda just like any other meeting. Beyond content, preparing the setup of a video call is equally crucial to its success.

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