Have you participated in a Zoom interview or meeting? I’m sure you have. In this day and age of working from home and still needing to keep in touch with your coworkers and clients or participating in online job interviews, Zoom has become a necessity of life. Having your coworkers, clients or potential employers see into your personal life through a small camera means that you have to consider what they can see and how much of your personal life you want them to be able to view.
We have all seen the Zoom footage on Facebook where the person forgot they were on camera and recorded video and sounds of things they probably didn’t want the world to see or hear.
Meeting Etiquette on Zoom
Proper Zoom meeting etiquette can help you ensure that you’ll come across as a professional in all of your meetings and interviews. Here are a few handy tips and tricks to keeping your Zoom communications professional.
1. Use the Video Option
While it’s tempting to turn the camera off so that you’re only heard and not seen, it can be unsettling for the people on the other end of the conversation. If you are going to be speaking, always use the video option when it’s available. In conferences and webinars, you may not need to use the camera if you’re only listening and not participating, but a camera is essential if you’re participating.
2. Dress Appropriately
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean other people want to see your pajamas. Sweats and pajamas are an option on days that you don’t have Zoom meetings, but if you’re going to be on camera, dress as you would in the office. And don’t forget pants! I remember the video of the guy who spilled his cup of coffee and had to jump up quickly and only had underwear on. Comedy for the viewers, but not the way you want to make a good impression.
3. Stage Your Area
Find a place in your home where you can easily participate in a meeting without distractions, then stage the area behind you. Don’t let your camera catch an open bathroom door behind you; hang a curtain or close the door. Make sure the area behind you is clean, organized, and presentable.
If you don’t have the option of a clean background, try using the Zoom virtual background feature. Set it up in advance with a photo of a clean office or nicely decorated professional wall and check that the correct background is selected prior to turning on your video. (Don’t select the moon shot or other neat but unprofessional backgrounds.)
4. Show Your Best Self
Make sure you’re not hiding in the shadows or blinding the other participants with too much light. Try having a lamp nearby instead of harsh overhead lighting. And look into the camera. Lifting your camera up just a little so that you look up at it instead of down will help eliminate a double-chin effect. Place your laptop on top of a couple of books to raise it to a higher level if necessary.
5. Test Your Connection
Before your meetings start, go to zoom.us/test to check your settings and make sure your internet, camera, and microphone are all in good working order.
6. Mute Yourself When Not Talking
If you’re not talking, use the mute option to help eliminate any background noise that may disrupt the meeting. Your coworkers and clients don’t want to hear the dog barking, your husband watching TV, or your neighbor cutting their grass.
7. Don’t Eat
Having a bottle of water or a cup of coffee close by if you need it is fine, but try to avoid eating and only take a sip of your drink when you’re not talking. No one wants to see you eat your lunch on screen. Some businesses are hosting “Lunch and Learn” Zoom webinars. If you are participating in a webinar where you are only watching, turn off the video and sound if you are eating.
8. Stay Focused
Do not check emails or browse Facebook while in the meeting; the other participants will know that you’re not paying attention via video. Stay focused on the meeting until it’s over. Remember many meetings and interviews on Zoom or other conference platforms are recorded and replayed at a later time. Your every move is recorded, make sure what a viewer will see is appropriate.
9. The Meeting Host Should Be the Last to Leave
When the meeting host leaves the meeting, it abruptly closes the meeting for anyone that’s left. This is why the meeting host needs to make sure everyone has logged off before closing the meeting. Or at least waits a few seconds to give everyone the opportunity to leave before ending the meeting.
Zoom meetings and interviews will be with us for a long time to come, so be sure to use proper etiquette so that you can maintain your professional image to your coworkers and clients.
Do You Need Career Search Help?
If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.