Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Many of the same rules about in-person/face-to-face meetings apply for virtual meetings. For example, you should show up on time, preferably even five minutes before the meeting start time. However, given the completely online environment in which we are all meeting, here are some other etiquette tips to keep in mind ahead of your next Zoom/Skype meeting.

Prepare Your Space

If you are using a new platform, give it a test run before the meeting and make sure you familiarize yourself with any features (screen share/stopping video/muting) that you might need to use on meeting day. While you are testing it out, make sure that your microphone and audio work. Some have found that using headphones helps the sounds quality quite a bit.

Find a plain background or at least one that you feel comfortable sharing with colleagues. Some platforms offer virtual backgrounds for you to put up, but realize that when you use them, the image of you often becomes a bit garbled. Try not to sit in an area where you are backlit as it makes the image darker and people are very hard to see; it can almost like an anonymous person in the meeting.

Turn Video On
Have your video on unless you are experiencing connection issues or unless you need to quickly attend to something in your home.  It can already feel more difficult to engage with others virtually; however, this increases exponentially when one is trying to talk to and connect with black boxes on their screen.

When your video is on, remember that you are on camera and try your best to avoid multi-tasking. It would feel very rude to check your email or scroll through your phone during an in-person meeting, so try not to do it during a virtual meeting.

Beware of Your Own Noises
What seems like normal everyday sounds, like chewing, sipping coffee, or even saying “Uh huh” and “Yeah” repeatedly can be irritating to other participants. Muting and unmuting yourself is a skill you’ll need to master to do well in virtual meetings. Unless the group is a small discussion group, it is probably a good idea to keep yourself muted until you want to speak.

Talking over another person is rude in an in-person meeting and online it makes everything inaudible for the group. Be cautious of taking talking turns during virtual meetings.

Be Respectful and Kind
We are all living in a new normal where we get to see inside our colleagues’ homes and see/hear their pets, kids, partners, etc. You may also notice that your colleague is wearing the same shirt each meeting or has barely brushed their hair. Calling attention to any of these things is rude; remember that each one of us is trying to manage daily tasks and some days are more successful than others.

If you need more tips on managing virtual interviews, check out our blog post here.

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