Ways To Avoid a Zoom Call Catastrophe

We have recently discussed the “Do’s” when it comes to interview and meeting video calls over Zoom. But what about things to avoid when it comes to interviewing or having a meeting over Zoom? Here are some helpful tips to make sure you standout among the crowd.

Look At The Camera

This may sound simple, but believe us, you will be surprised how many times your eyes will drift down to look at yourself while you’re talking. Always keep this in mind. If you have trouble looking into the camera whether it be if you’re shy or feel that you can’t focus on a black dot, try placing a picture of your family or loved ones directly above or to the side of the camera so it feels like you’re talking to someone real. The person on the other side of the call won’t have any idea and will be impressed by your engagement with the camera. Keep in mind that positioning the camera at eye level is key to achieving that eye-to-eye connection.

Get The Right Lighting

Paying attention to lighting is a must when it comes to video calls. The most important advice we can give is to not be backlit. What is backlit? It means having light coming in behind you (you may be thinking, “That doesn’t seem so bad”). When light is coming in behind you, you will turn dark and the person on the other side of the call will not be able to see you, which can lead to them assuming you’re unprofessional. Try testing your lighting before your call to ensure the lighting is perfect. Try sitting in front of a window so the light can hit your face directly. Natural light from a window is the best light you will find. Stay away from overhead fluorescent lighting, it can be unflattering.

Choose The Right Background (work appropriate)

Just like lighting is important so is the right background. Dress to impress not only goes for the clothes you will be wearing for an interview, it also goes for the background. Make sure you find an area that is clean and where the walls are not too busy with colors or distracting art pieces. Interviewers want to focus on you, not your backdrop. Whatever you do, do NOT have an interview while sitting in your car. Zoom offers a virtual background feature that is supported by most computers which can help you if you don’t have an adequate background. Using a green screen will help you achieve a flawless virtual background and will make it look professional.

The Mute Button Is Your Friend

Don’t be scared of the mute button, use it. Anyone who is not speaking in a group call should mute themselves so the person who is speaking will have everyone’s attention. Muting your microphone can help if you are trying to cough, clear your throat, adjust your seat, or even to take a drink of water. That microphone will pick up everything that you do, so if you can’t control your background noise at all times during your meeting, this will be helpful. Just remember to unmute yourself when you are about to talk.

Silence Distractions

Getting notifications from outside applications can be distracting and impolite to others who are in your meeting. Be sure to silence your cell phone or put it on Do Not Disturb. Another thing to keep in mind before starting a meeting is finding a quiet space for your video call. If background noise is unavoidable, it may be worth looking into using a white noise machine to alleviate the excess noise.


*Zoom is not the only way to hold a video conference call, companies are also using similar services like Webex, Skype, Google Duo, and even Facetime.