Ok, so you’re going to attend a meeting or a class OR A JOB INTERVIEW online using something like a conference call, Zoom, WebEx, Skype for Business, or Google Teams, or … you get the idea.

First, let’s not alienate those we’re connecting with and potentially endanger our careers or at the very least embarrass ourselves.

Here are some simple guidelines for participating in a group connection over the phone or over the web:


  • Mute your audio if you are not speaking.
  • Be presentable in business attire. If for some reason you cannot be presentable, mute your video. Also consider this approach if there may be visual distractions in the frame of your camera (i.e. crazy bird, weird wall hanging, etc.). The ideal is to present a professional image as much as possible and not to distract from the meeting.
  • As mentioned above, it’s always best to be prepared for a professional interaction, especially in your appearance if video will be used.
  • Don’t stare at your phone, your tablet, the newspaper, or something else while other people are presenting.
  • Don’t interrupt other people when they’re speaking (or attempt to speak over them)
  • Test all technology (including camera/video, Wi-Fi, and screen sharing) before the meeting.
  • Read the agenda, and come prepared.
  • Don’t work on other tasks (like checking email) during the virtual meeting.
  • Turn off all notifications and make sure your cell phone is on silent.
  • If you are leading the meeting, make sure all participants are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.

A conference call in real life