Staying Professional in Virtual Meetings


One day last week I participated in four virtual meetings–one was more than two hours long.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit to multi-tasking during a couple of the calls.  At one point, it was quite apparent to others on the call that someone was hammering away on a computer keyboard.  I apologized for failing to hit the mute button.  Later, two others on the call confided to me that they, too, were multi-tasking (one actually was participating in a second conference call).

I didn’t think much about the experience until I read Sunday’s New York Times which carried a story entitled “Staying Professional in Virtual Meetings.”  I recommend reading this article since it provides important tips for everyone, including job applicants who might face the increasing number of video conference interviews. 

Besides providing a fuller appreciation of the mute button, the article also discusses the importance of dressing appropriately for a video conference interview.  For instance, don’t wear stripes.  “They don’t transmit well on camera and can be mistaken for movement, causing the camera to keep refreshing itself,” says Susan Colaric, director of instructional technology at Saint Leo University in Florida. Stay away from large, shiny jewelry, too, because it picks up glare.

“Wear solid colors with noticeable accents and dress for your audience,” she says. “For instance, in academia, ties are rare, but in law firms, they aren’t.”

2 thoughts on “Staying Professional in Virtual Meetings

  1. As an internship student this is a topic I have been thinking about recently. The remoteness of a call does allow somebody to divert their attention. Plus I really dislike it when people during conference calls decided to ignore speaking towards the microphone. Makes it a painful experience for the listener ‘volume up… volume down’.

  2. Agree with Bruce above. If you are in a meeting, irrespective of whether its face to face to remote, it is disrepectful to the other attendees if you multi task. The NYT article was a good article reinforcing basic meeting etiquette.

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