Zoom Calls: Virtual Etiquette in a Transformative World

3 minute read

Note: This article contains vocabulary that appeals to a wider audience.

What you’ll learn in this article

In this article, you will learn a few things that have helped me with best practices in virtual calls:

  • How to setup your virtual calls
  • General Zoom Etiquette
  • General conversing notes
  • How to exit a call

Zoom Logo w/COVID19


During these unprecedented times, people around the world are going through major difficulties that either are pushing them into a lower in class, or is increasing the existing social status division. To help mitigate that in any way, I thought I’d offer my consultation on effectively transitioning into digital communication or learning.

2. Joining a Call

2.1 Pre-join

Getting ready for your zoom call? The following are good steps I take before joining a call:

  • Wifi Connection
  • Earphones/Headphones
    • Backup earphones
  • Position your camera properly
  • Phone on “vibrate” mode, audio down
  • If call is password protected, the password
  • Join 2-3mins early, if an interview
    • First timer? 5+mins

2.2 The Join

Call me

  • When entering the call, ensure you are on mute
    • Be mindful of background noise
  • [Optional] Shy? Bad hair day? Disable Video
    • However, if the meeting requires you have your video on, then do as such
  • Mind your environment
    • E.g. No random items or things to be seen are not in the background

3. What to Wear

3.1 General Advice

  • If you’re in an interview, I highly advise you wear clothes as if you’re going into an in-person interview.

  • If you care about letting your appearance “pop out” a bit, using a light can help your image. I heard about Ring lights; check it out!

  • Pretty much, if you know you’re attending a virtual event that requires a formality in-person, wear such clothes

3.2 The Specifics

  • Tops
    • If you’re in not in an interview, I advise on wearning a comfortable, but appropriate shirt.
      • If you’re still working though, be sure to wear what is suitable for your team’s comfortability
  • Bottoms:
    • If you’re cold, sweats will do. However, do know that when you stand up, you’ll like you got out of bed
    • If you want to be comfortable, I recommend wearing shorts. Personally, I wear Uniqlo Easy Shorts

Lazy day

4. Mind the….

4.1 Mind the Speaker

(i.e. Respekt the person talking)

  • Address Internet Disruptions
    • If addressed, first do it via Chat. After, try by turning on audio again
  • Try to avoid talking at the same time as other participants
    • If an interruption occurs, take a few humbling seconds to let the other person speak

4.2 Mind the Attendees

  • Limit distractions
    • Be aware you are on camera
    • Don’t be me, easily getting distracted by Tweets (maybe youre case, TicTok?)
  • Take your time sharing your screen.

Some may ask… Why tho

It’s just about respecting others, I suppose. I can write some long paragraph about why, but I’ll say this, especially during these times:

“Treat people with respect, if you want that same respect back”

5. Ending the Call

5.1 Cues

Ending a call can be tricky sometimes. In a social context, there are small “cues” that show when a conversation ending

I’m more of the receiving end of those haha

However, virtual calls are quite different in identifying when a call should end. The following are some things I noticed that help me out:

  • Near the end of the discussion, a person is quickly eyeing their time

  • There is nothing to further discuss, aroudn 2/3’s of the call’s expected timeframe

5.2 Saying Goodbye

Here are the top ranked ways I look to say goodbye

  1. Wave goodbye & smile [Optional]
    • Just being friendly :)
    • Recently, I found out people do “peace sign” goodbyes
  2. Saying goodbyes, meanwhile you’re hovering the exit button
    • This helps mitigate awkward seconds of ending a call

Call me back?