A woman during a videocall in a coffee shop

Video Calls: 5 mistakes you must avoid

We are living the digital revolution at its highest. The current situation forced us to transition faster and globally. A transition to a work from home model and a full online management for companies.

Video-calls have become indispensable in terms of communications, team meetings, client meetings and also for job interviews. Many businesses will use platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype have become the most used tools for this purpose.

Online meetings, like face to face meetings, have rules. Indeed, it is very common for people to underestimate the importance of presentation, punctuality and professionalism when they join an online meeting. Unfortunately guys, those mistakes can sometimes have big consequences. A negative feedback from your superior that could easily be avoided. A potential client that will not call you back or a job that will be given to someone else.

Here are 5 mistakes that you must avoid during video calls:

1 – Don’t be late

Punctuality is and will always be important when attending professional events. Online meetings apply the same rule: being late is unprofessional and shows a lack of responsibility.

Be on time and ready at least 10 minutes before the meeting. Your computer is ready, your headphones charged and working, you are logged in, you are dressed and ready to attend the video-call.

2 – Camera ON, no excuses!

You may like it or not but if you have to attend a video-call, please do not pretend that your camera is not working to avoid showing your face.

This also implies to check your background, a clean and neutral space behind you will do great. Check that your camera angle is fine, avoid low angle. There is nothing more annoying than speaking to a chin.

3 – Don’t call from a noisy place

Avoid attending a video-call from a busy coffee shop or in your living room where members of your family are passing through or speaking, etc. The day and time for the meeting are set in advance. It is your responsibility to make sure to have the best environment to attend the calls. You need to be prepared and cautious about those details. This is the best way to show professionalism and have productive meetings. When you are attending a video conference with more than two participants, noises can be a real disaster. Make sure to mute your microphone when you are listening and turn it on when it is your turn to speak.

Speaking of noise, don’t forget to turn off your notifications (email, whatsApp, task manager, all muted for the call)

4 – Don’t call from your cell phone

Here are some points to understand why professional online calls should not be taken on a mobile phone: the instability of the screen; you cannot view documents and share screens; the angle is often bad due to the movements and instability.

Let’s imagine for one moment that your phone is the only option you have and you found a way to stabilize it. Remember that laptop screens are horizontal and that your phone is built vertically. So, at least don’t forget to use your phone horizontally in order to avoid that the person in front of you sees you with the two black lines on their screen. They would become aware from minute one that you are using a phone for a professional meeting.

As mentioned before, the day and time of your meetings are usually scheduled in advance. So, make sure to have a good device to join the video-call. The person in front of you can interprete negatively the fact that you are joining an online meeting or an interview on your phone. It somehow shows a lack of professionalism.

5 – Bad connection is no excuse

If your internet is not working properly, don’t think it is a good excuse to justify the bad quality of the call. If you accepted a video-meeting, you need to be prepared. Incidents can always occur. However, if you already know that this matter could affect your video-call, find a way to fix it. Improve your Internet connection by upgrading to a better Internet Service Provider. You can also go to your best friend’s house or find a meeting room in a coworking space.

During video-calls, you need to respect all codes of conduct of face-to-face meetings. Look at your interlocutor and show professionalism. Online meetings will become more and more popular in the future and it is a skill you need to manage. Be able to handle the different software you may have to use. Know how to join a call, how to create a session, how to share a screen and other basic things such as how to mute your microphone and switch your camera on.