Your Guide to Zoom Etiquette: Best Practices and Tips for 2024

  • 2024-04-02
  • Serra Ardem
Your Guide to Zoom Etiquette: Best Practices and Tips for 2024

In today’s world of remote work, just because we attend meetings from the comfort of our homes doesn’t mean that we should abandon common courtesies. In fact, Zoom etiquette is more important than ever to ensure an efficient virtual meeting experience.

In this blog, we will first explain what Zoom etiquette is and why it matters. Then, we will share the best practices for four different cases: Zoom etiquette for business meetings, students, interviewees, and hosts. We will also cover the essential ground rules that apply to everyone on Zoom.

Let’s dive in.

What is Zoom etiquette?

Zoom etiquette refers to a set of guidelines and best practices that should be followed when participating in video conferences or meetings on Zoom. These are designed to ensure a respectful and smooth experience for all participants.

A woman in a blue shirt waving her hand at the laptop camera.

Generally, Zoom etiquette involves being mindful of your audio and video settings, respecting others’ time and attention, and creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable. Additionally, it includes actively engaging in discussions, refraining from multitasking, and utilizing Zoom features in the most productive way.

Why is Zoom etiquette important?

Overall, Zoom etiquette is crucial for fostering a productive, professional and positive environment. Here are 4 key points illustrating its importance:

  1. Professionalism: Adhering to Zoom meeting etiquette demonstrates respect for other participants, mirroring expectations in a traditional in-person setting.
  2. Effective communication: Practices like maintaining eye contact or being mindful of body language facilitate effective communication during virtual interactions.
  3. Minimizing distractions: By muting your microphone or having a clear background, you can minimize distractions and allow everyone to focus on the meeting’s content.
  4. Meeting productivity: When everyone follows Zoom etiquette, meetings run more smoothly, facilitating better decision-making and time management.
Zoom icon on a blue background.

Zoom Etiquette Guidelines

In this section, we will share actionable Zoom etiquette tips for four different situations and attendees: professionals in business meetings, students in the classroom, interviewees hoping to land the job, and hosts leading the session. However, first let’s remember the 10 ground rules for everyone. These are the core principles of Zoom.

  1. Choose a simple, uncluttered background. Avoid distracting backgrounds that may draw attention away from the discussion.
  2. Adjust lighting. Natural light is ideal for Zoom calls. If that’s not an option, position a lamp or other light source to illuminate your face without being overly harsh.
  3. Join the meeting on time. Early arrival is even better, giving you a chance to resolve any technical issues.
  4. Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking. Remember to unmute before speaking to prevent awkward silences.
  5. Familiarize yourself with Zoom features. Understanding how to share your screen, use the chat, and react appropriately keeps the meeting flowing smoothly.
  6. Set your status. Use the status features like “away” and “do not disturb” to communicate your availability to other participants.
  7. Utilize the “Leave Meeting” button for a clean exit. This will avoid disrupting the ongoing session.
  8. Be patient with technical issues. Show understanding if someone experiences connectivity problems or glitches.
  9. Test links and files in advance. Ensure that they open and function correctly to save valuable time.
  10.  Use the chat respectfully. It can be a great support for questions or comments, but do not engage in side conversations or unnecessary interactions.

Zoom Etiquette for Business Meetings

Virtual meetings are now a mainstay in the fast-paced world of business, and Zoom is one of the most powerful tools for collaboration. These Zoom etiquette tips for business meetings will demonstrate professionalism, respect for colleagues’ time and a commitment to achieving meeting goals.

  • Mind different time zones. Select a time that works for the majority, or consider rotating meeting times to accommodate everyone. Clearly communicate the time zone in the meeting invitation to avoid confusion.
  • Speak concisely. Prepare your key points beforehand to stay organized and focused, and then express your ideas directly. Try not to get sidetracked, as this can disrupt the flow of the meeting.
  • Give the meeting your full attention. While tempting, multitasking during a Zoom meeting is counterproductive. Close unnecessary tabs and applications, silence notifications, and inform your colleagues if you have to multitask.
  • Utilize screen sharing for visualization. Use it to share slides, reports, or other visual aids that support your talking points. This will allow you to walk participants through complex data, highlight key information, and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Keep the chat focused on the meeting agenda. Before posting a comment or question, ask yourself: Does this directly relate to the current topic of discussion? Will it add value or create a distraction?
A businesswoman talking with her colleague via her laptop in a virtual meeting.

Zoom Etiquette for Students

Today, online learning often relies on video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Following these simple guidelines will help you get the most out of Zoom classes.

  • Set your display name accurately. Make sure your first and last name are displayed clearly, and match how your teacher has them in their records. Some teachers may have specific preferences for how names are displayed, such as using first names followed by the last initial.
  • Pin the teacher’s video. Hover over your teacher’s video, click “…” and then “Pin”. If the “pin” option isn’t available, try switching to “Speaker View” instead, which will prioritize whoever is talking.
  • Respect virtual office hours. If your teacher offers virtual office hours, treat them like in-person meetings. Be on time, prepared, and ready to discuss any questions or issues related to your coursework.
  • Know the rules for specific classes. Most teachers will outline their preferences for virtual communication during the first few sessions. Some teachers may include a section on their Zoom expectations within the course syllabus.
  • Use the “raise hand” feature for longer comments and thumbs-up or other reactions to show agreement. This will contribute to an inclusive and interactive learning environment where students feel comfortable with participation.
A young woman sitting on a sofa and looking at her laptop screen.

Zoom Etiquette for Interviews

Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly common, and it’s crucial to demonstrate your ability to navigate technology as confidently as possible. Nailing Zoom interview etiquette will showcase your attention to detail and competence in the digital workspace.

  • Have your notes out of sight. Try to internalize your most important talking points and answers to potential interview questions. If you must refer to your notes, opt for small post-its placed strategically near your webcam.
  • Dress one level up. Think about what you’d wear to an in-person interview, then elevate it slightly. Prioritize a polished top, a nice shirt, or a more formal blouse.
  • Position your camera at eye level. You might need to raise or lower your chair to align comfortably with your webcam. Do a Zoom test call before your interview to check if your eye line looks natural.
  • Keep water nearby. Position it slightly off to the side of your frame, within easy reach. Try to time your sips of water during natural pauses in the conversation or after you’ve finished making a point.
  • Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview, ideally the same day. Begin by genuinely thanking the interviewer(s) for their time and consideration. Then, briefly restate your enthusiasm for the position and why you feel you’d be a good fit.
A man having a virtual meeting with a woman via his laptop.

Zoom Etiquette for Hosts

Hosting a Zoom meeting or event carries a responsibility of creating a welcoming environment. Following proper Zoom etiquette will ensure that all participants feel respected and included throughout the gathering.

  • Play light background music in the waiting room. Choose calm, instrumental music like soft jazz. Make sure it’s not too loud, as it should not interfere with pre-meeting conversations.
  • If you want to record the meeting, notify attendees beforehand to get their consent. Also, consider providing a transcript after the meeting. This can be useful for people who prefer to review the content in written form, speak different languages and need translation, or deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
  • Set a clear end time. State it at the beginning of the call. Then, give explicit notice when there are five minutes remaining. This helps wrap up the final points, preventing abrupt endings.
  • Designate breaks. For meetings under an hour, a single 5-minute break might suffice. For longer sessions, aim for 5-10 minute breaks every 50-60 minutes. Outline your break plan at the start of the meeting so attendees can know what to expect.
  • End with a call-to-action. Give attendees a clear next step. This can be a follow-up task, a resource link, a way to provide feedback, or any action that reinforces the achievement of meeting objectives.
A laptop screen showing a virtual meeting with multiple participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it rude to turn off your camera in Zoom meetings?

Turning your camera off on Zoom can sometimes be acceptable, but it depends on the circumstances. Good Zoom etiquette involves being present and engaged, so it’s generally better to have your camera on and participate fully. Still, turning your camera off is understandable if you’re experiencing technical difficulties or dealing with a personal matter that requires privacy.

Is it OK to eat while at a Zoom meeting?

Generally, it’s considered poor Zoom etiquette to eat during a meeting. If it’s a long meeting and you need a quick snack, try to do it discreetly with your camera and microphone off. If you absolutely must eat during a meeting, opt for non-messy foods and always mute yourself.

How do you frame yourself on Zoom?

To frame yourself well on Zoom, position your camera slightly above eye level and center yourself in the frame, filling roughly the upper third of the screen. Choose a simple background for a professional appearance and make sure your face is well-lit, preferably with natural light.

What should you not wear to a Zoom meeting?

Even though you’re likely at home, Zoom etiquette still suggests avoiding overly casual or revealing attire. Refrain from wearing distracting patterns or bright colors that can divert focus away from your message. Additionally, while no one may see your bottom half, it may be better to dress appropriately from head to toe, just in case you need to get up.

How do you calm down before a Zoom presentation?

Preparation is key. First and foremost, you can practice your presentation thoroughly to minimize surprises and boost your confidence. You can also try deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety, and positive self-talk to replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations on your knowledge and abilities.


This blog explored the concept of Zoom etiquette while sharing specific guidelines tailored for business professionals, students, interviewees and hosts. It also highlighted ground rules and practical advice for all Zoom users aiming for proper conduct in the meetings.

Zoom etiquette will likely become more important in our personal and professional lives as technology develops. Learning these practices and paying attention to details can position you for success in the virtual spaces of tomorrow. Remember; small gestures can make big impacts, whether online or face-to-face.

Serra Ardem

About Serra Ardem

Serra Ardem is a freelance writer and editor based in Istanbul. For the last 8 years, she has been collaborating with brands and businesses to tell their unique story and develop their verbal identity.