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Washington State University
Academic Success and Career Center Cultivating Successful Scholars and Professionals

Online Etiquette

Employers are increasingly setting up virtual interviews and moving the interview space to you. Even though they are only seeing half of you, there are some important things you can do to make yourself stand out professionally and leave an impression.

10 Tips to Impress at a Virtual Career Fair

Advice about Online Etiquette

Choosing Your Medium: There are lots of different ways to connect with employers for chats or video calls. Be honest with them if they ask what platform you prefer. If you are new to Zoom, your first interview might not be the best time to learn the system.

Preparing for your interview: Sometimes, technology does what technology does and fails. Make sure that your online profile and resume is updated with your most up-to-date email and phone number, so they can reach you by another means.

Setting up Your Interview: First Impressions are still important, no matter what the medium. Setting up your shot effectively can help set you apart from other candidates.

  • Composition: Center yourself in the shot, with your eyes meeting the top third of the frame
  • Your background should be free of clutter and distractions. Zoom has a virtual background feature that will green-screen a wall for you and allow you to choose any background in its place.
  • Lighting: If you have a window, face it. The natural light will work better for you and you won’t end up with a very white background.
  • Angle: To give the impression of a face-to-face meeting, you will want your camera at eye-level. This will avoid any unflattering angles and will keep your eyes from darting around. When the meeting starts, move their video box directly below the camera so that your eyes naturally look at the other person.
  • Stability: Make sure you have a stable surface, a little jiggle of the camera may not seem like much but it might be jarring to those watching you and they may have a hard time focusing on you.
  • Interruptions: working from home is a major change of pace. But when applying for a job, you want to be there 100 percent. Distractions during a meeting are understandable, but not for a job interview. Occupy your pets, kids, roommates or whoever to ensure you have a quiet place to focus.
  • Presence: try to avoid your computer resources, they will be able to tell if you are looking at another part of the screen or reading notes. Like any interview, leave your phone on silent and out-of-sight.
  • Attitude: “At Engie, we often hire for attitude and aptitude over experience,” Susan Grier, Talent Acquisition for Engie Impact

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts

“I have provided my personal contact information in the chat box in case we are unexpectedly disconnected.”

Example Compositions

Good use of “rule of thirds:”


A messy, distracting background:

Using Zoom’s virtual backgrounds feature:

Download WSU Zoom Backgrounds