The first one isn’t exactly an app feature, but it’s so helpful!
The Zoom test meeting.
We’ve all heard you should practice video interviewing, but does that mean you have to find a friend to do an online meeting with? Nope, Zoom provides a link where you can join a test meeting by yourself. Here’s a quick article with instructions and the link.
Once you’re in the test meeting, play around with the Attendee Controls, those icons on the bar at the bottom of the screen. (That bar may disappear at times, but hovering near the bottom of the screen brings it back.) Mute and unmute your microphone and turn video on and off. Get comfortable with these basic functions.
In the test meeting you’re a participant, not the host–you can tell from the very beginning when you see a “Join Meeting” button as opposed to “Start Meeting”–so there are certain things you can’t do. For example, you can’t share your screen. In a real meeting, the host would need to specifically give you permission for that.
“Touch up my appearance.”
This feature, sometimes called “beauty mode,” can make a noticeable improvement in how you look on camera by minimizing unattractive shadows on your face. For those of us who’ve been around for more than a few decades, that includes wrinkles and sags!
Click the arrow to the right of the “Start Video” icon, select “Video Settings,” and then select “Touch up my appearance.” That selection is automatically saved when you exit the window.
Once you switch this on, you’ll be looking good in future Zoom meetings as well, unless you turn it off.
Virtual backgrounds–they’re easy, if a bit wonky.
What’s behind you when you appear on a Zoom call? A bed or a cluttered room makes a bad impression. A change of venue or a well-placed folding screen may be the best solution, but if you don’t have those options, a virtual background may be the next best thing, and Zoom makes it easy to use one.
To try out one of Zoom’s virtual backgrounds, click the arrow to the right of “Start Video” and click on a background. If you move your head and arms you’ll immediately see the main weakness of this feature: the black areas that appear around your image. (Ever feel like it’s hard to keep up with technology? Well, this technology may have trouble keeping up with you.) Is the virtual background better than your real-life room? You decide.
If you do use a virtual background, the “blur” option may be the least distracting.
Like “touch-up,” this feature stays in use for all your meetings until you change it.
Now, there’s more you need to know…
These features can help polish up your Zoom interviews, but they’re just a start. For more complete advice on video interviewing, read my post, “How to Ace a Video Interview”