Can a virtual background be switched on during an online interview?


Right now we are forced to stay at home in quarantine. But this is not a reason for sadness and depression. You can communicate with your relatives, acquaintances, as well as organize meetings with friends on the Internet. The famous Zoom platform can help you with this.

Despite privacy concerns, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have recently downloaded and started using the widely adopted app.

During quarantine, many companies transferred employees to remote access. To stay in touch, teams use video conferencing services. Of course, one of the most popular is Zoom. And as more people choose to self-isolate and work remotely, more questions are raised about online platforms that help make work easier.

We bet you have a favorite background for Zoom or Skype during the quarantine year. But should you include it during a meeting with a recruiter? Is it polite? And if so, what should be the virtual background? To know more you need to go to

Is it polite to use a virtual background on your first hangout with a recruiter?

When preparing for the first face-to-face meeting with a candidate, the recruiter expects to be able to see what the candidate is surrounding himself with, and thus better understand what kind of person is in front of him.

The presence of a virtual background can come as a surprise to your interlocutor, so at the beginning of the meeting it will not be superfluous to explain why you cannot show the room. For example, your apartment is undergoing renovations.

Also keep in mind that backgrounds can often overlap with the person using them. This will also distract the interlocutor and is unlikely to improve the quality of the meeting.

In cases where the room behind you does not look like after an earthquake, it is better to refuse the background at the first meeting with the recruiter. But using a background is not considered impolite, it just might make both participants uncomfortable.

What about the re-interview?

When you have already met the HR and you are assigned a second interview, you can use the background to win over the interlocutor.

For example, the story of a Canadian job seeker who found out that she and her recruiter graduated from the same university. Then the candidate came to the video meeting, having previously installed a photo of the stadium located on the campus in the background. The HR manager appreciated and approved such creativity.

When you already know the recruiter and found something in common during the first communication, you can experiment a little and use the information received to your advantage. But:

  • It is best not to leave a background throughout the meeting. Surprised the interlocutor, laughed together, tuned in to a friendly conversation and turn it off.

What is useful to change the background in Zoom?

One reason for the popularity of the Zoom platform is that it allows you to replace the background behind you. It can be replaced with various images or videos. Other products require a green screen to replace the virtual background. Of course, you can use it on Zoom too. In this case, the background quality will be much better, but this is not necessary at all.

So why would you use a scalable virtual background? Most people work right from home where the kids, pets and other people are. Someone started home renovation before quarantine and did not have time to finish it for obvious reasons. Or someone doesn’t like to do extra cleaning. Often things can be scattered in the background that you don’t want to show to others.

All these details can be easily disguised, and not share the details of your personal life with colleagues. In such cases, Zoom allows you to hide your background from others using its algorithms.

How to change background in Zoom on Mac

The MacBook has a unique design that is not typical of standard laptops. It has a high price, high performance and a preinstalled OS X operating system. The MacBook’s own vector of development is focused more on creativity and work than on games. These are quite powerful laptops that many people use.

So the logical question is, how do I change the background in Zoom on my Mac? This is a fairly simple task, especially if you are not using the Zoom background image for the first time.

To change the background on a Mac, do the following:

  • Download Zoom or run the program if you have it on your MacBook.
  • Log in to your account and click the “Settings” button.
  • There you will see the “Virtual background” tab.
  • In this tab, you can find enough virtual backgrounds for Zoom.
  • To select one of them, simply click on the desired image and confirm your choice.
  • After confirmation, the visual background will change automatically.

As you already understood, the Zoom virtual background is very useful. Besides, changing the background on Mac is a very easy task.

How to Change Zoom Background for Windows Users

This is another question of interest to many Zoom users. Some even panic when they think that changing virtual background images is only available on Apple devices. In principle, the algorithm for changing the background in Zoom for Windows is the same as for the MacBook. So, to change the virtual background, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to Zoom.
  • Click the arrow at the bottom (next to the enable video icon) and then select Select Virtual Background.
  • Click on the “Virtual background” tab and on the right you will see a menu where you can choose from standard background options.

That’s all! The virtual background for video conferencing has been changed!

How to set a personal image as background in Zoom

You may also be interested in custom backgrounds to stand out and be original. So now you will learn how to set a personal image as background on Mac or Windows.

To stand out from the crowd, you can easily change the Zoom background to your own. For this you need:

  • Launch Zoom and click Settings.
  • There you will see the “Virtual background” tab. Select her.
  • Now you will see the preset backgrounds. If you want to use your image as the background, click “+”.
  • Select “Add Image” or “Add Video” from the drop down menu, depending on what you want to set to your virtual background.
  • A standard operating system explorer will appear in which you need to find the desired file – image or video – and then add it to the list of other virtual backgrounds.
  • Then this virtual background will be available for selection.

If you only want to activate the background during the meeting, click the Circumflex icon (^) and then click Select Virtual Background.

Important! To ensure that the background is clearly visible to other conference participants, please note that the lighting in the room was moderate.

How to Change the Zoom Background in the Mobile App

You can easily change the Zoom virtual background on your mobile device. But remember that you can only change the background in Zoom on powerful devices. For example, for iOS, these are models older than iPhone 8.

To create a virtual background in Zoom on a mobile device, you need to install the Zoom mobile app, launch it, and sign in. You can then select a virtual background. This can be done either before joining the conference (at the stage of selecting settings), or after joining the conference.

To select a virtual background after joining a meeting, click Details. Select “Virtual Background” from the drop-down menu. Here you can select an existing background or add your own by clicking on the plus and selecting the appropriate image from the mobile device gallery.

You need to consider whether new people will be present at the interview, because they may not recognize your creative.

What background is better to use if you still decide to be creative?

No meme cats or famous movie shots (save DiCaprio with a glass or a confused John Travolta for online parties with friends). It is better to use calm, neutral backgrounds – nature, an office photo, a shelf with books, etc.

Conclusion: the background in the interview can be used, but not desirable. This can be inconvenient for both the applicant and the recruiter. Therefore, if you have already decided to enable virtual wallpapers in Zoom, then let it be justified by the circumstances and look neat.

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