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Not to move computer for interview?

38 replies

notyourmummy · 13/04/2021 06:59

More than happy to be told IABU because I'll do anything to increase chances of getting the job!
I have an interview via MS Teams and husband told me I have to move the PC because at the moment the background to the video call would be the front room, with a wall of children's drawings directly behind where I'll be sitting. The interview is for a 1:1 TA for a 3 year old and the Headteacher, who's leading the interview, knows I have children. I don't see this as a problem, they know they're interviewing me from home, and it's a few pictures of motorbikes, Trolls etc, nothing offensive. He says it's really unprofessional and the window/sofa would be a better background. Who's right?!!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

PurBal · 13/04/2021 07:01

I'd blur my background.


RampantIvy · 13/04/2021 07:02

It's easy to either blur or change the background.


steff13 · 13/04/2021 07:03

I always blur my background on Teams.


PersonaNonGarter · 13/04/2021 07:04

Blur you background is good advice


FrankGrillosFloof · 13/04/2021 07:05

I think your background does impact your first impression as it gives information about you but the thing is, you can’t really predict how that person takes that information. The HT might like them or she might find them unprofessional.

I became interested in a job I really didn’t want because my interviewer had a top of the range bike behind her. I don’t even know if it was hers but rightly or wrongly, my respect for her went up a few notches when I saw it - I figured she had excellent taste or at the very least, lived with someone who did.

Either way, it’s your call, not your husband’s.


Notavegan · 13/04/2021 07:05

You can pick a fake background if you prefer. I don't see it as an issue for this role particularly, but it does look a bit unprofessional. I've either done a blank wall or fake background for my interviews even though internal.


ChristinaYang10 · 13/04/2021 07:06

I always think, for things like this, just go with the safer bet. It probably wouldn’t be an issue, but if it’s easy to move then I would. I don’t agree with your husband that it’s really unprofessional though.

Or of course, just blur your background.


NoGoodPunsLeft · 13/04/2021 07:07

The window would be a terrible background because it will make your screen look real!y dark (done this myself) unless you shut the curtains. I'd keep it where it is but blur it. I either have a blank wall or my blurred kitchen for meetings etc even with my team, would definitely do the same for an interview


BeingATwatItsABingThing · 13/04/2021 07:07

I personally wouldn’t be bothered about seeing the pictures and wouldn’t find it unprofessional but a neutral background is 100% unprofessional so I’d go with that.


BeingATwatItsABingThing · 13/04/2021 07:08

*100% not unprofessional


NoGoodPunsLeft · 13/04/2021 07:09

Although depending on ypur.access you might not be able to blur/use a background (DH can't).


DifficultBloodyWoman · 13/04/2021 07:10

Kids pictures are not inappropriate for the job you are going for, they may think you are calling from a classroom.


Blur the background. Better safe than sorry.

Good luck!


StealthPolarBear · 13/04/2021 07:10

For the role you describe I think that would be appropriate.
Good luck!


Pinchoftums · 13/04/2021 07:12

First impressions count and all that...


stoopider · 13/04/2021 07:14

If you’re interviewing for a TA then I’d say children’s art work behind you is an excellent idea


SunIsComing · 13/04/2021 07:15

Blur the background!!


Aurorie11 · 13/04/2021 07:19

I had a Zoom interview and didn’t realise it had the scout emblem as background. My son had last used Zoom for a scouts meeting and set this background, I got the job


StealthPolarBear · 13/04/2021 07:20

I agree stoop.


FreeFallingFree · 13/04/2021 07:24

I'd blur it if at all possible. Interviewers are not supposed to be influenced by whether you have children, so it could be seen as a bit manipulative, as though you've chosen that background deliberately to increase your chances. Like applying for a job at the Treasury with a picture of Sunak on the wall behind you. I jest, obviously, but we all make judgements.


Cornishmumofone · 13/04/2021 07:30

I'm now wondering whether I interviewed @FrankGrillosFloof Grin

I recently had an internal interview where the panel all knew me. I chose to be in a different room with a more neutral background... however, some children's pictures on the wall sounds fine.


KatherineJaneway · 13/04/2021 07:35

Blur your background, safest option.


Geamhradh · 13/04/2021 07:45

Definitely change it. Neutral wall, fine. Otherwise, no. I am often involved in recruiting from abroad, so have been using video calls for years. It absolutely does matter.
Check your lighting as well. If you're sitting with the light behind you, the interviewer might not be able to see you properly.

If I were interviewing (as I often do) for teaching staff for young learners, and saw a wall of children's drawings, I'd also probably assume (wrongly, I know, but still) that they'd been put there specially to impress me. It wouldn't.


timeisnotaline · 13/04/2021 07:49

I don’t care, I like personal touches and the way it says this is me, I don’t have a fake work persona. Whatever you do don’t sit back to the window with light coming in turning you into a silhouette. That just looks unprofessional! If you want to sit that way test it beforehand and draw curtains if needed.


MeltsAway · 13/04/2021 07:51

I’d say the main thing is the light - if you have the light behind you, your interviewer will have difficulty seeing you. Blur your background or choose a fake blank background from the Teams app.


Brownteddybear · 13/04/2021 07:59

Your DH is wrong! You cannot have a window behind you as you will look like you're on crime watch.

However a plain background with no distractions is better than a busy (messy?) one, particularly for an interview. They don't know you and first impressions count for a lot at this stage.

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