With lockdowns affecting a large proportion of the country, I thought that I would run a series of short topics and polls relating to virtual interviews to gather and share people’s thoughts on different aspects of this now more mainstream interview process.


The Second Topis Is ‘Background Theme Or Not?

Last week I covered ‘What To Wear’ (Click Here).  Once you have your outfit sorted and you’re looking professional, what do you do about what you can see in the rest of your screen?

Can this have a positive or negative impact on that vital first and also lasting impression that you’re looking to leave?  Is there a consensus as to what the best theme is to have?

Let’s see what my LinkedIn audience thought when I ran a recent poll on this topic…

The Poll Results

Much like last week’s voting, it was interesting watching the results change throughout the three days.  Over the course of the voting, having no background, a blurred background and not thinking it matters what background you have remained consistent with nearly a third of the votes being for each.  However, the notable voting pattern was that a picture background only gained 5% of the votes.

This shows that whilst people believe that there is little difference between showing your room, lounge or even garden versus having a blurred background, it’s pretty clear that having a picture background is deemed as giving off the wrong first impression. Poll Results

Beyond the Poll

Whilst talking to my networks about this topic, it became pretty clear that as long as your background was professional and gave the impression that you were able to focus and interview (and therefore work!) without distraction, then this was something that potential employers were looking for.

It was felt that having a picture background could prove to be distracting to the interviewer and not only that could give off the wrong vibe for the interview.  As good as it might be to be interviewing from a beach, is that really the vibe that you are looing to give off if you’re looking to impress?


In the engineering field, it’s important that your background, like how you dress, gives a professional first impression.  If you’re worried about what your interviewer can see, then blur the background.  If you feel that it helps to demonstrate how amazing your home-office set-up is, then show it.

Maybe even have some certificates and awards in view so that they can see how qualified and amazing you are!

However, I’d suggest leaving the tacky backgrounds for those quiz nights with your friends!


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