As the post–pandemic world progresses, many aspects of what used to be normal have phased out. Students are still attending online classes, companies are still having virtual meetings, and many interviews are still being held through zoom. With this intertwining of virtual and in-person activities, confusion has been created regarding attendance mannerisms and presentations.   

Having been a student for two virtual years, Zoom became the main school platform. It was great rolling out of bed with messy hair and pajamas, and immediately logging on, long forgetting the days of an early wake-up and walking in alternating weather patterns. However, did this lack of dress code enforcement create a workforce, both students and professionals, that has forgotten how to present themselves? Honestly, it has seemed that answer is a bold YES.  

Candidates entering the workforce are also guilty of this presentation failure. When getting ready for an interview, many candidates can forget that not only is their appearance being judged, but now their room background is on view. Messy beds, inappropriate music posters, quotes, clothes, humans, the list can go on. However, future employers are not forgetful of a peek at what their candidate lives like. Making sure a candidate is aware that appropriate and neutral backdrops are a standard is beneficial to all fronts of the interview process.  

TBG LA recently had a candidate make it through two rounds of interviews and was going into their final round. Having had multiple inappropriate and political posters within the Zoom display, the candidate was rejected due to their lack of care for presentation.  

Suggesting the following Zoom tips, along with standard interview preparation, will set your candidate up for success.  

  1. Make sure the background is neutral. Ensure that there is nothing that can be considered inappropriate or could be used against you.  
  1. If there are graphics on walls, suggest covering them with a neutral sheet.  
  1. Ensure the screen orientation allows the candidate to be seen in full light.  
  1. Suggest a Zoom background or blur! 

Remember, as your mother said – Dress for Success, and now, test your Zoom background for success! 

– Carly Weitz 

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