Job interviews have gone digital in a big way. Like the phone interview before it, the video interview has become an indispensable tool for hiring managers across all industries. Now, the perfect job candidate can be miles away, yet still feel like they’re right there in the room. It’s no longer just a faceless voice on the other line, but a living, breating human being sharing all of the nonverbal cues we take for granted during in-person interactions.
While there are a ton of benefits to the increased use of the video interview format, they do also come with their own set of unique challenges and potential pitfalls. That’s why we’ve compiled four video interview fails that tell a cautionary tale for job seekers. Before your next video interview, make sure to avoid these Google Hangouts gaffs and Skype screw-ups (unless you want to be featured on America’s Funniest Home Videos):

Be the Center of Attention

“She was a great candidate on paper, and her answers to my questions were solid! I just wish I wasn’t looking up her nose the entire time…”
We all have a “good side”, right? Unfortunately, those little cameras on our devices have a nasty habit of capturing some not-so-stunning angles. Before your video interview begins, be sure to test out the camera and see how you appear. Ideally, your face should be centered on the screen, taking up most of the visual space and shot in a straight line across from the camera. That way, you can be sure your interviewer is thinking about making eye contact rather than peeking at your nose hair!

Look Out Behind You!

“I thought our search was over…until I noticed the offensive messages scribbled on the white board behind him.”
The walls in the room where I’m writing this are covered with personal knick knacks. Some, like my framed David Bowie and Radiohead albums, I’d be fine with a recruiter seeing. Other items, like those pictures from Vegas or my white board shopping list, I’d be less comfortable sharing. Always be conscious of your surroundings before you go live for a video interview. Whenever possible, try to move to a neutral backdrop, like a blank brick wall. The less there is to distract your interviewer, the more time they’ll spend focusing on what’s important – you!

Unwanted Guests

“Don’t get me wrong – I love dogs! I just could not hear his answers over the constant barking.”
Life can be loud. Take a walk around the block without earbuds or headphones and you’ll hear a symphony of sounds, from cars beeping to people greeting and every household pet in between. While we may grow accustomed to these sounds in our everyday life, they can drown out a job interview in a snap. Avoid the possibility of your voice being lost by leaving unwanted guests in another room during your interview. If you need to take the interview in a public space, do your best to find a private space free of as much unwanted noise as possible. Just like visual distractions, audio interruptions can be disastrous when it comes to keeping the attention on you and you alone.

It’s No Pajama Party

“We offer plenty of remote work opportunities, so I understand that not every day requires a suit and tie. That being said, I would never wear a superhero robe to a job interview!”
There’s just something about looking and feeling professional that gives you energy! This advice has been offered since phone interviews became popular, but video interviewing adds new importance to looking the part even when you’re miles away. While you might not make the mistake of wearing your PJs on camera, there are more subtle fashion faux pas that are easier to make. Just like you considered your surroundings when choosing where to take the interview, it’s important to think about how your clothes might blend into or pop against what’s behind you. Also, while most of the interview might take place from the waist up, you never know when an emergency might force you up from your chair on camera. Be sure to consider your professional look from head to toe!

Career on Camera

Are you ready for your next job interview? Connect with Medix recruiters today to get prepared for the next step in your career! Check out all of our available job opportunities here at