Is It OK to Blur Background in Zoom Interview?

is it ok to blur background in zoom interview

As virtual interviews become increasingly popular, many job seekers are turning to video conferencing platforms like Zoom to connect with potential employers. One common question that arises is whether it’s acceptable to blur the background during a Zoom interview. The answer to this query depends on several factors, including the nature of the interview and the preferences of the interviewer.

Zoom’s background blur technology allows users to hide, or blur, their surroundings, creating a more professional look and reducing distractions for both the interviewee and the interviewer. While this feature can be advantageous in certain situations, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before entering a virtual interview with a blurred background.

Key Takeaways

  • Virtual interviews are conducted remotely using digital platforms
  • Blurring backgrounds can create a more professional look in Zoom interviews
  • Consider potential advantages and disadvantages before enabling background blur

The Tech behind Zoom Background Blur

Zoom, a popular video conferencing platform, uses advanced technology to enable users to alter their backgrounds during video calls. One of the options for altering the background is to blur it, which can provide a more professional appearance in interviews or similar scenarios.

Woman having blurred background in a Zoom interview

The blur background feature uses computer vision to detect the participant’s face and body and separates them from the original background. The technology processes the image in real-time and applies a Gaussian blur effect to the background. This technique smoothens the area behind the participant while keeping the person in focus.

To enable the blur background feature on Zoom, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the settings menu by clicking on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
  3. Under the settings menu, select “Virtual Background.”
  4. Choose the “Blur” option from the list of available virtual backgrounds.
flowchart that outlines the steps to enable the background blur feature in Zoom

It’s important to note that while this feature can help maintain privacy and professionalism in interviews, it might not be perfect. The effectiveness of the blur background depends on factors such as lighting, camera quality, and the participant’s distance from the camera. In some cases, the blurred background may appear pixelated or show artifacts around the participant.

Professional Considerations in Zoom Interviews

When preparing for a Zoom interview, it’s important to consider how your background will affect your professional image. Blurring the background can be a useful tool for maintaining a sense of professionalism during the interview process. Companies often place a strong emphasis on the level of professionalism displayed by candidates, as it can be an indicator of how they will represent the organization in future interactions.

In some instances, having a cluttered or distracting background during a virtual interview can detract from the hiring process. By using the blur feature in Zoom, you can make sure the focus remains on you and your qualifications. This can help create a more polished presence, which could potentially influence a positive outcome in the interview.

While using a blur effect might be beneficial for some applicants, it’s essential to be aware of potential drawbacks. Overuse of blurring can sometimes result in a lack of authenticity or make it seem as though you are hiding something. Instead, strike a balance between providing a clean and professional environment and maintaining an authentic, genuine demeanor.

To achieve the ideal background for your Zoom interview, invest in proper lighting, and consider the camera angle. Make sure your internet connection is stable, and pay attention to your body language during the interview. By addressing these factors, you can maintain a professional image while feeling confident during the virtual interview process.

Advantages of Blurring Background in Zoom Interviews

Business woman at her desk with blurred background

Blurring the background in a Zoom interview offers several benefits. One of the primary advantages is enhancing focus. When the background is blurred, the interviewee becomes the center of attention, allowing the interviewer to concentrate on the candidate’s responses and expressions without getting distracted by any objects or movement in the background.

Another advantage is the reduction of clutter. Not everyone has a tidy and well-organized space for conducting video interviews. A blurred background can help to hide any disorganization, making it seem as though the interviewee is in a professional and clean environment. This can create a more positive impression on the interviewer.

Privacy is also a major concern for many people when using video conferencing platforms like Zoom. By blurring their background, interviewees can keep certain aspects of their personal space or decor hidden from view. This can provide a sense of control over what others can see and help to maintain a level of privacy during the interview process.

Lastly, blurring the background helps to minimize distractions. Busy or vibrant backgrounds can be very distracting and take away from the content of the interview. By using a blurred background, interviewees can avoid any potential distractions and ensure that the conversation remains focused on the qualifications and suitability for the job.

Potential Disadvantages of Blurring Background

Blurring the background during a Zoom interview may seem like a practical choice for some candidates, but it comes with its own set of drawbacks. One major disadvantage is that it can create additional pressure for the interviewee. With a blurred background, the focus is solely on the person, which can make some individuals feel scrutinized.

Businessman sitting at his desk with blurred background

Another potential downside is that it might convey a lack of interest or commitment. Blurred backgrounds can give the impression that a candidate is attempting to hide something or hasn’t put in the effort to prepare a suitable environment for the interview. This could potentially contribute to a negative first impression.

Furthermore, relying on a blurred background may lead to complications with natural light. Natural light is often helpful in creating a flattering appearance during video calls. However, blurring the background might cause unintended changes to how the available light interacts with the subject, leading to less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

Lastly, there’s the issue of artificial lighting. When a background is blurred, it might become challenging to adjust any light sources to achieve even and clear lighting. As a result, the interviewee’s face might appear too dark or washed out.

In conclusion, using a blurred background in a Zoom interview comes with a few potential drawbacks that might deter its use. Between the added pressure, potential for negative impressions, and potential lighting issues, some candidates might prefer to opt for a clean and neutral backdrop in their video interviews instead.

Enhances focusIncreases pressure
Reduces clutterMay imply lack of effort
Maintains privacyComplicates natural lighting
Minimizes distractionsChallenges with artificial lighting
The pros and cons of using a blurred background during a Zoom interview

Step-by-step Guide to Enable Background Blur

Enabling background blur in Zoom is an essential skill for maintaining a professional appearance in virtual interviews. To start, ensure that you have the latest version of the Zoom software installed. This is crucial because background blur might not be supported in older versions of the software.

First, open the Zoom app, and click on the settings icon in the top right corner. From the settings menu, choose the “Background & Filters” option. This will bring up a selection of virtual backgrounds and filters. To blur your background, locate and click on the “Blur” option under the “Virtual Backgrounds” section. This will activate the background blur during your Zoom interview.

If you are using a mobile device for the interview, it is possible to enable background blur on your phone as well. To learn more about mobile Zoom interviews and their effectiveness, reference this examination of mobile Zoom interviews and their advantages and challenges.

Troubleshooting Common Technical Issues

During a Zoom interview, it’s vital to present yourself professionally and be prepared for any technical issues that may arise. This section will guide you through addressing some common problems.

pie chart that illustrates the most common technical issues people may encounter during a Zoom interview

A stable internet connection is essential for a smooth interview experience. If you face connectivity issues, try moving closer to your router, use an Ethernet cable, or disconnect other devices from the network. Remember to test your connection before the interview begins, ensuring that your video and audio quality meet the necessary standards.

Ensuring your microphone is functioning correctly is crucial for being heard clearly. Check that the correct microphone is selected in your Zoom settings and do a soundcheck. If you still experience issues, try adjusting volume levels or use an external microphone for better quality.

Using headphones can improve your overall audio experience and minimize distractions during the interview. Opt for headphones with noise-canceling capabilities and make sure to adjust audio settings within Zoom to match your preference. If there are connectivity or sound quality issues with your headphones, promptly switch to a wired connection or use an alternative pair.

In some cases, blurring the background can cause video quality to appear poor, or lead to glitches and distortions. To maintain a clean and professional image, ensure there is sufficient lighting in the room. If this issue persists, try disabling background blurring or choose a static virtual background instead.

By addressing these technical issues and preparing ahead, you’ll be well-equipped and confident going into your Zoom interview.

Best Practices for Virtual Interviews

In virtual interviews, maintaining focus is crucial to leave a good first impression. To create a clutter-free environment, choose a clean and organized space for the interview. This allows the interviewer to concentrate on the subject without distractions.

It’s acceptable to use the blur background feature in Zoom interviews, as it helps minimize any background distractions. A blurred background enables the interviewer and interviewee to focus on the conversation, showcasing a candidate’s professional demeanor.

Establishing a “do not disturb” zone during the interview is essential. Inform household members about the interview and request minimal interruptions. Additionally, silence devices and notifications to ensure a quiet atmosphere.


In a world where remote work and online communication are becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s important to consider the impression one leaves during a Zoom interview. Blurring the background can be an effective way to eliminate potential distractions and create a polished appearance. However, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons and decide if it works for the specific situation.

On one hand, a blurred background can help hide an untidy living area and allow the interviewer to focus solely on the interviewee. It also demonstrates an understanding of technology and its various features, showcasing adaptability and resourcefulness.

On the other hand, if not executed properly, a blurred background may be perceived as unprofessional or overly informal. Additionally, some interviewers may appreciate getting a glimpse of the person’s actual living space as it gives them a better understanding of the person’s character and organization skills.

Ultimately, the decision to blur one’s background during a Zoom interview should be based on the specific circumstances and the corporate culture of the company they are interviewing with. It is essential to strike the right balance between professionalism and authenticity. Make sure to test out the blurring feature before the interview to ensure that the visual effect works well and doesn’t cause any technical issues. By doing so, one can enter the interview with confidence and focus on showcasing their skills and qualifications.

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