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If you are not already using video conferencing software, now is the time to start. Zoom, the videoconferencing solution of choice during the COVID-19 crisis, showed over 300 million meeting participants per day in 2020, making the most used video conferencing platform in front of Google Meet and Microsoft Teams.

With the generalisation of remote working, virtual job interviews have become the norm and as a freelance lawyer, you need to learn how to be the best you can be for your next Zoom interview. Having the right virtual background will remove the stress from worrying about your surroundings and help you focus on the task at hand – the interview. You may have noticed on social media that scholar-worthy bookshelves make for great backgrounds but your you might be less comfortable sharing your private space with the world. Here are our tips on selecting the best Zoom virtual backgrounds for your next job interview. 

#1 How to set up Zoom virtual backgrounds

Before joining a meeting:

  • Download the Zoom app for Mac or Windows
  • Open the app and sign in.
  • Click your profile picture, then click on Settings.
  • In the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab (if you don’t see this tab, log in to the Zoom website, go to Settings and toggle on Virtual Background).
  • In the Virtual Background tab, select one of Zoom’s defaults or upload your own image.
  • If you have a green screen set-up, you can select that option.
  • To add your own image or video, click the + icon to upload from your computer.

Note that old operating systems are not compatible with virtual backgrounds on Zoom and you may need to upgrade to  be able to use this feature. You can check the system requirements for virtual backgrounds on the Zoom support page.

#2 How to select a virtual background

Obelisk-branded Zoom virtual backgrounds

Obelisk consultants are welcome to use any of the following Obelisk virtual backgrounds for their Zoom interviews with our clients.

The first four backgrounds are simple, professional and straightforward. You can pick any of the following:

For more graphic backgrounds using images illustrating recent Obelisk thought leadership, you may want to use the following (and read the reports to draw inspiration before the interview):

To honour the city Obelisk calls home, you can choose these City of London-themed branded backgrounds:

Free Zoom virtual backgrounds

Free stock image websites have jumped on the Zoom virtual background bandwagon and you can browse their selection of virtual backgrounds to use in your future meetings.

Pexels and Unsplash both feature a variety of beautiful images and illustrations ready to download but if you feel creative, Canva also offers a customisable Zoom background template that you can modify to your specific needs.

Other Zoom virtual backgrounds

If you are looking for more home office-appropriate images off the shelf, Shutterstock has a “home office Zoom backgrounds” category described as “Virtual backgrounds you can use while you chat with coworkers on Zoom and Skype are having their moment in the sun right now. So next time you have a teleconference or meeting and need to spruce up your home office, why not swap it with an image of your (well-lit and gorgeous) dream home?” They are not free but you may be able to download some as part of their free trial.

Of course, it is possible that you will feel more comfortable in a corporate office environment. This is a selection of eight office Zoom backgrounds, ranging from a bright and airy conference room to a tech start-up type office or a simple desk background.

Whatever you pick, remember to test your background with your interview attire to avoid last-minute surprises and to feel confident about winning the job you are interviewing for.

Good luck!

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