7 cringe-worthy video job interview bloopers

As the popularity of video interviewing increases, so does the possibility of on-air flubs. Here are seven common (and easy to avoid) mistakes that could cost you the job.

video interview bloopers
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Video job interview bloopers

As the popularity of video interviews increases, so do chances for major "on-air" bloopers. IT recruiting, staffing, consulting and research company Robert Half Technology asked more than 600 senior-level managers to describe the most cringe-worthy video interview bloopers.

"There are so many horror stories around video. These all can be avoided if candidates recognize that they have to take this seriously -- just because it's not in-person doesn't mean it's not a "real" interview. There are three major areas to focus upon that will ensure these don't happen to you.

  • Test your technology well in advance to make sure everything works properly
  • Find a place where you can be free of any and all distractions
  • Dress professionally, just as you would if you were going on a live, in-person interview.

The only thing that's missing is the handshake," says John Reed, senior executive director, Robert Half Technology.

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video interview tips - don't show off your pet
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1. Faux-paws

One candidate picked up and showed off the family cat. Another's dog walked in front of the camera during the interview. "This isn't time for show-and-tell. Make sure you're doing the interview in a room that your pets can't access," says Reed.

2. Eat your heart out
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2. Eat your heart out

One candidate was eating breakfast on-camera during the interview. "Just don't do this. Eat before or after your interview. The only acceptable item is maybe a small glass of water, which you should sip very sparingly," says Reed.

3. Honey, I'm home
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3. Honey, I'm home

A candidate's phone rang -- it was his girlfriend. He took her call during the interview. In another instance (not related to the Robert Half survey), a candidate's wife got out of the shower and walked past the camera in the buff. "Either make sure you're alone and can do the interview uninterrupted, or make sure other members of your household know you're not to be disturbed while you're doing the interview," says Reed.

4. Kids say the darndest things
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4. Kids say the darndest things

A candidate's child walked up to the camera and asked, "Mommy, what are you doing?" Again, says Reed, make sure you're not disturbed or interrupted during your interview.

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5. Hard hat area
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5. Hard hat area

A candidate's home was undergoing renovation, and the entire interview included the sounds of saws and hammering. "I'll repeat -- find a quiet, preferably isolated space where you can do the interview. If you can't, consider explaining the situation and rescheduling the interview," says Reed.

6. Special delivery
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6. Special delivery

The doorbell rang, and a candidate answered it, signed for delivery of a package and then returned to the interview. "This happened to me personally -- I was on an interview, and the candidate said, 'Excuse me for a moment,' went and answered the doorbell and we could hear him signing for a package. That's a huge no-no," says Reed.

7. Dress for success
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7. Dress for success

One interviewee was wearing a tank top and flip-flops; another was getting dressed while the interview was happening. "Finally, treat this just as you would an on-site interview. Today's culture is so much more casual and open, but make sure you're still adhering to a company's dress code, and even err on the side of formality to show you are taking this seriously -- wear a dress shirt, or a suit and tie," says Reed.

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