My webcam interview fail. “I’m not the aurora”.

3 months ago



If this gives anyone a laugh, I’m happy. Job hunting is a grim experience. Recently had a Zoom interview which went wrong in the oddest way. I was using my *state of the art* MacBook Pro 2013. Which, unbeknownst to me, struggles with Zoom software. I’d previously set the video call background as the Aurora Borealis - as per my previous employer’s request, to be used for an online client day. We didn’t end up turning on our webcams though due to internet nope - so I didn’t get to see the fancy background in action. Cue interview. Log into the call. Solid job. Wtf is this?! No, what? My Mac had properly upset itself trying to superimpose the Aurora background. Rather than place it behind me, as is required of a *background*, it wove it through my face. Like cosmic facial tie dye. The interviewer asked if I might turn off the “distracting visual”? I’d only used Zoom once before, so panic set in. My brain went blank. I apologised and said I didn’t know how to turn it off. The interviewer sighed and said we could continue. I was so blindsided I didn’t even bother to turn off my webcam…just ploughed on. To break the tension I ventured “I’m not the Aurora” thinking he would get the reference. He didn’t. Tried my best. Thought I interviewed well, despite my digital eccentricity. He emailed a few days later exclaiming “I didn’t get the job, and that if I worked there we’d make each other mutually miserable”. Think I was close…


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  • -Rho-Aias

    Damn. That's a pretty aggressive email. It probably is good that you don't work there.

    3 months ago7931

    • eugenesbluegenes

      As a frequent hiring manager, I cannot imagine sending such a message to someone I've interviewed.

      3 months ago487

  • kunaguerooo123

    Interpret it as a red flag avoided

    3 months ago2051

    • crumblecrow


      3 months ago59

  • Vryptex

    That is a good one! thanks for sharing definitely got a laugh from me.

    3 months ago621

    • crumblecrow

      I’m happy.

      3 months ago29

  • GiddyDriver

    Thanks for the chuckle. Sounds like you dodged a bullet with the job though.

    3 months ago441

    • crumblecrow

      Any time (though hopefully never again).

      3 months ago22

  • deathsfavchild

    Omg that guys an asshole! U should never be so unprofessional. And tbh if u are a leading hiring manager, he def should have tried and assisted u in turning it off. I no ive had more then my share of funny technical difficulties.

    3 months ago351

    • crumblecrow

      Yeah, digital fails unite us all.

      3 months ago15

  • gle42

    The Zoom virtual background software sometimes fails to properly recognize your face, especially if lighting is not good or depending on your skin tone ([]( ) creating all kinds of artifacts. Make sure there is enough contrast between your face and the background. When you select the virtual background (Settings, background and filters) you get a preview of your video. Do not select "I have a green screen" here if it's not the case! You also have a preview in Settings/Video where you can do some other adjustments. The skin color can be adjusted in Settings/General. I don't really like animated backgrounds, they are distracting, consume resources and don't look professional. At work I would recommend having a solid background with the company logo, at home use a clean interior background (like []( ) or just use the blur background filter.

    3 months ago321

    • crumblecrow

      Thanks for this. Useful info.

      3 months ago13

  • BoganHogan_

    “I’m prepared to move forward, I’m not a cat..”

    3 months ago240

  • adorableoddity

    Wow, that is some pretty harsh feedback. Wonder what is up with that interviewer. I personally love when stuff like that happens in interviews because it gives everyone the chance to laugh and it helps break the tension. Not everything in life is that serious and I really wish interviewers/interviewees would laugh at themselves (like you were willing to do).

    3 months ago231

    • KyleCAV

      Agreed in my Skype interview everyone was very chill and we had some jokes and laughed I couldn't imagine working for some who doesn't have a understanding that computers sometime mess up and just kinda go with it or at the very least chill a little since it sounds like the manager is super uptight.

      3 months ago16

  • Zealousideal-Cow6626

    Yeah you’re better somewhere else and you two will not get along hence him with no sense of humor or empathy at all.

    3 months ago611

    • crumblecrow

      Agreed. I now work at the North Pole as the night sky. All works out in the end, eh?

      3 months ago78

  • muffinTrees

    wow that guy really hated you..sounds like an a-hole

    3 months ago591

    • crumblecrow

      Yes, most unsavoury email.

      3 months ago31

  • theworldisnotquiet

    I'm sorry and hugs. Despite the fun tone of your post, these experiences are never fun.

    3 months ago171

    • crumblecrow

      Thank you!

      3 months ago12

  • FullSlack

    What a duck. I’d find this funny.

    3 months ago171

    • crumblecrow

      I thought so.

      3 months ago11

  • TimD_NextGen

    Reminds me of that SNL skit where the dictator is giving a news interview but unknowingly has cat ear filters and such on while he's trying to sound mean and tough. :) This is also a good reminder to make sure your camera, mic, internet, etc. are all good *before* doing a video interview. I've had a handful of candidates lose out on jobs recently because of tech issues with Zoom/Teams interviews. A really terrible reason to miss out on a job opportunity.

    3 months ago381

    • crumblecrow

      So, what you’re saying, is check before a video interview to see if the Aurora is merged with your face? Don’t just appear in call like some paint pot phantom? Damn it!

      3 months ago37

  • randomaccount0923

    I mean if they had a sense of humor they would laugh it off/make a joke about it and tell you to turn off your webcam if it was distracting. Oof based off that rejection email I’m glad you dodged a bullet there.

    3 months ago110

  • LordCommanderTaurusG

    >and that if I worked there we’d make each other mutually miserable OP you dodged a bullet

    3 months ago100

  • sweeties_yeeties

    LOL well good riddance, people who don’t have a sense of humor and take themselves too seriously are a freaking nightmare to work with

    3 months ago90

  • sinkingcloud1492

    >To break the tension I ventured “I’m not the Aurora” thinking he would get the reference. I don't understand the reference. What is this from?

    3 months ago101

    • professcorporate

      A court case during covid where a lawyer claimed he was unable to disable a filter apparently set by his child, which included his assurance to the judge "I am not a cat" (

      3 months ago20

  • Dazzling_Window9981

    Great story! He would definitely make you miserable. On to the next job interview. Do turn off the background in Zoom.

    3 months ago70

  • t3hmuffnman9000

    Wow. That's an extremely unprofessional email - sounds like you lucked out.

    3 months ago70

  • Eggfish

    That hiring manager sounds like he's fun at parties...

    3 months ago71

    • rivalmascot

      He probably makes the other guests miserable.

      3 months ago3

  • moonlitcat13

    So last week I also had an Zoom interview that also went wrong. Hurricane Ida was in the process of hitting my state so we were getting tornado watches all day. The way my little office area is set up is unfortunately right near our door where our alarm system is. Our alarm system has this nice but terrifying feature of warning us of impending doom weather with a LOUD AF alarm that people outside our building can hear. Most of the time with tornado watch or flash flood warnings. Guess what went off 3 times during my interview? On the plus side the manager found it amusing and I did have a 2nd interview today so…

    3 months ago70

  • rshm

    He sounds terrible. May I ask which industry or job function you were interviewing for?

    3 months ago71

    • crumblecrow


      3 months ago5

  • SevereDependent

    There was "I'm not a cat!" and now “I’m not the Aurora”. Sorry for your experience with the call it sucks. Hopefully something better comes along :)

    3 months ago60

  • Alternative-Paint382

    Sorry you didn’t get the job but this made me laugh. I’d give you the job just so we could laugh about it every day

    3 months ago40

  • SuspiciousMeat6696

    Mutually Miserable is my new 90's Grunge Cover Band name.

    3 months ago51

    • rivalmascot

      I'm joining!

      3 months ago3

  • drizzyDrake351

    Sounds like you dodged a bullet tbh

    3 months ago40

  • Over-Ad-8716

    I think it’s for the best. Whoever the interviewer was, he seems pretty edgy and aggressive.

    3 months ago60

  • GeoGrrrl

    Yikes! Be glad you don’t work there, really.

    3 months ago40

  • Patience_Fluid

    So olders CPU's don't support the background tech without a Greenscreen. So, you had it set to background but had no greenscreen, so it goes wild and it'll make anything part of the background.

    3 months ago41

    • rivalmascot

      eBay has some affordable green screens & lights if you ever decide to go that route.

      3 months ago1

  • KingAdamXVII

    >”I’m not the aurora”, thinking he would get the reference. What’s the reference? Google’s not helping.

    3 months ago41

    • camshafteron

      It's a reference to this video, where a lawyer does not realize he's got a cat Zoom filter and goes "I'm not a cat". ​

      3 months ago4

  • shiftingsun

    Mutually miserable lmao

    3 months ago40

  • Kommmbucha

    You dodged a bullet OP. Praise be unto the Aurora.

    3 months ago30

  • Qualityhams

    Wow, what an asshole!

    3 months ago30

  • the_cnara

    My face happens to be the exact color of the walls in my office, so I can’t green screen anything (like zoom backgrounds) because my skin disappears. Could be the same problem? Yes, I am wall-colored. Exotic, I know.

    3 months ago30

  • Existing-Technology

    Are people really so humorless? Sounds like a great environment.

    3 months ago60

  • CharlieMWY

    All jokes aside you probably dodged a bullet considering how unprofessional & uptight the company sounds.

    3 months ago20

  • TheOneWhoReadsStuff

    Agree with him and tell him how much of an Unlikeable person he seems to be. Tell him his mother messed up by not naming him “Nauseating Cunt”.

    3 months ago20

  • me0wmixme0w

    Did you do a test call with yourself before the interview? Doesn’t sound like it by your post. Worth doing before any interview.

    3 months ago41

    • crumblecrow

      Yes I did, and I thought, wow I look handsome with this sublime Arctic sky through my face. Any employer would be lucky to have me. Jokes obviously. With hindsight, I’m all about testing my settings now.

      3 months ago17

  • MoistMough

    Life lesson. Always make sure you are familiar with the tool before the interview date. Next time do practice runs with mom, friends, etc. Get the lighting right, make sure you look good. If the virtual backgrounds don't work good invest in a room divider and use that.

    3 months ago21

    • mp90

      Agreed. Also, use a newer smartphone instead of relying on an 8-year-old laptop if possible.

      3 months ago1

  • avr055

    Great story ha! He sounds like a jerk

    3 months ago10

  • powerpuffgurl1

    I've had my unfortunate share of bad interviews.

    3 months ago10

  • nightfalldevil

    My 2015 MacBook Pro also cannot handle backgrounds.

    3 months ago10

  • imnotokaywiththis_

    What an awful thing to say to an interviewee. I could never imagine saying something like to anyone interested in working for my company. As someone that went through tons of interview processes during the last year, one thing I did before every interview was to test Zoom 5 to 10 minutes prior to the call. I checked the mic and headphones, and my video settings to make sure that my background was acceptable, that I was in frame and nothing weird got caught. I hope your next interview is better and you get to have a good experience out of it. And if you get the job, even better!

    3 months ago10

  • hollander19

    Great story! Better to work with someone who has a sense of humor anyway.

    3 months ago10

  • lenswipe

    What a dick

    3 months ago10

  • supportivepistachio

    What an asshole rejection letter

    3 months ago10

  • Acheronian_Rose

    Jesus just stop at "you didn't get the job" i dont understand how people like that make it into management when they think beating people down like that is professional.

    3 months ago10

  • fancy_marmot

    Lol! So sorry, that must have been awful in the moment tho. Regarding the background fail, be sure you have "Green Screen" toggled Off in the options. If it's on, your background will merge with your face in seriously weird ways...

    3 months ago10

  • PossumAloysius

    My state of the art iMac ($2300, 32 GB Ram) can run blender, photoshop, GarageBand, Adobe Lightroom and all kinds of heavy bullshit but I logged into a zoom interview a few months ago and it started stuttering and giving me choppy video. I did not get the job.

    3 months ago10

  • Rainbowjazzler

    I once got put on the interview list and asked to reply and confirm for an interview. I emailed. I called and texted. Nothing back from them. A friend of mine who already worked there explained how it was a racist, boy club who were very small minded. So all in all, I dodged a bullet. You definitely did too after that email.

    3 months ago10

  • YouBYou

    ***"we’d make each other mutually miserable”*** WTH. OMG. What kind of slap upside the head is that? Totally and completely unnecessary. He could just said, "thanks, we have selected another candidate".

    3 months ago10

  • use-your-name

    What a fucking asshole

    3 months ago10

  • CaptainPick1e

    Willing to bet the recruiter never left the safe shallows.

    3 months ago10

  • candyland777

    I got a laugh from your story. If he was a good person and a good interviewer he would’ve said log off and I’ll give you a few minutes to figure it out. If I was the interviewer I would’ve laughed at hysterically…sometimes technology just sux.

    3 months ago10

  • merrychristmasaugust

    Thanks for making me laugh, this was genuinely funny.

    3 months ago10

  • haleocentric

    There used to be a gal on Seattle Public Access named Goddess Kring who would get naked, paint herself in dayglo paints and hippie herself around in front of the camera. This is how I'm kind of picturing your interview. 😂

    3 months ago10

  • stardusttree

    That’s a messed up email to send but true colors are shown. I know many employers who would laugh at the mishap and move on. For the past year we’ve had to deal with Zoom and learning different online things and some of us still are so people are used to it. Guy sounded like a douche canoe by the way he reacted instead of helping you figure it out or ignore it. Bullet dodged majorly and if you haven’t, I’d name and shame.

    3 months ago10

  • nLucis

    This reminds me of that guy thst got stuck as a cat

    3 months ago10

  • ButaneLilly

    >I was using my state of the art MacBook Pro 2013. Which, unbeknownst to me, struggles with Zoom software. Just use the web version. It has less options. It's harder to get lost in configuration when there is no configuration.

    3 months ago10

  • SephoraRothschild

    To be fair, you need to test your tech before your meetings. There's no excuse at this point to not be competent at online meeting software or audio/video. Why would you use a graphic as a background during an interview?

    3 months ago01

    • drakon3rd

      To be fair, you clearly didn’t read the post…

      3 months ago5

  • Psyc5

    To be honest, if you can't workout how to turn off a background you turned on and can't google it in 10 seconds that is a pretty good reason not to hire you for most jobs in the modern world. It is like saying you don't know how to use Microsoft Word.

    3 months ago01

    • OneJumpSummer

      I've work consecutively in an office job for decades and continued to work in an office during the pandemic when everything went virtual and I have no idea how to Zoom properly. I've been a meeting attendee probably dozens of times but I've never had to initiate a Zoom and would struggle with turning off and on settings. My coworkers who conduct meetings all of the time are Zoom and Teams champions. Doesn't mean I'm less deserving or them more deserving of our respective positions. If I ask my coworkers how to forward their phone or work our all in one printer, they'd have no clue.

      3 months ago1

  • queen-of-carthage

    I just want to know how you got this far into the pandemic having only used Zoom once before

    3 months ago01

    • rivalmascot

      My work uses Google Meetings, my university uses Teams, and my doctor uses Doxy. It isn't that implausible.

      3 months ago4

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