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Recently I have been interviewing for companies located outside of my home country and we do these interviews through videocalls.

So I had several videocall interviews with one particular company where both of us (I and the recruiter) were with our cameras on.

But on the last videocall, I noticed that the recruiter had their camera off and then I quickly turned off mine at the beginning of the call.

I am not sure if that was appropriated or not, since I acted without thinking too much (I'm a very introverted person, so this was kinda instinctive).

Should I let my camera on even if the person I am chatting with is not using one? Is it considered rude/unprofessional to turn off the camera?

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Should I let my camera on even if the person I am chatting with is not using one? Is it considered rude/unprofessional to turn off the camera?

Whether you decide to interview with or without the camera, the decision should be made before the interview. Once you have started the interview, it would be inappropriate to turn off the camera regardless of whether or not the interviewer is using one.

  • This isn't a great answer because it claims without any explanation that it's "inappropriate" (without regard to the location or other factor) to turn off the video camera if you had decided previous to the interview to have it on. The interviewer is unaware of your decision to have it on or off, so they have no way to know whether you're being inconsistent with your initial intention. Further in many cases it is appropriate in an interview to follow the lead of the interviewer (where to sit, etc), so why not in this case as well? Also, why not ask the interviewer if they have a preference? – aem Jan 24 at 22:51
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Part of the interview process is for people to see each other. The reason for this is so that they can judge how they answer questions, deal with surprises, verify good hygiene, know who they interviewed so they know who to expect on the first day, make sure they dressed appropriately, and more.

With the recruiter having their camera off, they did you a disservice, since you can't judge them back. Maybe they were just having a bad hair day, but that doesn't dismiss what they did.

Interviews are a two way street, since you need to be judging them just as they are judging you. You need to verify that they are doing the interview from a professional environment, take reasonable care of themselves, and all the other things I mentioned above. If you aren't comfortable with them and their setting, just like they need to be comfortable with you, you shouldn't take a job.

Unless it's specified beforehand, you should keep your camera on during an interview. This shows you aren't hiding anything. If they don't have their's on, it can be a red flag. A single red flag isn't a deal-breaker, but many red flags can be. If this is the only red flag, still do your research on the company to make sure they really aren't hiding anything. And quickly turning off your camera, or not having your camera on when you should, is a red flag to them.

If you don't get this job, consider it a lesson and move on. Don't berate yourself for it, since there may be other factors you don't know about that didn't match you up to this job. And if this was the only red flag that disqualified you, you're better off not working for a company that's this picky and hypocritical about their employees.

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I agree with sf02 that turning off the camera mid-interview is a bit inappropriate, but the same is not true for turning the camera ON near the beginning of the interview. It is common for people to join a conference call with voice/video disabled, then to turn it on once the meeting starts. So, the interviewee probably won't even realize you were motivated by a wish for reciprocal camera use.

This approach fails if everyone uses it. This approach is intended for individuals; companies should not use this approach.

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