As you may know, video interviews are becoming the new norm, even without social distancing measures. I believe that in the near future, video interviews are going to be widely adopted and even replace the phone screen interviews. When you can see a person, you can tell so much more about them. Video interviews allow interviewers to feel much more connected to and more clearly understand interviewees. But when it comes to leaving positive first impressions and being able to portray yourself well on this 2D screen, there are a couple of rules you want to keep in mind, because it’s not going to be identical to the rules that you would follow with going to an onsite or in-person interview. So with that being said, let’s dig into what to wear for your upcoming video job interview so that you appear polished, professional, and lively! You can continue reading the blog or watch the video below instead.
What to Wear for Your Upcoming Video Job Interview
Tip #1: Avoid Stripes At All Costs
The first tip I have for you is to make sure that you avoid wearing stripes by all costs because on camera, stripes get distorted. The thinner the stripes, the worse the distortion. Check out this photo to see exactly what I’m talking about:
The effect stripes have on camera can be extremely jarring, distracting, and unpleasant to look at, so pay close attention to the patterns on your shirts! Men especially need to be vigilant in closely examining the detail on your dress shirts before choosing to wear it. Even subtle stripes, polka dots, or houndstooth can distort and become very distracting on camera. Keep in mind, what’s visible to the human eye is not an accurate reflection of what the camera will pick up. So if possible, stick to solids and avoid pattern altogether! You can also always test out your shirt beforehand by taking a video of yourself and examining it for any distortions like the one pictured above.
Tip #2: Choose Color Carefully
I would suggest avoiding anything on the darker side of the spectrum, like navy blue or black. I know that sounds crazy because in a normal interview you might wear navy or black as your safest option! However, you now have to keep the camera in mind when choosing a color, and blacks and navys can come off as quite underwhelming. It doesn’t help you pop or stand out, and can have an overall muted effect on your appearance. So I would highly recommend is sticking to colors that are a bit brighter, but still very appropriate for the type of role and industry that you’re moving into. When choosing a color, note that the camera loves jewel-toned colors! If you pay attention to how news anchors dress, you’ll notice they all wear solid, jewel-toned colors like deep reds, rich yellows, and royal blues. That is no coincedence – these colors are universally flattering, appealing, and generally yield a positive first impression. Take a look at this helpful chart below of some jewel tones to spark your inspiration for anything in your closet that might fit the bill. When in doubt, white is also a safe choice for a video interview – as long as it’s not see-through!
Tip #3: Prepare Your Setup In Advance
No matter where you are meeting this interviewer on whether it’s Skype, zoom, or any other conference tool that you’re using, you can make sure that you have your setup in place. Make sure you know exactly what the background looks like, have your lighting in front of you and play around with what feels right for you and looks good for you on camera. If you want to learn more specifics about what your setup should look like, be sure to check out my video tutorial on the tech setup you need to make sure the quality of your interview is professional.
Tip #4: Dress According to the Role You’re Interviewing For
Another thing that I want to mention when it comes to video interviews is you still want to dress appropriately for the type of role you are going for. So if you are in professional services, for example, you’re in a role that is going to require you to wear a suit to work. Whether you’re a lawyer or a hedge fund manager, for example, you really want to make sure that you’re dressed in the way that you would during the interview coming in as a formal suit. If you do find yourself needing to dress in a full suit, make sure that your temperature control is going to allow you to interview comfortably during this entire time period while sitting there in front of a camera. You never want to get up in the middle of an interview to change the thermostat or start sweating because you haven’t factored this in. However, it’s appropriate to unbutton your jacket during the interview so definitely take that into account when controlling the temperature in your home. You can simply ask your interviewer if they mind you removing your jacket for a moment, to which they will of course oblige. All that matters is that you’re giving off the impression that you showed up prepared and dressed for the part.
If you’re interviewing for a role that requires more business casual attire, a simple Oxford or button-up blouse will do just fine. Use your best judgment to choose something that matches the company culture as best as you can. If you’re interviewing for a tech role where everybody shows up in jeans and a t-shirt, for example, then you can go ahead and dress a bit more casually as well. The most important factor to remember here is that you want to dress in something that makes you comfortable and confident.
Tip #5: Dress With Comfort and Confidence In Mind
With that being said, I know a lot of people might think it’s ok to wear yoga pants (or even no pants) down below, but I want to advise against that. What you wear allows you to feel a certain way, and you will definitely feel more confident, prepared, and embody the role you’re going for more if you are dressed in the full ensemble, from your dress shoes all the way to your cologne. And finally, you just want to make sure that whatever you’re wearing is, of course, wrinkle-free and stain-free, because small things get picked up on camera. Ladies, that means no disco-ball sparkly earrings, excessive or distracting makeup, or noisy jewelry. Nobody wants to hear your bracelets clinking during the whole interview! There won’t be a desk and room in between you and the interviewer, so they’re going to be able to see and hear everything very clearly. Just make sure that you just check all of those details because you want to make sure that whatever you’re bringing forth is going to be the best first impression, whatever you need to do to make sure you’re properly fitted, tested out before you actually hit go live.
I just want to caveat, by the way, that I am not a fashionista by any means or any stretch of the imagination. These are just some of the tips and tools that I picked up along the way. I hope this helped, and I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming video interview!