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What to wear for a video interview
As remote work becomes the norm and safety remains paramount, an increasing number of businesses are opting for video job interviews over face-to-face when it comes to the hiring process. If you’re currently on the job hunt or trying to land an internal position, chances are you’ll be asked to do a video interview at some point or another.
Video interviews offer a significant advantage over in-person meetings. Primarily, you’re in control of your environment, so you can set it up in exactly the way that you feel comfortable. However, this control also means that you need to be more considered in a number of areas, including your backdrop, your body language and your attire.
Like an in-person interview, what you wear to a virtual interview matters. Below, we share some video interview tips to help you dress for success.
Always wear professional attire
Try to dress the same as you would for a face-to-face meeting with a prospective employer. Not only does this make you look more attractive in the eyes of your employer, it also makes you feel more confident, which in turn enhances your ability to perform well and answer video interview questions more effectively.
It’s also important to ensure you coordinate your top and lower half. While your interviewer will typically only see your top half, you never know when an unexpected circumstance may arise that requires you to stand up or appear in full frame. Don’t get caught out wearing shorts or worse, as this is will absolutely make a poor impression on your interviewer.
Coordinate with your surroundings
During a video interview, you have complete control over your environment and your background. Because of this, you can plan where you’re going to conduct the interview ahead of time — and ensure your outfit complements your surroundings.
If you’re doing the interview against a white wall, try to avoid wearing a white or cream-coloured shirt as this might cause you to blend in with your backdrop. Opt for a healthy amount of colour contrast to ensure you stand out just enough during the call. This is particularly important if you’re planning to use a Zoom or Microsoft Teams background, as similar colours might cause you to interact strongly with your backdrop.
Remove any distracting elements
Sparkly jewellery might help you stand out in person. However, in a video interview they’re simply a distraction for your interviewer. You want the hiring manager to be 100% focused on what you have to say, rather than getting distracted by the glare from your earrings or the details of your necklace.
This isn’t to say you have to forgo jewellery altogether. A simple necklace or an elegant bangle can add to your air of professionalism — just reserve the shiny trinkets for a call for friends or a day in the office (once you land the job).
Ditch the striped or patterned shirts
Your favourite striped work shirt might look amazing in person. However, on the camera it might create a strobing or flickering effect, which can be incredibly distracting for your interviewer. This is particularly the case if your laptop camera is of lower quality, or you’re wearing a necktie with smaller diagonal stripes.
The main culprit here is narrow stripes, so opt for a shirt with a less distracting pattern — or wear a plain shirt instead.
Record yourself in what you’re going to wear
At the end of the day, the secret to how to do video interviews is to be prepared and to do a trial run before the big day. If you’re not sure whether your attire works, there’s a simple solution: Record yourself wearing your interview clothes on the device you’re going to use, against the backdrop you’re going to use. When you play it back, you’ll likely spot some room for improvement.