What to Wear to a Virtual Job Interview

  • Posted by Nicole Adams

With an uprising in lounge and leisurewear due to many people forced to quarantine and work from home, you may be wondering what to wear for a virtual interview. Even when an interview takes place from a remote location like your house, you should expect it to be just as formal as one that would take place in an office, so we recommend dressing the same as you would in a face-to-face interview. 

What is a Virtual Interview?

A virtual interview is one that takes place remotely, sometimes over the phone, but more often using technology like video conferencing and other online communication platforms. An online interview requires tools like a camera and microphone on your computer, a software program (like Google Hangouts or Zoom) and a reliable internet connection to connect you to your potential employer. 

Remote interviews are usually conducted much the same way as face-to-face ones, but virtual communication requires special considerations and adjustments due to the limited ability to read body language and facial expressions. You’ll need to take a little more time to consider your outfit and background eliminating any unnecessary distractions that could take away from your presence and connection. 

Before your virtual interview, check your technology to ensure it works and can be used to communicate effectively. You’ll want to place your camera about eye level and approximately 2-3 feet away from you so that your face will be nicely framed. Consider using additional lighting or facing natural light and make sure your background is neutral, tidy and not distracting. Also think about how your background interacts with what you’re wearing. 

What to Wear for Your Virtual Interview

Your backdrop can absolutely impact your outfit. If you have a white or neutral colored wall as your background, wearing patterns or more vibrant colors may work well, but if you have a busy bookshelf behind you, a solid color may be the better choice. While it is possible to use filtered backgrounds on applications like Zoom they can be distracting so your best bet is to create your outfit and background together. 

In a virtual interview you should dress the same as you would in a face-to-face one which not only makes you appear professional and excited about the opportunity, but it will also make you feel more prepared and confident. If you’re unsure the level of dress to go with, try researching the brand’s website and social media to get a feel for the standard of dress code. Remember dressing up will never hurt your prospects but appearing sloppy or too casual can and often will.

Use your wardrobe choices to command attention, express your personality and to look like you made an effort. Don’t forget to wear shoes and dress in a complete outfit! It may sound silly to wear shoes since no one else will see them, but it’s been proven that when we get dressed in clothes that signify professionalism (instead of sweatpants), our brains perform better and we have better self-esteem. Keep jewelry and makeup minimal as not to detract attention away from you and try to look directly at the camera as much as possible. 

Your outfit and level of formality should match the industry that you’re interviewing for regardless of the interview setting. With a little planning and effort, you should be able to nail an online interview just as easily as an in person one. The perfect job is waiting for you, start you search here.