How To Dress For A Virtual Interview

Small Business Canada

COVID-19 has put pretty much the entire world in a state of lockdown and what that means for us is that unless you’re an essential worker like a doctor or police officer, you are either working from home or not working at all.

While this isn’t ideal, it’s a much less significant problem than sheer the amount of death and suffering that the virus has caused. And if we try to take as positive of an outlook on it as we can, this is probably the best period in history to be in lockdown.

Of course, it would be an awful lot better if there weren’t people dying and life was able to continue as normal but because we have unlimited access to each other thanks to the internet, working remotely is possible for a huge number of jobs.

Some people are facing unemployment for sure, but most of us have been able to maintain our jobs by working from home and it may be something that sticks around even after this is over. And what this also means, is that the process of job hunting doesn’t have to stop either. 

If you are interviewing for a job, you can do so through some video chat service such as Facetime, Skype or Zoom. Distance does not have to get in the way of you securing a job for yourself. 

But don’t let the fact that it’s not an in-person interview lead you believe that can take it less seriously. That’s not the case, you still need to think of it as a professional environment and treat it as such.

This means that you do need to be meticulous about how you dress and make it clear that you’ve put some effort into that. Here are a few things to consider when dressing for a virtual interview:

Your Top Half Must Be Professional

They’re only going to see you from about the chest up, and so you should make sure that for what they can see you are dressed as if you were meeting them in person. So for men, wear a shirt and a blazer and don’t forget your necktie.

For women, wear a professional blouse but also pay attention to your neckline. You are going to be much closer and if your neckline is too low it’s going to end up being pretty distracting so pick something that doesn’t show too much.

Your Lower Half Matters Too

I won’t try to tell you that what you’re wearing on your legs is equally as important because it isn’t, you can be seen below the waist, but while you might be tempted to just ignore that part of your attire I wouldn’t advise it.

It’s all well and good to look like you’re in a professional setting, but you also need to feel like you’re in a professional setting. You need to be in the mindset that you are actually in an interview room in the office that you could potentially be working in.

If you’re in a pair of sweatpants or even if you’re in your underwear you’re not going to feel this way at all. So wear slacks or a skirt, make the experience feel as real as possible so that you don’t slip out of the working mindset. 

Don’t Wear Too Much White

This is something that you wouldn’t have to think too much about when you were going for an in-person interview but you need to consider it for a virtual interview for sure. Colours look much brighter on screen.

If you wear white it’s going to be a little bit dazzling, to the point where your face becomes out of focus and eye contact isn’t a possibility. So it’s better to wear mild colours. Mild greens, blues or navy would be good.

Try not to go too dark either because that will actually end up having the same overpowering effect that the white has. So avoid black too.

Don’t Overdo it With Jewellery

If you wear too much you’re just going to give the impression that you’re trying to show off, but at the same time, a little bit of jewellery can heighten the sense of professionalism to your interview outfit. 

So for women, if you wanted to maybe wear a chain necklace that’s not too extravagant or maybe some small hoop earrings that should do the trick. And men should probably limit it to a watch. 

You don’t have to overspend on that for it to look professional. Outside of that, you could probably wear cufflinks too but I wouldn’t go any further than that.

While there are some very important things to think about, dressing for a virtual interview shouldn’t be too difficult. The goal is to make sure that you look and feel just as professional as you would for an in-person interview.

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