Should you dress up for an interview if it’s virtual? The answer is YES! It is easy to assume because only your upper body is viewable, that you do not really need to put much effort into your look.
But whether you are in person or chatting virtually, people still judge you based on your appearance, PERIODT! There have been plenty of studies done on the importance of the first impressions in many situations.
You can read for yourself here at Science 2.0 a study done at Sonoma State University and the University Of Texas. So with this being said, the last thing you would want to is to not get a job solely based on your appearance in a virtual interview.
The question now is, what do you/do you not wear for a virtual interview? Do not fret, it’s not rocket science at all. It’s actually very similar to how you would dress for an in-person interview.
I covered in depth how to dress for in-person interviews in this blog post here. So you can check out that article as well for ideas for looks for your virtual interviews. But my focus in this post is you not looking a mess in your next virtual interview.
What NOT To Wear To A Virtual Interview
Do Not Wear Anything Too Casual
Just because you’re at home, does not exempt you from appearing professional for your virtual interview. Also, being dressed to casual can play mind tricks on you.
You being dressed casual can make you feel you can behave and even speak more casually. Of course you want to be yourself, but you’re not talking with one of your girlfriends, you’re trying to secure a job!
With this being said, I advise still dressing as if you were going to an in-person interview. It’s better to be safe than sorry and doing the bare minimum when doing most things in life should not be your first choice.
Do Not Wear Bright Colors
What you wear does matter for virtual interviews, but the primary focus in the interview should be you, not your outfit. You do not want to blind the person interviewing you.
Also, if your camera quality and lighting are not the best on your camera, that can make matters even worse if you’re wearing a bright color. So stick with the more muted colors, the same as you would for an in-person interview.
Do Not Forget Your Bottom Half
You would think this goes without saying, but you may have seen some instances online or in the news that someone may have forgotten.
Yes, you can only see the top portion of your body on camera, but you never know if you may need to get up for something. Also, being fully dressed adds to the professionalism that I mentioned above. Why half-ass your look?
Treat this interview the same as you would an in person interview and put on a WHOLE outfit. It is better to be safe than sorry. A wardrobe malfunction in a virtual interview is not the move.
Do Not Wear Clothes That Are Too Tight
You want to be professional, but comfort is important. I do not know about you, but it shows all over my face when I am not comfortable. It also is very distracting. If I am not comfortable, that is all I think about.
This type of distraction can take you off your A game and cause you to lose focus on your interview. I advise trying on your interview look beforehand and sitting down in it as if you were in your interview.
That way you do not find out the hard way that your outfit is not fitting right and you look like you’re taking a dump during your interview, lol!
Honorable Mention: Do Not Wear White
I say this is an honorable mention, just because it really depends if you should or should not wear white or not for a virtual interview. If you have a white background, I would say not to wear it.
But if you have a darker background or even if you are wearing a blazer with a contrasting color, I think white is ok to wear. White button up shirts are pretty standard for professional clothing or dress codes.
With this being said, just be mindful of your backgrounds and lighting. If wearing white is going to wash you out or make you look like Casper on camera, don’t wear it.
What TO Wear To A Virtual Interview
Do Wear Clothes That Matches The Companies Culture
I encourage you to do research on the company you’re interviewing with beforehand. Not only for informational purposes, but also dress code. I would look on any of their social media pages, and YouTube for photos and videos to get a feel of the vibe.
Once you gauge the vibe, take your outfit up a level from current company dress code. So pretty much dress better than they do for your interview.
Do Wear Pops Of Color That Compliments Skin Tone
Above I said not to wear bright colors, but that does not mean do not wear color at all. If you have a color that you know enhances your skin tone or maybe brings out the color in your eyes, wear it.
Give your interviewer something nice to look at. That does not mean show skin or wear something provocative, but choosing colors that ups your overall look is acceptable.
Do Wear Minimal Accessories
Wearing accessories is ok, but less is best. You do not want to look like you are wearing a whole jewelry store. Of course you want to remember to keep things professional so do not wear body piercing, etc..
If you’re interviewing for a piercing/tattoo shop, then you may get away with wearing body or face piercing, but you get the gist of what I am saying.
Do Dress For Your Style Personality
I know this is an interview, but you need to show up as yourself, not a fraudulent imposter. So keep yourself in mind when picking out pieces and colors.
Maybe add a signature broch to your blazer or wear a color that you’re known for wearing if it’s not too distracting. Add elements to your look that speaks to who you are and makes you unique.
You do not want to be one of many in an interview. You want to be the one who stands out and memorable when they are start the selection process.
This post would not be right without showing you an example of some looks you can wear to your virtual interview. I curated complete looks with shoes and a bag.
I know you do not need a bag for a virtual interview and maybe not even shoes. But outfits are not complete without either to me, so do not come for me Argentina, lol!
This here is a comfy and professional look, perfect for a more casual virtual interview. For example, if you had an interview at a tech company, this would work.
Most tech companies’ dress code is more business casual and this would be a step up from that casual vibe. Of course, do your research and read the room before you pick out your outfit.
Blue is a color that shows trust and an excellent color to wear for an interview. Both of the blues here are more muted and should show well on camera.
I love the color blocking with this look with blue and gray. Grey is also a good color choice for an interview. Here, more than likely, they would not see it, but so what. Put on the whole damn outfit, lol.
As mentioned above, gray is a suitable color for an interview. Some consider it the go-to color for interviews or professional clothing. What I find the most interesting about this look is the bodysuit.
I have never seen a blazer styled bodysuit, but it works! You definitely would not want to forget your bottoms with this look here, lol.
You can be pretty in pink for your virtual interview. Especially if this color is within your skin’s color season, it’s a slam dunk. The added bow on the shirt can speak to your style personality without being too distracting.
This look would be the romantic style personality’s wildest dream. If you want to nail down what your style personality is, check out this post I wrote here for some help.
Another comfy look that you will not look like your talking a dump wearing during an interview, lol. Not much to say about this look other than it’s very simple and sometimes less is best.
I will say that your hair and makeup would need to be more than average for this look. This look can easily wash you out if you not careful but do not overdo it.
Put it this way, do not look for inspiration from Rupaul’s Drag Race for makeup and hair. It’s no shade, Drag Queens are life, but for an interview that look would be too much, lol.
Green is not a color that most think about to wear to for an interview. It works, though! On camera, these colors greens would not be too overpowering or bright.
These hues of green have a calming effect which may help you when if you are nervous in your interview. Here, seeing yourself works to your advantage.
Add some personality to your virtual interview outfit. They say you should not wear patterns, but this one is so muted, I do not think this one would be an issue.
The detailing in this dress with a good camera actually would be an enhancement of your look and pop out in a good way. So do not rule out muted patterns, anything too busy however I would advise to steer away from.
With any of these looks, you will be appropriate and wardrobe malfunction proofed to rock your virtual look. What you wear to your virtual interview is not something that you should lose sleep over. However, it should not be an afterthought.
What you wear as your second skin matters, always. Do not forget that! Just remember to have fun with your wardrobe. If you’re not currently having fun with it or happy with it, that’s problematic.
That is why style coaches such as myself are here to help you! Click here for more information on how I can help you and to set up a discovery call to see how I can turn your wardrobe’s frown to a smile!